It’s now been two years since the start of a global pandemic that triggered profound social and economic changes right around the world. Travel was banned, strict health guidelines were enacted, and social distancing kept us all apart for long periods of time. And one surprising trend that has captured attention of many in the business world is the “Great Resignation”. Experts say this mass employee exodus has been caused by a combination of burnout following lengthy lockdowns, along with changing expectations around workplace culture.
The Great Resignation has the potential to wreak serious havoc for employers, particularly those in the technology spaces. But when this phenomenon is tackled the right way, the Great Resignation also presents opportunities for businesses to enhance the experiences of both their employees and clients. Let’s explore this in more detail.
Australia’s Great Resignation
A survey by ELMO Software, whose is weighted to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics, found 31 per cent of workers plan to quit their current job this year.
Almost a fifth say this will do so without having another job lined up.
Experts say the pandemic has shifted priorities for workers who now expect flexibility as the norm.
“There have been a large number of people, many of whom are highly skilled, that during the shift to remote work took the opportunity to leave expensive capital cities and relocate to regional locations with lower costs or other lifestyle benefits”, said Professor Nick Wailes, Deputy Dean, UNSW Business School.
“Now that companies are re-emerging from lockdown, these people will be looking to continue to work remotely and if their current employers won’t let that happen, will be very quick to look for new opportunities with organisations that will continue to support remote working,” he explained.
The Great Resignation is not unique to Australia either, with many other countries reporting similar trends. It’s been recorded that 19 million US workers—and counting—have quit their jobs since April 2021, a record pace that is disrupting businesses across the country.
The impact of churn on the aged and disability care sectors
The issue of churn in these care sectors has always been significant – but the problem has worsened since the onset of the pandemic. Here at AlayaCare, we’re anecdotally seen a 35% churn rate in the IT support teams of our clients. While churn is not anything new, the trend pre-COVID was that people would move between companies. That meant that knowledge was held within the industry.
However, the impact of the Great Resignation has been that this knowledge is walking out of the industry door completely. This has exacerbated pressure on companies, which has a knock-on effect for employee retention, service delivery user experience and customer satisfaction.
So, how can you tackle the Great Resignation to reduce churn and burnout, improve your operational efficiency, and future proof your business?
Flexibility and workplace culture matter – to a point
One of the drivers of the Great Resignation is changing employee expectations around what they want from their work life. Salary and career progression isn’t all that matters – flexibility and work-life balance are playing an increasingly important role in employee satisfaction.
Additionally, many employees began to seek out a working environment that shared their values and had stronger, more engaging workplace cultures. When people haven’t received these necessities from their current employers, they are now increasingly willing to walk out the door.
Improving workplace culture has been touted in some articles as the silver bullet for the Great Resignation. While it is undoubtedly a crucial component, this alone will not be enough to stem the surge in resignations. The key to future-proofing your business and preventing your people from joining the mass exodus is to also commit to these additional steps.
Invest in education and training
According to research released in 2019 by customer experience management company Sitel Group, "more than one-third of employees (37 percent) say they would leave their current job/employer if they were not offered training to learn new skills." Research by CNBC confirms this: it found that 94% of employees said they would remain at a company if it was invested in helping them learn.
Investing in education and learning is not a silver bullet solution (because there is no such thing), but it can help your business to recruit new talent and upskill your current workforce. By investing in learning and development, employers can inspire workers to stay with their organisations and become subject matter experts held in high esteem. They acquire the skills that can advance their careers or allow them to transition into more satisfying roles. Training programs can help reinvigorate your workforce, fill knowledge gaps, and ultimately off-set the impact of the Great Resignation.
Partner with the right organisations
To off-set the effects of the Great Resignation, it’s also important to partner with software providers who have strong advocacy in industry groups, and who invest heavily in research development and training. This means working with providers who can offer a range of support triage, including telephone, email, live chat and Zendesk articles We are also helping our clients by providing short, easy-to-understand videos to help workers feel better supported on the job. SME User groups are also being formed to influence the product vision. At AlayaCare, our systems are designed to improve business efficiencies and reduce your administration burden From our smartphone app to real-time rostering tools, you'll have peace of mind knowing that we are constantly working to make your operations easier.
Is your organisation struggling with the effects of the Great Resignation? Contact us today to learn how we can help to boost your business, reduce burnout and churn, and future-proof your organisation.