The Myth of the Great Resignation

The Myth of the Great Resignation

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We’ve been seeing an unprecedented surge in the job market that, for the first time, is outpacing the jitters of the real estate market.

In today’s world, any individual with an idea can afford their own start-up, social media influencers are able to make a substantial living wage, and people are on a critical path to find meaning in the work they do. The definition of employment is changing, and the Great Resignation has become a reality that organizations are being forced to face.

According to Anthony Klotz, Associate Professor of Management at Texas A&M University and founding father of the term “The Great Resignation”, the mass exodus from organizations today can be attributed to the backlog of workers who wanted to quit before the pandemic but had to hang on a little while longer.

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All Turnover Is Not Created Equal

The current rate of resignations is high; any study or survey associated with the Great Resignation will tell you that. However, in order to assess the true impacts of this, and actionable steps for your organization, the notion of retention must be redefined.

When we bring up the term “retention”, many people picture a toxic organization trying to explain its high turnover rate. However, it is necessary to emphasize that turnover is neither good nor bad and that it is essential to determine whether resignation is resulting from a functional or a dysfunctional turnover rate.

Functional turnover is defined as the resignation of a low performer, while dysfunctional turnover is the departure of a high performer. For every departure an organization faces, it is essential to gauge the cultural alignment and determine the nature of the turnover in order to take action with data that reflects the reality of the situation. A key question you should ask yourself becomes – would you rehire that employee?

Many employers today are reprimanding themselves and doing whatever it takes to keep turnover stable or low. However, this is not entirely the employer’s problem to solve. With today’s precariousness and volatility, most organizations are facing an intense cycle of instability. Instead of retaining their workforce at all costs, employers should embrace the labour revolution that is underway, and adapt their approach to reap its benefits.

Employees Need to Own Their Personal Career Growth; Employers Need to Offer Them the Opportunities

There is a misconception that millennials and gen-Z have quit in droves because they lack loyalty and career consistency. However, in reality, the largest rate of resignation can be seen in the 30-45 age group, which saw a 20% increase between 2020 and 2021. Surprisingly, the 20-25-year-old age bracket has actually seen a decrease – likely associated with a combination of financial factors and a reduction in demand for workers fresh out of school.

As employers, we have a moral obligation to provide tangible opportunities for our employees: both by fostering their professional development and by providing them with the support they need to accomplish their goals. A recent Monster study depicts that 80% of employees believe their employer does not offer opportunities for growth and 86% believe their career has stalled since the pandemic. It is therefore important to encourage our people to speak up about their career goals and objectives, and to redefine what development means for them.

Organizations need to equip their managers to ask the right questions and to establish ongoing communication with their teams in order to properly manage employee growth. Also, according to Monster’s Job Index, it can be seen that 9% of employees believe that communication with their manager will increase their chances of career advancement, while 34% of employees believe that this will happen by looking elsewhere. It is thus essential to exercise awareness and provide the necessary space and time between managers and employees, in order to turn this quest for growth at work to our advantage.

It is possible to adapt a career to fit the employee’s goals and plan for the future. All you need to do is start a conversation that will fulfill the interest of both parties. Not sure where to start? Ask questions and the plan will be uncovered.

Flexibility Is The Name Of The Game

During the pandemic, many people had the opportunity to reflect on their working conditions and career goals, as well as to redefine what was really valuable to them. Around this time, an aversion to returning to the physical office was also born, as people began to experience the benefits of working from home. Unfortunately, this has resulted in the increase of resignations in organizations that offer little or no flexibility.

Let’s face it, hybrid work is here to stay, and having a plan in place to support work management of flexibility of location, geography, and work hours is essential. In a hybrid model, employees have the flexibility to get work done when they are most productive. Setting up the right tools and guidelines from the get-go makes it easier to manage the entire process for the employer and employee, from approval to documentation and regulation.

The idea is to offer a light and scalable framework for all of your employees, in order for them to be able to request to work with another setup than the traditional one. This could be related to working from home, the office, a foreign country, wanting to work reduced hours, or increasing flexibility with work schedules.

Some HR software offer a Time-Off Module that employers can customize to fit specific needs. For example, this includes custom fields for remote work that trigger an approval flow. The possibilities are endless, and will surely match the diversity of work styles of your employees in this new era.

Both employees and employers will gain many benefits by transitioning to a flexible working environment. The better work-life balance and autonomy will not only motivate your current workforce to thrive but will also attract top talent and increase the retention of star employees.

How to Thrive and Instil the Right Mindset

✅ Calculate the turnover of top performers during the performance review process

✅ Put in place tools that will help you scale up your flexibility framework

✅ Offer long-lasting career opportunities by empowering your employees with goal-setting and defining proper career paths with them

✅ Define the future of your workplace by setting a healthy and flexible vision for your employees

✅ Provide support, create safe spaces and instil a coaching culture where everyone has a voice

✅ Encourage your employees to speak up without fear; the most underrated effective way to empower people is by providing them with an opportunity to take part in something bigger than them.

Julie Brunet

Director of Human Resources
Julie’s passion for tech and Human Resources make her a great asset to Big Bang. As a visionary, Julie uses her tech knowledge to bring her ideas to life to improve the Human Resources department with new ideas and processes. When she is not hiring new team members or working on HR operations, Julie works with different department executives to reinforce individual employee goals and set a clear career path at Big Bang. Her vast experience in scanning and hiring…

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