With the normalization of life across North America, workers en masse currently find themselves reconsidering their employment options. If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that people view—and value—their time much differently now than in the past. As increased annual compensation, greater work-from-home flexibility, and a more reasonable work-life balance become readily available, it’s no wonder that employees are considering all available options on the market to take advantage of their best offer.
In such a candidate-driven market, turnover is at an all-time high. According to the U.S. Labor Department, a record four million people resigned from their jobs in April alone. These high turnover rates have contributed to a dearth of qualified candidates across the country. From large corporations to small mom-and-pop shops, businesses are struggling to find talent that is willing to work—and their operations, financial objectives, and customers are suffering in the process.
So how can your organization be spared from the “Great Job Migration of 2021”? To prevent employees from leaving your company, one must first understand the reasons why workers would look for greener pastures. Here are some of the most compelling reasons why resources could depart for a new opportunity:
Aiming for remote work flexibility
The most common reason why employees—particularly those in the professional sectors—are exploring outside job offers is to gain more flexibility when working from home. According to a recent study from Gallup, about 35 percent of all full-time employees said that—if given the choice—they would continue working remotely as much as possible. From the elimination of commute times to the ability to spend more time with family members, there is a multitude of benefits that come with the privilege of a remote work environment. If your organization is on the fence about how to approach return to office plans, consider the idea of implementing a hybrid work schedule so as not to alienate a large sector of your workforce. This way, workers will be mandated to enter the office on certain days while having the ability to work from home on others—a happy medium! But if you’re unsure of where your employees stand on this issue, conduct a poll to gather some data around their workplace wants and expectations.
Prioritizing mental health
For millions of people across the world, the shutdowns associated with COVID-19 took a toll on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Tack on the additional stress and work-related responsibilities that were piled onto employees’ plates due to furloughs and layoffs, and it’s easy to see why workers were stretched thin and burned out during the pandemic. For some, choosing to walk away from their jobs in search of enhanced mental clarity has become increasingly common. Organizations should be regularly taking stock of their employees’ tasks and responsibilities to ensure that no staff members are being overburdened with work. If—upon conducting the evaluation—it is discovered that workers have too much to do, tasks must be apportioned appropriately so as not to lose the resource entirely. Being short-staffed is not a valid reason to pile an abundance of work on the remaining resources—and leaders need to be more cognizant of this idea.
Yearning for learning and development
Integral to the short and long-term success of any employee, learning and development (L&D) programs should not be considered a cost-savings casualty due to post-pandemic financial restrictions. Instead, organizations should be doubling down on their investment in L&D initiatives and promote a culture of continuous education, skill-building, and improvement. If your company is allowing some degree of remote work flexibility, encourage employees to take part in L&D opportunities that will take the place of time-consuming morning and afternoon commutes. Don’t let your employees be enticed by rival competition that offers a more robust professional development program!
Seeking career growth
It should come as no secret that employees are encouraged by the prospect of upward career mobility and more expansive professional opportunities. Working hand-in-hand with an effective L&D program, organizations can keep their workers happy by presenting chances for ongoing development. But employees can begin to grow restless upon losing sight of how their career could progress. Rather than letting your workers grow discouraged by the lack of advancement opportunities available to them, be sure that they are well aware of the upward growth that can be awarded to them. Proactive organizations should be conducting these conversations on a regular and ongoing basis, well beyond an employee’s quarterly or annual performance reviews.
Achieving greater financial security
The principles of supply and demand control not just the consumer market, but the labor market, as well. To effectively recruit quality talent in this candidate-driven environment, companies are upping the ante with better benefits and more lucrative compensation opportunities—and workers are taking full advantage. Switching jobs can drive salary increases for employees and provide a vehicle for them to more effectively support both themselves and their families. Now more than ever, organizations must be mindful of the talent market and understand what their competition is offering for similar roles.
With resignation numbers at record highs and tens of thousands of job openings that remain unfilled, some companies are struggling to keep up with the pressure of a competitive labor market. As the North American economy continues to make progress toward a full-scale reopening, the fight for talent will prove to be a difficult one for organizations of all sizes and industries.
Whether your organization is looking for full-time resources or contingent workers, our talent experts at Acara are here to help. Contact us to learn how we can scale your workforce and prepare your business for the post-pandemic return to normalcy.
Interested in engaging with a recruiting firm? Learn why working with a staffing partner is the best strategy for finding premier talent.
This blog was written by Acara’s Director of Business Development, Nigel Hapuarachchi.