The story behind the’ Great Resignation’, hybrid working and what it means for occupational health and safety employers and employees.
The ‘Great Resignation’ term coined by Anthony Klotz, associate professor of management at Mays Business School in Texas, has come into sharper focus since 2021 as dissatisfied workers have sought opportunities elsewhere.
But what has brought this on, and how can employers prevent this from happening within their organisation?
It is believed that the ‘Great Resignation’ originated in the US when a record 4.4 million workers quit their jobs in September 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was driven by economic and psychological shifts, for reasons including the Covid-19 pandemic and rising costs of living.
Findings from Microsoft’s annual Work Trend Index report show that 41% of the global workforce will consider leaving their current employer within the next year. Interestingly for OSH professionals, the report found that 53% of employees are more likely to prioritise health and wellbeing above work than before the pandemic.
A LinkedIn poll from Hays UK in October showed that 74% of respondents are now looking for a new role since the pandemic, highlighting Microsoft’s finding that pre-pandemic employees are looking for more from their jobs, and from their health and safety professionals than ever before.
A survey by recruitment firm Randstad found that 21% of employees would choose to remain in their roles if they were offered a competitive salary. Flexible working was the second most important factor to employees, after salary and job progression opportunities.
The survey also found that hybrid working has increased since the pandemic, with 26% now working fully remote compared with 16% pre-pandemic. Hybrid working is now part of many companies’ working policies including occupational health and safety professionals, giving employees a better work/life balance.
Tips for retaining employees
- Prioritise health and wellbeing of your employees.
- Implement flexible working policies if you haven’t already.
- Perkbox suggests providing financial education or money management services.
- Offering clear career progression opportunities.
Occupational health and safety professionals seem to now have greater working options, and if organisations wish to retain their best talent, then listening to their needs will be vital in preventing another ‘Great Resignation’.