What Is The Great Resignation (& What Can Employers Do About It)

April 2022

The Great Resignation is a term that has been thrown around lately in the news. But what exactly does it mean? 

The term was coined by Psychologist & Professor Anthony Klotz, to explain the surge of mass resignations when people are being asked to return to the office post-pandemic. 

Over the past year, resignation rates have continued to rise and this has led to one of the most challenging hiring markets ever faced by employers as candidates become increasingly demanding about their work environment.

In this blog post, we will explore what's causing employees to make this decision and some actions you can take if you find yourself in this situation with your business and employees.

What Is The Cause of the Great Resignation

There is a lot of speculation around exactly what has caused the great resignation. As mentioned above, the most likely cause seems to be linked with employees working from home. Whilst remote working certainly isn't for everyone, this time away from the office has given employees more time to reflect on what they really want from their career and for some, the opportunity to spend more time with family.

All of this has caused a shift in what employees really expect from their workplaces. There is also significant data to back this up with some studies reporting resignation increases above 20% between 2020-2021 when people were being asked to come back to the office.

Other reasons for employees leaving or quitting their jobs can include feeling undervalued or unappreciated by their employer, not having enough work/responsibilities, or being in a toxic work environment. 

With all of this happening, retention rates are becoming an increasingly important metric for employers to track.

If employees express their concerns about any of the above, it's important to address them as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse and could lead to more resignations down the road.

The Work Life Balance Dilemma 

Work life balance is an important factor in why employees may feel dissatisfied with their job. Especially with many being given the ability to work from home or work remotely. 

Whilst this can be a difficult problem to tackle, there are steps employers can take to create a more flexible working environment. This might mean just offering 1 or 2 days a week to work from home initially. 

Understandably, the prospect of remote working has also brought up concerns for employee productivity. However, many companies have  actually reported increased productivity from employees when allowing them more autonomy and flexibility to do their jobs.

Remote working may be more difficult for companies in certain industries though, so you'll need to be willing to explore different ways of approaching the situation.

This article by CIPD gives some great insights on how to tackle work-life balance as well as different approaches to flexible working.

Improving Employee Retention During The Great Resignation

If you find yourself in a situation where multiple employees have quit or resigned from your company, there are a few things you can do to try and salvage the situation. 

The first thing is to figure out why they left. Once you have a better understanding of the reasons, you can start working on fixing them and improving your retention rates.

The great resignation is a problem that many employers are facing these days. However, by being proactive like this and addressing the issues head-on, you can minimise the loss to your organisation. 

Keep an open dialogue with your employees and be honest with them about the company's future. If you do these things, you'll be able to keep your business running smoothly and reduce the number of employees resigning.

If you're an employer who has been struggling with The Great Resignation, there are a few steps that you can take to try and mitigate the impact: 

  • Consider implementing flexible working policies for employees where possible
  • Make sure you're offering great benefits to employees (beyond just money)
  • Offer mental health support and help to improve employee wellbeing
  • Work on creating an enjoyable work environment and workplace culture

A lot of people don't realise it, but your company payroll processes can also become a key component to improving your overall employer value proposition.

This will help both retain existing employees as well as attracting new talent.

For example, with PayCaptain, employees get their own dedicated app to help them better manage their money. The app also includes built-in financial wellness features as well as allowing employees to split payments, easily donate to charity or access emergency wage advances. 

A number of our clients use this as a way to increase employee satisfaction and consequently improve their employee retention.

How To Hire During The Great Resignation

The one potential benefit to the great resignation for employers is that there is now a lot of talent looking for a new job.

For employers who are ready to embrace a new way of working and create a great environment for employees to thrive, this presents an amazing opportunity.

The key is going to be in working on your employer value proposition (also known as your employer brand). 

You'll want to make sure that your job adverts speak into the unique benefits you offer to employees and what things you're doing differently to other companies.

If you've decided to embrace new flexible working policies be sure to mention them!

Also, remember, increasing pay isn't the only way to increase the attractiveness of a job...

Sometimes just giving people more options around how and when they get paid can help attract someone to a role. 

As mentioned above, PayCaptain has a number of great employee-centric features that will help your company stand out from the competition when it comes to hiring.

If you'd like to see PayCaptain in action, be sure to book a demo with one of the team today.


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