The Great Resignation- What Is Driving It?

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We all know The Great Recession of 2007-09, its scale and impact around the world. Now in 2021, we have The Great Resignation- a quitting trend which is daunting for most employers, if not all.

Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M coined the term The Great Resignation in 2019, predicting a mass, voluntary resignation by employees. It’s real, here and now!

What’s the reason behind it?

Most employees who attributed to The Great Resignation are mid-level or highly skilled white-collar workers. They mostly comprise of Millennial and Gen Z generations.

Due to Covid-19, most organizations had to lay off their employees or reduce their pay to sustain their business in 2020.

Also, most employees had to adapt to the sudden shift of work environment from office work culture to work from home.

At first, work from home had caused employee burnout prompting the employees to seek help for their mental health.

With companies enforcing hybrid work culture, many employees are apprehensive of coming to the office for work as they are accustomed to working from home.

Why companies are calling employees back to office?

Organizational culture plays a huge role in business performance, productivity, creativity, and employee retention. Employees tend to be more engaged and passionate about their roles when the business culture is in place. The culture of the organization cannot be developed at its best when companies operate virtually.

The line between work and personal space is blurred when employees work from home. Some employers misuse it by demanding more from employees since they work from their respective houses. Also, many employees feel they work more hours even though they have been working the same number of hours at pre-Covid levels.

Millennials and Gen Z give a lot of importance to work-life balance. When they feel that their peace of mind is affected, they don’t think twice before quitting and search for another job.

The quality of the workplace impacts productivity. From bad internet connection in their houses to input peripherals not working, there are several issues affecting the productivity of the employees. Even if the company provides all the necessary gears to ensure smooth workflow, nothing can beat personal interactions in the office with periods of quiet focus.

Most important among all the issues employers face is Moonlighting.

Moonlighting refers to employees who secretly work in another company at the same time for extra income. Some employees take advantage of work from home and work in multiple companies simultaneously for extra income. This is not only unethical, but it takes a toll on their physical and mental health, thereby, affecting the employees’ performance.

How to tackle The Great Resignation?

While India is not in dearth of candidates to replace, the cost of acquiring and training new employees is far higher than retaining the existing ones. Hiring in many sectors has raised to the pre-Covid levels but that is not enough.

Analyze the root cause of the issue.

The transition from work-from-home to hybrid work culture is not an easy task. Employers need to convey how Work From Home had affected the growth of the organization and the benefits of working from the office to their employees.

There is a phenomenon called Revenge Switching. Employees who felt they had been exploited by pay cuts and working extra hours feel they need to take revenge by switching companies. HRs across organizations have a great task ahead. They need to extensively engage with the employees and acknowledge their grievances.

If the employees had taken a pay cut during the covid lockdown, employers can retain them by giving hikes on their pre-covid salaries to their employees, depending on their performance in their respective roles.

If the employees feel that they had been overburdened with work during the work-from-home period, HRs need to emphasize that it wouldn’t be the case if they come to the office for work. Provide training and development programs for the employees and the management level executives.

In any case, employees who indulge in Moonlighting would not want to work in the office risking their extra income. It is difficult to find out whether an employee is moonlighting or not. But we hope they realize it’s bad for their health.

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