The Great Re-evaluation: must know lessons

Gary Culverhouse
AUTHOR
Gary Culverhouse
    5 minute read

Before delving into the Great Re-evaluation, we need to start at the beginning and understand what The Great Resignation is all about. Dr. Anthony Klotz coined the term “The Great Resignation” to describe the large numbers of employees who were resigning from jobs around the world after reassessing their usual work routines as a result of changes brought on by COVID. In this blog, we will discuss how the Great Resignation and the Great Re-evaluation are related and what lessons businesses can take from this phenomenon to improve their employee and candidate appeal.

The relation between the Great Resignation and the Great Re-evaluation

There are four main factors that Dr. Klotz believes spurred the Great Resignation:

  1. Resignation backlogs from employees who decided to postpone quitting their jobs due to the shock of COVID-19.
  2. Employee burnout from the pressure of the pandemic, with workers in the retail, hospitality and healthcare sectors being most affected.
  3. Working from home allowed people more time to completely understand what a true work-life balance means for them as individuals and whether their current employers fully appreciated all the hard work they’ve done pre-and post the pandemic.
  4. During the pandemic, some employees found that working remotely actually fit their lifestyles better so when they were asked to return to the office, many opted to say no.

The facts further support these claims. The number of Americans who quit their job in November 2021 was around 4.5 million, with the quit rate rising to 3%. By the end of February 2021 in Australia, it was reported that 1.8 million left or lost their job. Even in Europe, 20% of millennials quit their jobs in 2021.

On top of these statistics, around 69% of organisations are having difficulty retaining and hiring skilled talent as a result of a global talent shortage despite global unemployment hitting the 200 million mark as a result of the pandemic. It might be fair to assume that employers might ‘have their pick’ from a large pool of quality, skilled job hunters who would have suffered because of sudden employment losses or financial turmoil during this time. But, the research suggests otherwise and places applicants in control, wanting more value-based benefits from potential employers rather than just financial gain.

What lessons can be taken from the Great Re-evaluation?

It has become clear that remote work isn’t going anywhere. A study conducted by The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics found that 30% of respondents felt more engaged and productive when working remotely. They also found that commute times were significantly reduced by 62.4 million hours per day for those working from home. Biteable performed a study and found 63% of employees were more productive working remotely than the 37% who feel they get more done in an office.

Here are three main lessons businesses can learn from by the Great Re-evaluation to help implement workforce changes:

  1. Flip the traditional office model on its head

    Think flexibility and keep in mind your employees' individual work needs and considerations. Ask them: “When do you feel most productive or efficient?” “What hours would you prefer working?” or “How long would it take you to deliver on this project?” For some employees, they miss working in an office space, surrounded by peers and enjoy the 9-5 work routine. Others may prefer working a hybrid work model where Monday’s are spent in the office performing face-to-face meetings and the rest of the week is at home.

    Perhaps you have an invaluable employee whose partner needs to move interstate for a job opportunity and would love to stay working for the business but would need to do so remotely. Taking the time to find out what your employees value in their work-life balance and working around that will do wonders in terms of staff satisfaction and loyalty.

  2. Refresh your values

    “Being a good leader isn’t about results and sales and more customers. Being a good leader means caring about people.” Is it really that hard to just care? Probably not in a personal setting, but in the professional workplace, often leaders find it hard to balance respect with ‘acting too much like a friend or being too personal.” However, this is not the ‘care’ we are referring to in the values of our leaders. It goes beyond the usual “hope you all had a great weekend” conversation that kicks off those daily Monday morning meetings. The saying “actions speak louder than words” rings true.

    Employees want to feel heard, not feel like they are a part of a herd mentality. They want to feel comfortable enough to express their genuine concerns or opinions on any subjects that may improve efficiencies within the business. Essentially, they want to feel like what they do and the effort they put in is making a difference and being recognised.

    54% of employees who feel that they can approach their manager with any question were more engaged, according to a study conducted by Gallup. Wouldn’t you feel motivated to go the extra mile for your team if you felt you were a part of something greater? Think of it this way, caring = trust, and trust = loyalty. In a world riddled with labour shortages, this is a lesson businesses need to hear.

  3. Research alternate resourcing strategies

    To stay ahead of recent labour shortages, businesses should broaden their recruitment scope to attract and recruit quality talent. Outsourcing, as an example, can help companies tap into global talent pools worldwide, hiring and sourcing employees often at a lower cost than if hired locally. With the right outsourcing provider who has the right data security policies, virtual communication technology and cloud connectivity procedures in place, outsourcing can help increase business efficiencies and overall existing staff satisfaction.

What’s next?

Understanding the Great Resignation and the Great Re-evaluation is important, but the key concept that underlies both is improving employee engagement. Without engaged employees, businesses risk losing valuable skills and decreased business efficiency levels. We have compiled this easy-to-read list of employee engagement statistics every business needs to know as they navigate the new, modern workforce.

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