A new trend: The Great Resignation

In a conversation last week with Matt McDonnell from Willis Towers Watson, he mentioned “the great resignation” as if it is something we should be familiar with. I had to stop him and ask what he meant, and he told Christo and I about this new term (and trend). It might not have hit South Africa as hard as the US but it is on the horizon if not here already. 

Below is an excerpt from a Forbes.com article:

“There has been a major, unexpected shift in the workplace that has left everyone scratching their heads. After a year filled with shutdowns, economic uncertainty and record-breaking unemployment levels, a massive change took place that no one could have anticipated: People are quitting their jobs.

The US Labor Department estimated that a record 4 million people decided to leave their jobs in April of this year alone, placing job vacancies at a 20-year high. And here is the kicker: no one wants to fill them! Dubbed “The Great Resignation,” we are in unchartered territory.

If you are an employer, please know that people want to work, but they want to do so under different conditions. Andy Warhol is often credited with saying, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” The time is now.”

According to a global survey by Microsoft, 41 percent of the global workforce are ready to quit their jobs. When it comes to the Gen Z workers, the desire to quit reaches a whopping 54 percent. 

Employers, what are we to do? How do we keep our great employees and wage this war on talent? Enter Employee Engagement and (especially) Experience!

People are calling it the “Great Resignation,” and as the Gallup data show, it’s not an industry, role or pay issue. It’s a workplace issue — because the highest quit rate is among not engaged and actively disengaged workers.

As noted by Dr. Steve Hunt, Chief Expert, Technology & Work at SAP, “Employee experience management tells us the ‘why’ behind the perceptions employees have about the moments that matter to them and allows employers to get inside the heads of employees, turn on the sound, and understand what is working and not working for them.”

Some HR leaders might ask: How can we focus now on employee experience when survival is job #1? Tal Gilbert, CEO of Vitality USA, sums up the reason why employee experience continues to be a top priority for HR leaders. “The way employers treat their employees during the Covid-19 pandemic will define what type of employer they are, and this will impact employee loyalty, motivation, and overall employee and customer satisfaction.”

How do we get ahead of this curve? 

Employee Experience (EX) should be on the Exco agenda if it is not yet, and to make this real we offer a Certification in Employee Engagement and Experience, in partnership with Willis Towers Watson. The next course starts on the 26th October and will run for one day a week over 5 weeks. Click here for more info.

Something else we realised in our conversations about EX is that managers and team leaders struggle with knowing how to engage their teams. They are technical experts who have to manage people and are in fact the most frequent point of contact for the employees! In our programme ‘Leadershift’ we address this by taking team leaders through a series of modules to empower them to understand and apply concepts such as having difficult conversations, leading change, developing their teams and more. There are still a few seats left for the next programme which starts on the 22nd of September and runs for 2 x half-days per week over 3 weeks. Click here for more info.

OD Talk with Dr Joseph George

Boundaries of Effectiveness

Join us on the 15th of September when Dr Joseph George, OD Guru and author will join us all the way from Bangalore, India to discuss the topic: Boundaries of Effectiveness

Sign up for free and join us for an hour and a half of straight talk about OD. Join the discussion on Wednesday 15 September from 09h00 – 10h30. 

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