You may have heard of The Great Resignation, which was coined by a Texas-based academic, Dr. Anthony Klotz, in response to rising rates of voluntary turnover within the USA. The monthly quit rate jumped to 3% in September 2021, the highest level on record since it has been tracked.
Looking at local data, The Great Resignation trend is not quite evident in Australia… yet. Experts are divided on whether the trend will flow to Australia, although it is clear that employers are experiencing the possible early signs of this with labor shortages in pockets of the Australian market and a recent survey by Employment Hero has fortified this potential threat.
Whilst we may not see the same quit rates to those experienced in the USA within Australia, there are smart, proactive employers that are readying themselves for this coming into 2022. The new year often signals a trend in workers seeking new opportunities and coupled with only recently exiting extended lockdowns in the major markets of Sydney and Melbourne (and the uncertainty around an employer’s return to office policy) it would be shortsighted to pass this phenomenon completely as simply a fad or unlikely trend.
According to Dr Klotz, there were four workplace trends influencing The Great Resignation in the USA:
- A backlog of resignations from those who hung onto positions they would have otherwise left during COVID;
- Heightened levels of burnout;
- Lifestyle changes; and
- People who simply do not want to return to the office environment.
Do these sound similar? As mentioned, our partners at Employment Hero more recently surveyed over 1,000 workers across Australia in their “Employee Movement and Retention Report,” published in September 2021.
It found that:
- 48% of employees surveyed are considering leaving their current workplace – with up to 40% keen to do so within the next 6 months;
- Up to two-thirds of young workers (aged 16-24yo) are part of this cohort; and
- 55% of managers are also looking to change jobs in the next 12 months.
The top reasons cited (in order of importance) were a lack of career opportunities, pay and conditions, lack of appreciation or recognition, and poor workplace culture.
Strategies for Employers
Irrespective of your views on the merits of The Great Resignation occurring in Australia, it is true that the “war for talent” is hotting up. Recruiters are saying that it is currently one of the most fiercely competitive markets we have experienced – and this is certainly putting pressure on employers to source and secure talent.
Employers that put the same amount of focus into their Employee Experience (Ex) as they do into their Customer Experience (Cx) will be best positioned to handle the post-pandemic changes to expectations around work and careers.
What is the Employee Experience (EX)?
It is everything from the initial touchpoint a prospective employee has when they first see your job advertisement (or alternatively have been scouted) all the way through until they leave your business – and all the things in between. It is much more than just employee engagement – which typically only measures the happiness of current employees.
With the right approach to Ex, you can boost your ability to attract, engage and develop high-performing employees.
Your Ex Strategy in 2022
- Invest in talent acquisition. If recruitment is going to be a key supporting objective to achieve your business goals over the next 12 months, then make the necessary investment in this area up front, and don’t expect to be able to hack your way through it. With a tight labor market, an internal recruiter will need time and resources to scout talent.
- Take a serious approach to succession planning. Are there current employees who possess the skills and/or potential to fill vacancies or newly created roles as your business grows?
- Equip your managers. The number one reason why most people quit their job is because of their manager. Give your managers the tools and access to expertise in order to facilitate their team members’ success.
- Review the total rewards on offer in your business. This is more than just pay, it also captures non-financial benefits that help you attract and retain staff. Examples include flexibility, recognition, and culture.
- Collect feedback regularly. Ask and act upon employee feedback received via confidential happiness surveys and 1:1 conversations with their manager. A simple question around “is this job making good use of your skills?” is a really powerful one to ask.
Other articles that may interest you
About Employment Innovations
Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.
The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.