Since the pandemic outbreak in March 2020, a lot of things have changed. The transformation is still underway, and here’s one thing that’s bothering managers and leaders in almost every business.
White-collar employees have joined a global momentum to switch jobs. As a result, employees who have been contemplating moving elsewhere for various reasons were pushed to a breaking point surcharged by the pandemic ‘turnover shock.’
This is confirmed by the EY 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey, which included more than 16,000 employees working in multiple industries spanning 16 countries. The survey found a whopping 54% (more than half) of employees would consider leaving their jobs in the post-pandemic era if their flexible and remote work requirements were not met.
Pandemic or not, the employees are not looking to compromise on certain aspects. And employers must ponder why their employees might want to leave the post-pandemic workplaces for good.
5 Reasons That Can Make Your Employees Want to Quit
From the different emerging data, the unified employee voices point to the expectation that the employees are looking for more than mere compensation from the companies.
So, here is a roundup of five critical reasons that may push your employees to call it quits in a post-pandemic workplace – making your company a part of the ‘Great Resignation,’ as the economists call it.
1. Toxic Workplace Culture
Companies with existing disgruntled employees, teetering on the brink of resigning due to the poor working culture, saw themselves quitting in droves.
A recent Stanford study highlighted how a lot of such companies had to bear the brunt of high turnover rates, riding on their unsupportive workplace environments.
These companies failed to realise the simple fact that people are not machines, which the pandemic helped remind many. The everyday musings and worries of life, including managing kids, bills, caring for elders, financial security concerns, etc. – were brought to the forefront during the pandemic.
In such a demanding time, employees expect better from their employers and help alleviate or acknowledge these human conditions. But, unfortunately, many employers failed to do so and suffered the counter effect as employee exodus.
Takeaway: Especially during a crisis, employees found themselves questioning their employers’ health or well-being policies. A lack of satisfying answers has led to a shift in the perspective amongst employees, prodding them to explore other workplaces that value an employee-centric work culture.
2. Lack of Remote Opportunities
With massive vaccination rollout in every country and a stable rate of new COVD cases, many offices are mulling reopening plans. However, a legion of employees echoes a common concern about returning to brick and mortar workplaces. Why is that so?
According to the EY stated earlier above, about 67% of workers believe their productivity can be accurately measured irrespective of working location – something many employers are still opposed to.
The need to work remotely is further accentuated by other reasons such as reduced travel time and a better work-life balance. In addition, the pandemic has proven that a lot of work can be done remotely.
A recent survey also revealed that 58% of workers would ‘absolutely’ look for a new job if they cannot continue remote work in their current role.
Takeaway: Hence, in the face of this, employers need to include flexible or remote working arrangements as a part of their talent management strategy to stay relevant in the job market or even retain their best talent.
3. Lack of Investment in Employee Well-being
A lot of employees, especially those in the essential services were forced to step out and work with little to no safety measures in place. A lot of others working from home found their work-life balance going for a toss for various reasons. This quickly led to employee burnout.
In the wake of the pandemic, employees expect compassion and empathy from their employers. The implementation of robust health and well-being policies could help them handle work-related transitions much better. In addition, most employees would be ready to take a pay cut for a company that aligns with their values.
This sudden exodus of job resignations could cost employers dearly in terms of lost productivity, given that a typical employee would take nearly six to nine months to become completely effective at their work.
Takeaway: Companies that fail to make dedicated investments into their employees’ wages, career advancement, and overall wellbeing will find themselves struggling to stay afloat.
4. Lack of Opportunities for Growth
According to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, which surveyed around 30,000 people from over 31 countries, more than 40% of employees said they are considering leaving their employer post-pandemic. One of the primary reasons other than the ones discussed above is that the employees are concerned about career advancement.
In the past one and a half years, many employees have felt stuck in a career that offers nothing new. Due to the crippling feelings of stalled career progression and skill development concerns, they tend to explore better opportunities that will add real value.
As a result, employees are feeling dejected wherein, despite working to their fullest potential, they are being devoid of good chances of advancing professionally with their current employers.
Takeaway: Hence, learning and development (L&D) is key to retention. Employers need to commission newer and better ways to nurture their employees’ career growth.
5. Lack of Trust
The pandemic may be over someday, but how the company treated its employees during that period will leave lasting impressions on employees’ minds.
Both parties were exposed to associated difficulties since they were suddenly pushed to the remote working grounds. In addition, a lack of policies to track remote working hours, holding virtual meetings at odd hours, and strict monitoring of employees among others led to a disconnect between management and employees.
Furthermore, many managers exhibited distrust towards their employees regarding the number of effective hours clocked in, without tracking the actual effort put in.
On the contrary, employees had to work more hours during the pandemic than their usual 9 to 5 workday at the offices.
Takeaway: This feeling of distrust can be quick to put off employees, who may be working hard even remotely.
To sum up, the mass exodus of employees leaving their current jobs for newer and better options can spell disaster for employers unless they prepare themselves in advance. Therefore, it is imperative to understand why the employees may be ready to leave and set the record straight to avoid unmanageable employee retention levels.