In my research and reading recently, I have seen several articles on “the Great Resignation of 2021.” The articles strike at my human resources and entrepreneurial heart strings.
While we are all aware of the job openings and postings that seem to be everywhere, how and why is this a topic? In previous articles, we have discussed that employees are dissatisfied with their jobs. Now, Monster (a global employment website), recently reported that 95%, yes 95%, of employees are considering changing jobs. Again, my human resources and entrepreneurial heart just received a major shock. Even if the 95% number is high, a 50% turnover could be a disaster for large and small businesses alike. 95% could cripple a business.
There are a number of reasons for such a migration. In an article dated July 8, Fee.org is quoted as saying: “The country’s labor market is in a precarious position. The policies of the pandemic spurred the sharpest economic contraction in United States history, millions lost their jobs and are still out of work, and yet businesses have been unable to fill their open positions.”
Several reasons are cited for such a large turnover:
- Employees who transitioned to working from home because of the pandemic now enjoy the quality-of-life increase that remote work brings, and will seek employment that affords that opportunity and are now unwilling to return to the former workplace commitments.
- The best workers now have the “pick of employment” that affords that work from home opportunity.
- Other workers used their down-time during the pandemic to develop new skills or passions and now want to find roles that allow them to incorporate those interests and/or passions into their day-to-day work and personal lives.
It is now an employee’s marketplace. As I travel around town, and through Wisconsin, I see signs posted looking for new employees. I keep asking myself if I would fit into such an opening. Nothing has intrigued me, though I have pursued ownership with a business opportunity in northeastern Iowa. (More on that in September.) Even if I would pursue that opportunity, I would continue writing this column.
People, as employees, have reacted in unpredictable ways during the pandemic. While I was in corporate life, I would have loved to be able to work from home. There are numerous studies on the benefits and liabilities for employers and employees for those working from home. Some managers have difficulty in accepting a direct-report working from home.
My consulting mind shifts into gear, and would tell a doubting manager, just check on the productivity. If there are issues, rely on the performance of the work-at-home employee to dictate whether a performance discussion is needed. Since I went into business for myself, I have worked from home, used the library, and coffee shops with a calm heart. Be still my heart – this is the future!