Introduction to the Big Quit of 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented event for businesses worldwide. Millions of lives were lost and economies were destroyed. The pandemic dealt a dual blow to the job market. By April 2021, over 19 million U.S. workers had quit their jobs. Further, lockdown restrictions worldwide took a toll on many businesses, causing massive layoffs and millions of jobs were lost.
On the other hand, millions of employees resigned from their jobs, which fluctuated the attrition rates. Looking at the rising level of resignations, industry experts noticed it as a burgeoning trend. And they call it the Big Quit or the Great Resignation of 2021.
- Anthony Klutz, a business management professor, coined the term and used it extensively in interviews and articles.
So, what does the future hold for the job market?
Two Reasons Employers Should Be Worried About the Big Quit of 2021
The post-pandemic unemployment rates have been a significant concern for employers. The unemployment rate has gone up from 1.5% to 3.5%. This wasn’t only a significant blow to many people’s careers, but it also highlighted how employee priorities are shifting. Employees no longer want to have a job. Instead, today, they seek fulfillment, job satisfaction, health benefits, and a work-life balance.
Employee attrition is never a good thing. Attrition, especially during a significant health crisis? It’s a ticking time bomb for businesses. Organizations can no longer afford to ignore the human aspect of their workforce. Moreover, the mass uncertainty and anxiety have led workers to demand better working conditions across industries. As a result, there is a need for employers to have a post-pandemic action plan. And that’s one of the most essential concerns businesses will need to deal with in the post-pandemic resignation boom.
There’s also an emerging problem of "disengagement," where employees don’t feel it’s their right to solve the world’s problems and think their work doesn't make a difference. So, in 2022, engaging employees on a deeper level will be another challenge that every organization must face. Apart from providing better benefits, organizations must create an employee engagement
framework that focuses on employee wellness and provides a safe space for career growth. By focusing on these activities, organizations can manage post-pandemic anxieties and the dip in engagement.
How Can Businesses Prepare for the Big Quit of 2021?
In 2021, the Big Quit gave employers a glimpse of the job market. Employees are resigning en masse to take time off and focus on themselves instead of working. This demonstrated a new found perspective on the quality of jobs. Hence, it looks like businesses will continue to face the issue of mass job losses in 2022.
So, to overcome the problem, businesses need to plan smartly to stay competitive. Here are some ways you can prepare for the impact:
Develop an effective management team
Often, people quit jobs not because of the company but because of their bosses. Revisit the roles your senior leaders and managers play. Are they making employees’ lives better or worse? Are they getting results but also causing high turnover rates? These are some questions you can start asking before reviewing management performance.
“It may sound simple, but we need to listen to our employees in order to be a force for change.”
- Brandy (Rosner) Zimmerman, Vice President of People Operations at TaskUs
In a the current scenario, flexibility has become an essential topic of discussion. It ushered in a remote work revolution that led to tech players developing new tools and technologies to support the shift to working from home. Human resources management had to be overhauled to allow employees to go location agnostic and maintain a cohesive company culture. The key will be to continue to provide more and more flexibility. Hybrid working
or remote work options are going to be a great leveler. Organizations must become proactive in designing a remote work-ready policy to integrate their workforce.
Engage employees with your organization’s mission, vision, and values
Employee engagement has been a hot topic for a while, and there is no better time to start implementing it into your HR management
blueprint. A clear mission, transparency in how your organization makes a difference, and the big picture of what lies ahead are essential factors that will help align employees with your company culture.
Conclusion: Why Uncertainty Will Drive the Future Market
Remote work jobs are already booming. They will become a mainstay of the mainstream job market. With that, organizations will face concerns about being unable to have tangible control over the workplace. However, a meaningful and future-ready work policy will help bind a hybrid workforce. It will also help provide a balanced, efficient, distraction-free, and engaging work environment for employees. Undoubtedly, the job market is changing, and uncertainty will loom large in the future for some time. However, this doesn’t mean organizations cannot prepare better. The onus will be on employers to retain the sense of fulfillment and leverage things like job security, health benefits, and wellness to attract and hire new talent and keep existing employees happy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the reasons for the post pandemic resignation boom?
Some of the reasons for the post-pandemic resignation boom are an increased focus on wellness, poor treatment of workers, and heightened stress and anxiety.
What are the challenges people may face during the post pandemic resignation boom?
Organizations will find it hard to develop an approach towards the rising demand for better treatment and work conditions in the light of changing work dynamics.