Reverberations from the pandemic are being felt throughout the workforce. More and more people are leaving their jobs or thinking of leaving. In July 2021 alone, 4 million Americans quit their jobs. This abnormally high number of resignations was seen over the previous months as well, leading to a record-breaking 10.9 million open positions at the end of July.
Looking at these staggering numbers, we are left to wonder why. Incoming data on this unprecedented increase in job openings — or “Great Resignation” as it has been coined — suggests strong ties to the pandemic. Dissatisfied workers are giving notice for reasons beyond wanting more money, although it’s still a significant aspect. Surveys found burnout, the desire to work remotely, office location and other similar factors were substantial influences on their decision to quit.
How can you recognize if your employees are heading in that direction or if it’s time to leave yourself? Here are some points to consider in retaining team members as well as for those seeking a new job.
Improving Employee Engagement and Retention
For employers, look for indications of burnout. While it can vary by line of work, employees who show common symptoms such as cynicism, exhaustion and a sense of ineffectiveness may look for fulfillment elsewhere.
Employers and HR professionals should start by giving burned-out personnel more support. Begin with truly listening to what they have to say to avoid making tone-deaf decisions starting from the top.
Next, consider adding fun activities or breaks to the workday. Additionally, by offering accommodating work arrangements — such as flexible schedules, remote or hybrid work — you could entice them to stay.
Signs It May Be Time to Resign
For people on the fence when it comes to quitting, consider how your position makes you feel. Do you dread waking up for work? Are conversations about work dominated by complaints?
Individuals who are more than just unhappy often experience these feelings and physical signs:
• Believing the stress has become unmanageable
• No longer feeling challenged (hit the ceiling)
• Frequent headaches and colds
• Eating noticeably more, or less, than usual
• Issues sleeping or having frequent nightmares about work
• Increased dependence on substances
Whether you relate to the warning signs or you are looking to retain your valued staff members, it’s time to take meaningful action. For further information on the current job market, please see the accompanying resource.
Author bio: Goodwill Car Donations is a national organization that accepts vehicle donations. It is committed to providing disadvantaged individuals with job training, employment services and critical community-building support.