After more than a year of sheltering in place, more and more American workers are now calling it quits, amounting to a glut of resignations. The prospect of losing their most talented employees--at a time when employers are scrounging for workers--has many employers on edge.
That's the upshot of a July employment survey in which 68 percent of those polled cited concerns about staffers leaving, and 85 percent report they're facing a talent shortfall. Employment agency Challenger, Gray & Christmas conducted the nationwide survey among 172 HR and business leaders, from various-sized companies and industries from July 7, 2021 through July 20.
Many reasons are fueling the mass exit: childcare issues, rising Covid-19 cases and pressure to return to in-person work, and more. Mental pressures and burnout are also key contributing factors, notes the survey.
Just as Biles backed out of the Olympic Games in Tokyo earlier this week, many Americans are similarly feeling overwhelmed, notes Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "Dedicated, talented, and instrumental team members making the difficult decision to do what they think is best in the face of unprecedented pressures," he said in a statement.
But employers can stem the tide. Challenger's survey found companies are offering "incentives that address the desire for flexibility and burnout," which is believed to be driving the high quit levels and talent shortage--with 65 percent of employers saying they are offering flexible work hours, 62 percent are offering remote work options, and 53 percent supporting hybrid work arrangements.
In sum, stay flexible, suggests Challenger. After a year and a half of lockdowns, working from home and social precautions, for those who are still doing work everyday it's "like trying to light a used match." Employees are increasingly looking to shift their priorities--and money is not nearly the driving force it once was, he adds. "Workers also want to be able to walk their dogs during the day and know they have opportunities for advancement."
And if you have to find employees elsewhere, consider hiring amid industries where employees may have taken the brunt of the pandemic. According to LinkedIn's recent Workforce Confidence Index, hiring managers might find the most luck recruiting new job candidates from the military and education fields, where workers have the most pessimistic outlook.