The Great Resignation

Have you heard of ‘The Great Resignation’? It’s a term dubbed in the US where COVID-19 has led millions of people, from frontline workers to CEOs, to quit their jobs. People are looking for new opportunities, and we will most likely see a mass exodus akin to the one in the US in other parts of the world in the coming months. Brace yourself for a substantial shift in your workforce!

Data shows that resignations in the US are at an all-time high. In the period from April to June alone, 11.5 million workers quit their jobs and research shows that 48% of employees are actively looking to make a change. This is a significant and sharp movement of talent, and the trend is likely to be felt in Australia in the first quarter of 2022.

I am working with a senior HR leader (let’s call her Trish) in the IT industry here in Australia, and the topic ‘The Big Resignation’ came up in a conversation last week. The organisation has teams all around the world, and the US business has experienced a significant increase in resignations recently, especially in middle management. Trish asked me: ‘We are not seeing an influx in people quitting in Australia right now, but I know that many of our employees are exhausted from extended lockdowns and increasing workloads. We want to avoid a high number of resignations. What can we do right now?

Why is the Big Resignation Happening?

There are many reasons why people leave their jobs, but according to research, 57% of employees leave because of their manager or management. Gallup calls it the ‘The Great Discontent’.

I talk to hundreds of leaders all around the world. Most of them are saying that their workload and pressure are constantly increasing and there is no end in sight. I also hear about a lack of adaption to new work structures with a promise for increased flexibility but no action and a lack of leadership and follow-through to make these models work. Others mention that they feel isolated working from home with no chance to connect with stakeholders and seek internal growth opportunities. So, they quit and accept one of many new jobs that offered are from the outside.

‘People are calling it ‘The Great Resignation’. It’s not an industry, role or pay issue. It’s a workplace issue.’ - Gallup

Focus on your employees and refocus on retention

Advice to leaders is to focus on employees before the Big Resignation happens. According to Gartner, we are most likely to see changes in attrition in Australia in March 2022. Despite a positive economic outlook, employees might be disappointed about lower bonuses than they hoped for or being overlooked for opportunities within the organisation. Or they are burnt out and feel a lack of support.

How DISC helps tackle employee retention

There has never been a better time to focus on retention. DISC is a powerful tool to help increase engagement and employee happiness.

I helped Trish to come up with some strategies to tackle retention. They are mainly focused on engagement across the organisation and start with investing in senior and middle management. Gallup research found that employee engagement reduces turnover by 36 percentage points in high-turnover roles.

We are running a series of leadership development programs with Trish’s team before the end of the year to equip leaders with skills to engage their people. Over 30 senior leaders are equipped with the DISC Flow assessment and Core Report and are enrolled in experiential group coaching sessions in a quest to develop their emotional intelligence, create more effective relationships and commit to plans to apply these people skills in the organisation.

Trish’s organisation is investing in developing key leaders now to show them they are valued and supported as well as giving them the tools they need to create workplace cultures where employees are happy AND productive. Trish says: ‘DISC Flow is the perfect assessment tool to invest in right now. In fact, we call it the RETENTION TOOL.’

Become a DISC certified trainer and use DISC Flow to help with retention in your organisation or help your clients to increase engagement.

To get a deeper look at The Great Resignation and employee retention, download our e-book here:

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