Employees may vote with their feet

Employees may vote with their feet

What will 2022 mean for employers? With healthier than expected economic activity and lack of international talent, recruiters are making up for last year as they scramble to find experienced candidates for roles. Apart from the risk of talent being tapped on the shoulder, there are a number of factors creating employees desire for change. 

The past 18 months has tested everyone in so many obvious and inadvertent ways. When there is so much uncertainty and our capacity is stretched, most just put their head down and deliver what is required to support their organisation, team, but ultimately their own job security. As we slowly come back to life, and once we are able, take a moment to ponder “what does this all mean to me?”, it can often beg the question “is this where I need to be?”

So many people are beyond their surge capacity and feeling fatigued – decision fatigued, crisis fatigued and emotionally fatigued. This is a normal reaction when you’ve been jumping from one pressing need to the next, often without a pause. Without the seasonal phases, and more a predictable environment, there are no holidays and personal events to recharge and reward. So on the simplest level, what do we do when we’re tired and fed up?  We look for something to change, a new environment, new set of problems to solve and new team mates to collaborate with. 

What Workers Want

PWC’s What Workers Want survey indicates that a whopping 38% of people are looking to change jobs in 2022. To put that into perspective, the standard turnover rate sits at around 11%. PWC found what workers want is nuanced, dependant on personal, gender, generational and lifestyle priorities. While remuneration is sitting at number one, as the pandemic has impacted financial security, payrises alone will not satisfy employees without scaffolding that with other elements. It also has found that there is a disconnect between what employees want and what organisations think they want ,and 48% of business leaders are not looking to address it.

What to do with little time and resources

Ideally, an organisation would do a culture review and roll out a renewed vision and strategy to inspire their team. But if time and resources won’t allow for that in the short term, then engage all employees in a one-to-one conversation and ask them “what makes you come to work each day” (purpose), “what’s the next step for you” (development) and “how can we support what you want to achieve”(personal agency). Some employees will still leave, but if you can connect individually with employees, allowing them to be heard and designing initiatives to actually meet their priorities, it may just help to reduce the risk of the great resignation/realignment/reshuffle.

Andrea has spent over 25 years working with organisations, leaders and employees at every stage of a business and career life cycle. She has created positive impact for organisations through her work with executives, leadership teams, and diverse functional teams within the arts, education, government and media organisations as examples. With over 15 years experience within career development and coaching, her direct knowledge of individuals fears and challenges and insights across a broad spectrum of sectors and organisations, creates a unique understanding of what employees need to thrive.