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Market Update: 'The Great Resignation'

It seems that 'The Great Resignation' is playing on every employer's mind in today's market. With the US reporting that millions of people are voluntarily calling time off their jobs, it seems inevitable we will see a similar occurrence in Australia.

The trend appears that people are no longer interested in the traditional 9-5 positions, and those who need flexibility have turned to remote positions or even changing careers altogether.

McCrindle Research Managing Director Sophie Renton highlights how the pandemic has caused the Australian workforce to introduce flexibility and increase work-life balance for their employees, which has given people the opportunity to take the time to reflect and reprioritize their lives to live more in accordance with what they value.

Renton further emphasizes how a lot of growth comes from overseas migration; however, with most of the borders being closed within Australia, this has created limitations for many organizations to attract talent. 

SmartCompany predicts that the impact of the Great Resignation will start to hit Australia in March 2022 and reported that 52% of recruiting employees are currently having trouble finding suitable applicants, and in more extreme cases, finding any candidates at all to fill a vacant position.


How can organisations prepare for the 'The Great Resignation'

Companies need to focus more than ever on retaining their staff. To do so, companies need to evaluate their value proposition for employees and determine what they can offer other than just remuneration, including workplace culture and flexibility. To succeed in this climate, companies need to avoid overworking their employees to prevent driving them away and take the time to understand their staff needs.

Workplace Culture & Flexibility

Focus on cultivating a culture of freedom within the workplace. This can be done in multiple ways, from when and where they get to work. Give your employees the freedom to choose their start and finish times for workdays so that they can benefit from a more flexible schedule in line with their lifestyles or habits. Even if you operate on shift-based hours (or any other type), it's possible to make use of this strategy by giving staff members the option to choose which shift they'd want to work.

As the increasing work-life balance is a crucial part of success, employers should cultivate an environment that supports trust and flexibility in workplace conditions while acknowledging that some jobs allow for more flexibility than others. Companies should establish a culture that encourages employees to set hybrid work norms & support senior staff members in forming a flexible tone. Employers may need to change the recruiting strategies to recruit more remote candidates or offer the flexibility to work from home.

Avoid Overworking your Staff

To avoid overworking your staff, set clear and realistic goals.

Focus on cross-training employees to spread-out tasks and responsibilities evenly amongst the team, instead of relying on one employee to fulfil the task.

Encourage your staff to take regular breaks. This can be as simple as offering them to go on a coffee break or for a walk to get some fresh air - anything to help your employees get their minds off work for a few minutes.

Understand the Needs of Your Employees

Evaluating the needs of your employees gives employers a clear indication of what it is that their employees are looking for. Companies can then incorporate a framework that meets all requirements or at least the important ones.

A great way to determine the needs of your employees is by conducting frequent surveys or questionnaires. This will also allow employers to determine what their employees value and think of their workplace culture, providing clear indications on improving certain aspects within the organization.

In a time where it seems that 'the Great Resignation' is playing on every employer's mind; companies need to focus more than ever on retaining their staff where this trend will most likely be mirrored here in Australia. To succeed in this climate, organizations need to cultivate a culture of freedom & flexibility within the workplace and incorporate a framework that aligns with employee values.

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