Is it the Great Resignation or the Great Revolt?

By Len Romano

Senior Consultant – Not-for-profit Practice, TLG

There has been much written about the current state of unfilled jobs. You don’t need formal research to understand the issue, just visit a restaurant, retailer, or mall and see the help wanted signs are everywhere. The impact has a spiraling effect: small businesses closing, long wait times and poor service.

Consider this basic information from a recent article by Josh Bersin:

  • The current trend – 3.4% of the US workforce leave their jobs each month
  • 45% of employees now work remotely (25% of which or full time)
  • Only 11% of companies offer formal career programs

 

The Great Revolt

But is it the “great resignation”, as some are calling it, or the great work revolt? It is my opinion that this is a nationwide revolt, and the pandemic has caused an awakening in the US workforce – at all employment and career levels. The awakening, which is really a longtime coming, has to do with at least four factors:

 

Employee Experience

The first factor is the employee experience. We know that pay is important, but we also know that it is a short-lived motivator. How staff members are treated, their work environment, equipment, supplies, teamwork, and collaboration make a difference. And add the employer’s mission or value to society to the employee experience list.

 

Career Progression

Second, has to do with career progression. As Bosin indicates in his article, the lack of formal career development programs results in a workforce that must leave to reach their next career position.

 

Remote Work

Third, is the remote work dynamic that was caused by the pandemic. Although related to the employee experience factor, it goes deeper – the ability to have the flexibility to work without the complications of commute time/expense, spending more time with family, while opening the alternative of living anywhere in the country. The Florida real estate market has experienced a boom as a result.

 

Pay

Fourth, is pay. Yes, it is a short-term motivator, but the additional unemployment benefits that were provided during the pandemic opened the eyes of many and caused an “I can do better” mentality which has impacted many retail and service sector jobs. Add to this the lack of health benefits and employer sponsored retirement programs for part time workers.

The great worker revolt – while it is painful for employers and consumers – I believe it is the wakeup call that our country needs as the baby boomers age out and a new generation takes our place. It is a new world and the employers that find the next right answer and make adjustments will thrive. Give us a call to see how we can help.

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