Despite the logical predictions about how the Covid-19 pandemic would negatively impact the economy across 2020 and 2021, many industries managed to sustain the hit and even grow sustainably.
S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Averages set record highs in August. Most industries mark growth over the year, excluding highly affected segments such as airlines, restaurants, leisure, and auto parts.
Over 40% of the global workforce was reportedly pondering leaving their current employment as early as March 2021, according to a Microsoft survey. In a subsequent survey done by Monster in December 2020, it was discovered that 95% of the respondents were considering shifting jobs, with 92% citing the pandemic as justification.
(Disclaimer: This post was first published on Entrepreneur)
Several other factors have contributed to the increase in resignations during the pandemic, including:
- Burnout and stress: As a result of the pandemic’s effects on work environments, workloads, and health, many people now feel burned out and overworked. Due to the rise in burnout caused by this, more workers are leaving their jobs in search of a better work-life balance.
- Career advancement: The pandemic has forced many employees to postpone their plans for career advancement, which has frustrated them and made them want to look for new options.
- Remote work: The shift to remote work has caused many employees to reassess their desire for flexibility and work-life balance. Some workers might be quitting in order to relocate or look for remote employment alternatives.
- Company culture: The pandemic has brought attention to the value of company culture, with many workers quitting because they were unhappy with how their firm handled the pandemic or their culture in general.
Although resignations have increased as a result of the pandemic, it’s important to note that this pattern existed before to the pandemic. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an employee’s average tenure decreased from 4.6 years in 2014 to 4.1 years in 2019.
Across small and large organizations, there has been a widespread and unanticipated migration of talent. The epidemic caused an unprecedented shift in how people view work-life balance, opening up new opportunities for freelancers who work from home as well as a surge in remote jobs due to new companies taking the plunge.
And while the onus is on shaping the work dynamics around retaining talent, the majority of the businesses suffered the consequences of parting ways with long-time employees.
Rebuilding core departments and catching up on institutional knowledge takes time. Here is what to do to reduce the tension across the organization — and externally — and survive through the next few months.
Discuss “The Great Resignation” With Your Team
The current shift in employment will leave a lot of your staff questioning the longevity of the company. Without a consistent message, you risk an upcoming trend of “abandoning the ship” unless you communicate the situation proactively.
You should explain how you intend to adjust to the shifting employment landscape and how that might affect the future of the business. It’s critical to stress that the organization is acting proactively to safeguard both the long-term health of the company and the security of the employees’ jobs.
Businesses can also offer tools and support to their staff members during this difficult time. Regular check-ins, chances for professional growth, and mental health supports might be part of this. Businesses can assist ease some of the worries employees may have about the future of the company by demonstrating their value to and commitment to their success.
While examining internal retention trends — and working closely with our portfolio of clients and partners — I realized that resignations are not limited to location, industry or business size. Four million people quit their job in April 2021 alone — the largest number over the past few decades. Here’s the running total for the year 2023 tech layoffs based on full months so far: 121,205 (sourced from Layoffs.fyi)
Set up an internal meeting openly discussing the global phenomenon with your team. Assure them that the business is prepared — and it’s a transitional period for the world.
Disclose your hiring plans and your future roadmap, firmly explaining the next steps. Make sure your vision stays clear and you get the buy-in from key stakeholders within the company. If needed, schedule one-on-ones with managers and individual contributors who need to be actively involved in the process.
Understand It Is A Calibration Process
Studying crowd dynamics reveals a lot about social influence and tendencies to blindly follow the new movement.
Your talent is surrounded by people other than workplace colleagues — family members, friends, and peers in other firms. Some of them are likely to quit their jobs and boast about new job opportunities, and better possibilities, even escaping large communities and living as nomads or getting into woodwork or farming.
While the sense of freedom sounds exhilarating, it represents an extreme — seeking a breath of fresh air after a long year of lockdowns and panic, which affected social dynamics, disarmed parents with kids staying at home, and led many to question employment safety across brick and mortars.
But whether this process hits a plateau soon or continues to rise, you must understand the process and plan your strategy around it.
It is inevitable to see the current pattern of widespread resignations in internet businesses as a process of business calibration. When a large number of employees decide to quit the firm, it may be a symptom that something is wrong, whether it be a problem with the company’s culture, a lack of prospects for advancement, or a problem with the management.
Companies might take advantage of this time to evaluate their situation and take action to address any underlying problems that might be behind the resignations. To obtain feedback and learn more about the reasons for the resignations, this could involve conducting employee questionnaires or exit interviews.
Take A Proactive Approach to Business Planning
Businesses can enhance their corporate culture and possibly attract new talent who are more in line with their beliefs and objectives by being proactive and resolving the problems that caused the resignations. This may lead to a more enthusiastic and dedicated workforce, which in turn may boost production and improve the bottom line.
Also, the large number of resignations may be a chance for companies to review their hiring procedures and make sure they are selecting candidates who are compatible with their company culture and objectives. This can assist in preventing future cultural misunderstandings that might result in circumstances such as this.
Large-scale resignations can be difficult and disruptive for a company, but they can also be an opportunity for development and advancement. Businesses can become stronger and more resilient in the long run by adopting a proactive strategy and using this as a calibration process.
Communicate Delays With Clients and Partners
If you are overwhelmed yet struggling to fill in key positions, the worst step you can take is forcing your team members to assimilate the responsibilities of former employees.
Instead, rethink your existing workflow and plan for possible delays, considering the available resources on deck.
While your recruitment team may be lining up a series of interviews or you are busy establishing strategic partnerships for outsourcing and offloading work, account for possible delays in deliveries. Worst-case scenario, consider some downsizing or putting some less critical contracts or projects on hold for a few months.
Once you run the numbers and estimate the workload capacity, communicate this with your accounts and partners. Set up calls with your blue-chip clients or send a newsletter indicating possible delays with orders. Assure them it’s a temporary restructuring during the summer season.
This may be a great opportunity to negotiate some long-term contracts, set innovative preorder deals, or even negotiate better terms for next year. Consider the cost of acquiring new talent and budget this into contractual forecasts and estimations.
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Update Your Roadmap For Every Quarter Considering Your Resources
While existing plans may have been put in motion already, it’s time to rethink the available resources and revamp your plans accordingly.
Run a simple SWOT analysis across your organization, rediscovering the business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats at the time. Losing key talent may leave you vulnerable with your current roadmap in mind, but being flexible when it comes to future plans may reveal new possibilities or ventures you can bootstrap internally.
Stress your strong suits first and foremost — and double down in areas you can still invest your full potential in.
Updating your roadmap while taking your resources into account is essential for keeping a profitable and sustainable firm. Reevaluating your plans frequently may seem like a difficult chore, but doing so can help you make the most of your resources and adapt to any market or organizational changes.
Doing a SWOT analysis across your firm can offer insightful information about the opportunities, threats, and areas of strength and weakness for your company. You can use this study to pinpoint prospective development or improvement areas as well as places where you need to devote more effort. For instance, if you have lost critical talent, you may need to reconsider your hiring approach or make investments in training programs to help your present staff advance their abilities.
It’s also crucial to be adaptable when it comes to future goals. While having a long-term strategy for your company is critical, it’s equally crucial to be prepared to adjust to changing conditions. You might find new opportunities or enterprises that you can bootstrap internally if you keep an open mind and are willing to pivot when necessary.
In the end, changing your roadmap every quarter while taking your resources into account will help you stay on track and utilize your resources to the fullest. You may position your company for long-term success and sustainability by regularly reevaluating your strategies and exercising flexibility.
Take A Step Back
Managing a fast-paced business or projecting a certain profit margin year over year can be stressful with key people leaving the organization. If nothing else works, consider adjusting the numbers and transitioning to maintenance mode until the year’s end.
Growing a business is a marathon. It takes time and perseverance. Sometimes, injuries are bound to happen, and you need some bench time for recovery before you get ready for the next run. The pandemic has disarmed tens of millions of businesses around the world, and there is nothing shameful in postponing your growth plans for next year.
While key hires may no longer be on board, it’s time to take a step back and rethink the strategy for the next few months. Companies juggle with challenges — be it securing funding, closing strategic contracts, hiring top talent, promoting for management roles or innovating to stay ahead of their competition.
Make sure you understand the global trends and act accordingly. Risk management is integral for every entrepreneur out there — and this is what differentiates resilient leaders from newcomers.