The world of work is changing
There’s no denying the pandemic has been a transformative time for professionals
This has prompted both businesses and individuals to re-evaluate their priorities and reassess their place in the working world. Enter the “Great Resignation”, also known as the “Big Quit” or the ongoing large-scale exodus of employees across industries, both in the US and on a global scale.
Whether moving on to a new role, taking a sabbatical, or opting for early retirement, close to 3% of the entire US workforce resigned last fall alone, and the numbers continue to rise. But beyond these staggering figures, what does this migration truly represent for those involved, and what exactly comes next?
From the “Great Resignation” to the “Great Reshuffle”, we explore how the pandemic became a catalyst for positive change – empowering workers to alter their trajectory towards a healthier work-life balance, a more fulfilling job role, and improved prospects for the future.
What is the Great Reshuffle?
Many of us are already familiar with the term Great Resignation – but there’s certainly more to it than meets the eye. While the Bureau of Labor data speaks for itself, the impetus behind it is in fact more complex. With large swaths of the workforce using the pandemic to fast-track their plans to leave their posts altogether, others have realized the new opportunities it now affords them.
As the pandemic continues to evolve our perceptions of the world, employees are hitting the reset button on what their definition of “career fulfillment” really looks like. Professor of management at Texas A&M University Anthony Klotz (who coined the term Great Resignation) observes that those workers in high-demand industries are making their roles work for them – from the right pay to long-term work arrangements: “There’s now a greater ability for people to fit work into their lives, instead of having lives that squeeze into their work.”
The desire to restructure their career in a way that works for them is what is driving the Great Reshuffle forward. Higher wages paired with a company ethos that aligns with their values are just some of the reasons employees are exploring other avenues, and often shifting industries altogether. Another term courtesy of Anthony Klotz is referred to as a “pandemic epiphany”. This also holds weight when it comes to looking after your number one priority, your family. The desire for the perfect work-life balance is now at the forefront of many professionals across a variety of industries. It is now a must-have nice as a part of your work life instead of a nice-to-have.
Empowered with the choice
From the Great Depression to global recession – while the shift we are currently witnessing is nothing new, the Great Reshuffle comes with one key difference: this time, it is driven by people’s choice.
Whether businesses realize it or not, it is the choice of the workforce – amidst the fast-evolving backdrop of hybrid operations – that propels this movement forward. For the first time on a global scale, employees are making the work, work for them. For many, they are empowered in many ways they never have been before, meaning putting both themselves and their ambitions first. With self-employed workers rising by 500,000 (and counting) since the pandemic, the “wildest dreams” of workers have suddenly become attainable.
For those that continue to remain in-house, the global skills shortage has also worked in their favor – with the demand for knowledge further driving a highly competitive market. The expectation of a hybrid set-up paired with the influx of remote roles around the world also puts the ball firmly in the candidate’s court. With newfound access to hybrid working opportunities, many employees have re-skilled to break into those sought-after roles – with the current movement also based on enhanced pay, rewards, and status.
The Great Reshuffle: What the future holds
As restrictions come and go, the pandemic continues to impact how businesses operate – both now and in the long run. Fast forward and 2022 represents a new opportunity for employers to respond to a newly empowered workforce. Companies willing to evolve their current policies with the societal changes will continue to retain and grow their teams.
From embracing agile processes to driving productivity, the post-pandemic market will still see businesses finding their feet. While employees will likely use this time to figure out what they really want in their careers and lives overall. For this reason, the Great Reshuffle ultimately marks a period of transition for both individuals and employers as the “new normal” begins to take shape. While this may prove unsettling for the time being, Klotz believes that this limbo is a sacrifice worth making. He is predicting this will result in colossal improvements in employee fulfillment and wellbeing, thus driving greater productivity. He states, “If the pandemic has a silver lining, it’s that it hopefully leads to a permanent improvement in the world of work.” – Anthony Klotz
How has the Great Resignation impacted your workforce or given it new life?
Either way at ADDA Infusion, our mission is to make HR accessible to everyone, create fulfilling workplaces by making the lives of companies and their employees easier, and constantly improve the employee experience in the workplace.
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