The Great Resignation
You have most likely heard the term “The Great Resignation.” It refers to the elevated rate at which U.S. workers have quit their jobs. In fact, the Department of Labor reported that almost 48 million people quit their jobs in 2021, an annual record. What you might be wondering, though, is what exactly caused this massive shift in employment? While many believe it was the COVID-19 pandemic, there is more to the story. Geopolitical crises, extreme weather events, the rapid rate of inflation, and everyday stressors combined with the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has employees burnt-out.
According to Deloitte’s 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, burnout is hitting Gen Z and Millennials the hardest. Many are at a breaking point and are reevaluating how they see their future. While this might sound scary for employers, Michele Parmelee, the global Chief People and Purpose Officer at Deloitte, states that this could be an opportunity. The breaking point many employees are facing right now can also be a turning point for employers. This is the time to reimagine how we should work in ways that address our people’s challenges and strengthen organizations’ ability to recruit and retain employees.
Based on insights from the Deloitte’s 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, these are the next steps employers should be taking to reimagine their workplace and start recruiting and retaining top talent:
- Create inclusive cultures where mental health and well-being are clear priorities.
- Build on that culture to ensure it is empathetic and stigma-free, so employees feel comfortable discussing these issues and managers know how to direct people to access the needed support.
- Provide improved workplace balance and reduce burnout by offering flexible work arrangements.
- Focus on fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion regardless of where employees physically work.
- Put an emphasis on purpose and making positive contributions to the community, whether that is through volunteering, giving back, or taking steps to make your business more environmentally friendly.
The Turning Point
Jeanne Meister, Founder of Future Workplace and Executive Vice President of Executive Networks, explains that “Employee well-being benefits are now one of the most important criteria for employees when applying for or accepting a new job. This means that employers need to think differently about their total rewards package and consider including benefits that address the financial and mental health of their workforce.” In addition, organizations that take it a step further and also include greater flexibility, more purposeful work, visible action on climate change, and a focus on better workplace mental health, stand to gain a significant business advantage. As stated by Parmelee, employers truly are facing a pivotal moment. They have the opportunity to turn this breaking point into a turning point for new ways of making work “work” for more of today’s Gen Z and millennial employees.
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