The topic of The Great Resignation has been making headlines for months now. It’s no surprise this news of the highest quit rate in US history is catching the attention of all major media outlets.
At the end of July 2021, 4 million Americans quit their jobs, adding to a total of 10.9 million open positions. The majority of the open positions were in fields that had extreme increases in demand due to the pandemic.
Call it burnout, call it overworked, call it increased workload management… millions of Americans said “I’m done” at the same time. Some moved out of big cities to find remote jobs, some changed industries, and many decided to join the freelancing community or start their own business.
For many employees in corporate America, the pandemic opened their eyes to options outside the 9-5 grind.
One of the main reasons so many people left their jobs was because of job dissatisfaction. Many corporate employers who let their employees work from home during the height of the pandemic couldn’t adapt to the changing demands of remote work. Some employees wanted to continue working from home, but their corporate employer wanted them back in the office.
For decades the hustle culture in America has demanded long days, long commutes, and a slow climb of the corporate ladder. Maybe the pandemic made us finally realize this isn’t the best way to live our lives.
For Millennials and Generation Z in particular, there’s a growing desire for travel, job flexibility, and prioritization of working to live, not living to work. For the corporations that aren’t willing to adapt to these shifting expectations of employees, we could continue to see a rise in the freelance community or entrepreneurship.
Corporate America has not just seen a mass exodus of employees, they have seen a mass exodus of quality employees. So, how can they stop this?
In our opinion, the only way to keep quality employees is to be innovative. In most cases, their “requirements” aren’t too hard to meet. Allow for flexible remote work, have a tangible and trackable employee promotion plan, don’t expect overtime work if you don’t pay for overtime work, offer quality healthcare and retirement benefits, and invest in their growth. Long story short: stay innovative.
Above all, corporate America has to remain malleable. Corporations have to be willing to adapt as employee expectations and culture shift over time.
Just as large corporations must be willing to adapt, so must small businesses. There is a huge lesson to be learned from the mistakes we see corporate America making right now. If you own a small business, ask yourself:
Innovative small businesses will keep quality workers because they are willing to listen and adapt. Even if you only have one employee, start implementing these concepts now. Check-in with your employee regularly, ask them for feedback and listen to their needs.
More and more Americans are interested in pursuing their passion without a corporate ladder to climb. As your business scales, as you serve more clients, and as you welcome more employees, keep in mind this important lesson corporate America has taught us over the last 12 months: if you aren’t willing to change, your employees aren’t willing to stay.
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