An exodus of workers from retail, warehouse, restaurant and bar, health-care and social- assistance jobs have pushed quits to record levels–4.5 million, according to data released a short time ago by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These mass departures have been called “The Great Resignation” or more recently “The Great Reshuffle,” as people now are not only leaving jobs without another job but for better jobs. Approximately 30% are in the latter category, estimates one research house. 467,000 new jobs were added in January.
Let’s review the situation. Women have borne the brunt of the job losses since the pandemic began, surveys from the Brookings Institution show. Overrepresented in low-wage service jobs, they have been hit hard by increased child-care demands brought on by the delta and omicron variants’ disruption of school reopenings and gradually increasing amounts of vaccines for children. Women also are more likely to be in positions that require in-person work, heightening their risk for coronavirus infection.
Low-wage workers have also been impacted and economists say they are revolting against years of poor pay and stressful conditions. Many are now less willing to endure inconvenient hours and low compensation and are quitting to find better opportunities elsewhere.
Flexibility in when and where work is done now outweighs compensation as a concern for many employees. The great migration to remote work has also had a profound impact on how people think about when and where they want to work. Work is no longer just about paying bills.
For restaurant and hotel workers— work had gotten too stressful, marked by scant staffing and constant battles with unmasked customers.
While it is clear that employees are burned out and have a range of new considerations, what over the years continues to rankle them?
According to Explorance, a leading research house, lack of feedback from employee surveys is number one. 70% of employees want to share feedback from surveys with fellow employees, yet 50% say they receive no surveys from employers. But those that do receive surveys claim that where there is feedback, 40% feel that the feedback leads to no meaningful change.They believe the employers lack the tools to analyze the data that would create the change.
In the wake of so much hardship, illness and death during the past couple years, people are asking themselves, how do I want to spend my time?
We only have so much time on Earth. How you want to spend it, where you want to spend it and who you want to spend it with are looming questions that we have more freedom than ever before to decide. That is the challenge every employer – in particular – has.