Navigating the ‘Great Resignation’ – What It Means for Employers, Now That the Workers Are in Control
There have been lots of news reports about the ‘Great Resignation’. But what does it mean?
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 1.3 million people – or 9.5% of employed people, changed jobs in the 12 months to February 2022. That figure – known as the job mobility rate – was the highest since 2012.
At the same time, 2.1 million people left or lost a job and yet the retrenchment rate of 1.5% was the lowest on record since 1972 – suggesting more people quit working voluntarily than were sacked as part of Covid cut-backs.
And in May, job vacancies rose to 480,100 – an increase of 13.8% from February 2022, and more than double the vacancies pre-pandemic in February 2020.
What does that mean for employers?
It would appear that people are no longer prepared to keep a job they don’t like, particularly one where they don’t feel valued or taken care of.
And with a current rate of just 1.1 employed people per job vacancy, compared with 3 jobless people per vacancy pre-pandemic, there is less competition between potential employees – putting the ball firmly in the workers’ court.
Now more than ever, businesses need to hold on to their employees.
Australian Bureau of Statistics head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said the increase in job vacancies to almost half a million roles, reflected “increasing demand for workers, particularly in customer-facing roles, with businesses continuing to face disruptions … (and) ongoing labour shortages”.
Mr Jarvis also said a quarter of businesses reported having at least one vacancy in May 2022, which was more than double the pre-pandemic rate of just 11% in February 2020 – which he said “highlights the extent to which businesses are finding it more difficult to find staff”.
How do I keep my employees?
Workplace health and safety is a key factor to ensuring your staff are happy at work.
A worker is more likely to stay in a role not only in which they feel valued, but where they feel the employer is looking out for their safety and health. It’s not just about having the right ergonomics – although that is important! Taking care of your employees involves both their physical health and mental wellbeing.
At Rehab Management, we are not just about getting ill or injured people back to work. Our 22 years of experience is in prevention as well as solutions.
We have worked with small and large organisations to offer tailored and appropriate health and wellbeing services including ergonomic assessments and training, manual handling assessments and training, mental health first aid training and employee assistance programs.
We listen to our clients and tailor services and solutions to suit their needs, and our highly skilled senior staff can deliver workshops and training right up to the CEO level.
That includes everything from reducing physical hazards in the workplace, to how to offer flexible working conditions, enabling more autonomy for individual workers, or building friendly and collaborative working relationships between colleagues.
I need new or more employees. What can I do?
One way to promote a positive and inclusive workplace is to hire a person – or many people! – who are living with a disability. The Australian Department of Social Services says, among their many benefits to employers, people with a disability boost staff morale and loyalty by helping to create a diverse workforce.