Roughly 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July — near the all-time high, which was just set in April — lending more credence to the idea that we’re currently dealing with a “Great Resignation.” So who’s resigning and why?
The Harvard Business Review dug into the data and found that resignation rates have been higher among mid-career employees in the 30-45 age group. They speculate that “the shift to remote work has led employers to feel that hiring people with little experience would be riskier than usual, since new employees won’t have the benefit of in-person training and guidance. This would create greater demand for mid-career employees,” which could explain why more of them are saying goodbye to their current employers and taking new jobs.
Resignations have also been higher in the tech and health care industries. Here, HBR suggests that burnout is likely the driving factor, as these fields have seen huge demand and workload increases due to the pandemic.
Now that we’ve touched on the “who” and “why,” there’s a “how” worth addressing: How can mobility teams work against the rising tide of resignations? HBR says organizations should develop “tailored retention programs.” What might that look like within mobility? Plus VP of Consulting Services Chris Pardo previously identified three ways mobility programs can be more strategic about retention:
- Increase your "flex quotient"
- Consider supporting hand-raisers
- Add developmental assignments to the mix
I encourage you to read his full piece for more on each of these areas, but in short, it’s critical for mobility teams to be intentional in their efforts to retain talent. Employees who are thinking about leaving could be convinced to stay — but your organization will likely need to convince them to do so. Could a relocation or assignment opportunity be the perfect enticement for an employee with one foot out the door?
Not only can mobility be a useful retention tool, it can also help in attracting top talent, which is of course very important in a job market with a record number of openings. All three of the strategies above can help attract new employees just as they can help retain existing talent. Mobility teams should also make sure they’re in lockstep with recruiters to ensure clear communication with job candidates.
As I’ve said before, this is a very challenging environment for employers, so it won’t be an easy task for mobility teams to help stem the tide. But until these dynamics shift, it will be critical for mobility to make this a top priority.
These trends highlight the importance of taking a data-driven approach to determining not just how many people are quitting, but who exactly has the highest turnover risk, why people are leaving, and what can be done to prevent it. The details will look different in every organization, but there are three steps that can help any employer more effectively leverage data to improve employee retention...