Coined by Anthony Klotz, an associate professor at Texas A&M University, the term evolved in late 2020 in response to millions of workers in the US suffering burnout, re-evaluating work-life balance in light of the pandemic and quitting their jobs.
But is the phenomenon headed down under? With our international borders shut for more than 18 months, we have been stripped of skilled migrants and working holidaymakers in the labour market. Gripped with a major skills shortage, for the first time in a long time, local talent now has the upper hand – and they are demanding change.
With some states in Australia slapped with on-again, off-again lockdowns, many employees chose to reassess their career and lifestyle options. So, when NSW and Victoria reopened at the vaccination milestones, businesses simply didn’t have enough head count to meet customer demands.
Riding the pandemic – what are employees looking for?
If the Great Resignation really is coming, you need to pull out all stops to retain your existing employees and attract new ones. The most important considerations for employees are flexibility, work-life balance, mental health and wellbeing and earning capacity.
A Qualtrics survey found 51% of Australians said they would stay longer with their employer if the remote working policies introduced during the pandemic become permanent. Flexibility to work around family and other commitments can allow your people to have a career while balancing other requirements.
Work-life balance, mental health and wellbeing
The pandemic has highlighted the need for work-life balance and company support for mental health and wellbeing. Taking commute times out of the equation plays a big part in the balancing act. Employees want to be part of an organisation that demonstrates commitment to promoting work-life balance and mental health and wellbeing. What are you doing to show your commitment?
Job applicants are in a good position to raise the stakes when it comes to negotiating salaries. They are demanding more money and if the budget permits, some employers may have little choice but to agree to above-market salaries to secure the best talent during a skills shortage.
Hiring and retention: how to make a difference