Who holds the greatest power in any company?
Conventional wisdom once held that the CEO was the most influential figure in any company. In 2021, the employee holds the most power.
How the Great Resignation gained momentum
A two-pronged challenge birthed the Great Resignation.
First, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic induced fear among employees and employers alike. In the early months of the disease’s spread, lack of scientific information ate away any sense of security and personal safety. People were afraid to go to where they might contract the disease from others. Working from home became not only a necessity but also a preference.
Second, pandemic burnout contributed to the work walkout. First responders, health care workers, and those in supply industries continued to work, earning the label of hero. Eventually, the long hours and exposure to extreme risk led workers to rethink their priorities.
Why, they wondered, should they risk their lives for so little in return?
Industries taking the hardest hits
The healthcare industry isn’t the only one hit hard by the pandemic. Several other sectors witnessed tremendous turnover:
- Technology. Facilitating the transition from working in an office to working at home required long hours for IT departments everywhere. Not surprisingly, this led to burnout.
- Retail and hospitality. Thanks to poor benefits and notoriously low pay, many people in this industry decided to walk away from their jobs. Although other sectors are opening back open, this one remains the hardest hit. Workers aren’t returning to their jobs.
- Manufacturing. Workers turned their backs on hourly jobs; the pay wasn’t enough to persuade them to continue employment. Prospective employees in manufacturing go where the money is, even if their raise is a fraction of a dollar.
Your response to the Great Resignations
If you’re a prospective employee, you’re in a sweet position. Chances are good a company interested in hiring you will offer you more money or benefits. They may allow for a hybrid work arrangement that will enable you to maximize work-life balance. They’re also more likely to listen to your creative ideas.
On the other hand, flexible employers are in a position to redefine roles in their industries and focus on retention strategies.
This wave of resignations we’re seeing may manage to make the workplace greater than ever.
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