Since spring of 2021, the staffing industry has been buzzing with the phrase “The Great Resignation.” As the economy strengthened post-pandemic, the demand for workers significantly increased. Employees across the US left their jobs for new positions that were enticing talent through remote or hybrid work models, higher salaries, better insurance policies and other benefits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 4.4 million people left their jobs in February 2022 alone.
However, many employees who changed jobs during The Great Resignation are finding that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side as they are experiencing “leaver’s remorse.” According to a recent survey by The Muse, 72% of respondents who quit their job said they experienced either regret or surprise that their new position was different from what they thought it would be. The company refers to this as “shift shock,” or the reaction to taking on a new job that doesn’t meet expectations.
With an influx of job resignations, staffing agencies have seen this trend of turnover only increase, changing the course of The Great Resignation into The Great Regret. Many employees are looking for opportunities with more flexibility and a positive company culture. With this trend continuing down a steady path, companies should be finding ways to maintain top talent to prevent turnover starting with flexible options, engagement and culture.
Currently, the work force is in a gray space of wanting the freedoms a remote work setting offers while also wanting more engagement from employers and co-workers. Creating engagement and providing a positive work culture within a remote workforce can be challenging as companies struggle to find a balance.
Implementing a hybrid schedule is a great way to still give employees the flexibility of working from home while also providing opportunity for more face-to-face time. According to a recent survey from Slack, 63% of respondents favor the flexibility of a hybrid remote-office model, while 20% want to work remotely full-time. Only 17% want to return to full-time office work. A hybrid work model can increase productivity throughout the week, improve relationships and promote collaboration, and it can also improve employees’ mental health.
A hybrid work model also gives companies the opportunity to build back a strong culture. When employees can get face-to-face time a couple of days a week, this opens the door up to in-person celebrations, lunches, happy hours and more. Additionally, when culture is driven by both the C-suite and from the bottom-up with employee committees and involvement, this results in a positive work environment where everyone is involved.
Until the demand for work begins to decrease, employees will continue to look for new opportunities with better offerings. However, as “shift shock” begins to set in, some employees will be looking to return to the company. According to a study conducted by the Workplace Institute, 15% of employees have returned back to a former employer, and 40% would consider applying for a position at a company they had worked for previously.
By listening to employee needs — like flexible work options and a positive culture — companies can find ways to attract and maintain top talent to prevent further turnover.