And how employers can prevent a mass exodus

Posted by John Kleeman, Founder

People have gained new perspectives on what they want from work. For many, that means not returning to the positions they held.

In fact, in the United States (U.S.), millions have chosen to leave their jobs. Prudential Financial’s Pulse of the American Worker survey reports that one in four workers will enact their plans to leave once they feel businesses have left crisis mode after the pandemic.

Experts are calling this trend the Great Resignation. And it has already begun.

March 2021 saw the highest quit rate recorded for that month in 20 years. In the following month, that number hit a new record high. Four million people quit their jobs, impacting every sector from retail trade and business services to transportation, warehousing, and utilities.

These dramatic changes are not confined to just the U.S. Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index surveying 30,000 global workers estimates that 41% of workers around the world are considering leaving their current employer this year.

What this means for employers

The impact of a talent exodus has the potential to devastate many businesses. John Kleeman, Founder of Questionmark, estimates that “lost productivity and knowledge alongside new hiring, training and onboarding fees could add up to around a third of annual salary”.

Also seeking to quantify the cost of this expensive disruption is HR software company Personio. They surveyed 500 HR decision-makers and 2,000 employees in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Ireland to conduct an economic analysis of this loss. Using their findings and other publicly available information, the research found that the overall cost of additional staff turnover over the next 12 months could cost the economy “an estimated £16.958 billion – equating to £10,076 per business – and cost up to £5.8 billion for SMEs alone.”

Understanding employees’ problems and priorities will be imperative for businesses looking to avoid paying these high costs.

Three main reasons employees resign and what employers can do

The modern job market has seen a lot of job-hopping. Even before the pandemic, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics measured employee tenure in January 2020 at only 4.1 years.

Remote working, in particular, has reshaped what people want from their jobs. Some employers are accommodating this by offering hybrid working models that will allow their workforce to work regularly from home after the pandemic has ended. But other key concerns must also be addressed.

These are the top reasons why employees are planning to leave their current employers and how businesses can address their needs.

Employees are resigning because of a lack of growth opportunities

Not having room for advancement is a major factor in why employees leave their jobs. Monster’s poll of 649 employed workers revealed that most of those considering a new job are driven by the lack of job growth opportunities at their current employer (29%).

Many Questionmark customers find it valuable to formally assess the progress of workers and award them with certificates and credentials as they develop. Employers can help high-performing workers keep their skills fresh by offering certification programs that ensure employees feel a continual sense of achievement.

Employees are resigning because of a perceived lack of support

Similar to feeling a lack of appreciation, inattentive leaders can cause employees to feel lost and unsupported in their roles. According to a Gallup survey, less than half (45%) of employees feel strongly that their employer cares about their well-being – with career growth being an essential component here. 

While managers in this environment have less contact with their teams, it is essential that they continue to lead and inspire. They can do this effectively with the help of tools (like diagnostic assessments, self-assessments, and assessments during learning) that diagnose and support employee learning needs.

Employees are resigning because of a culture clash

Culture and values impact employee turnover. The right fit can lead to a highly engaged workforce and a positive environment. However, as much as 46% of employees feel less connected to their company, according to Achievers Workforce Institute.

High-quality onboarding can tackle this challenge as 15% of exits relate to employees leaving in the first 90 days. HR managers can use knowledge or other tests to equip and train employees during this stage to ensure they successfully integrate with the wider organizational culture.

Questionmark can help

As optimism returns, businesses could lose their best staff. An attentive people strategy can make all the difference.

With Questionmark’s online assessment platform, employers can learn more about their workforce and make better decisions using assessments to increase worker engagement and improve staff retention.

Book a demo of our assessment platform here.