“The Great Resignation” was the buzzword term last year with reports from various surveys pointing towards a global mass quitting spree, with claims that anywhere from 40% to 75% of the workforce were actively planning to leave their current jobs for a better fit elsewhere.
Singapore too is not immune to this global trend. Survey findings by global jobs portal Indeed revealed that nearly a quarter (24%) of Singapore workers were planning to leave their current employer in the first half of 2022, and almost half (49%) were contemplating submitting their resignation letters in the next six months.
However, amid the forecast of the global exodus of workers, a new buzzword is emerging that offers a glimmer of hope for the post-pandemic workforce: The Great Reshuffle.
The Great Reshuffle
The world of work is seeing one of the greatest transformations ever seen. Amid the pandemic, the numbers seem to suggest that workers all over the world are experiencing a career awakening: work is no longer perceived as something that should be prioritised over all other aspects of life.
In Indeed’s survey of 1,002 Singapore workers aged 16 to 55, 92% of the respondents said the pandemic made them feel life is too short to stay in a job “they weren’t passionate about”.
Monetary remuneration aside, 56% of the respondents cited other factors that would make workers stay put in their current jobs:
- Flexible working options (56%)
- Career progression (45%)
- Appreciation from bosses (41%)
- Access to good healthcare (33%)
- Mental health support initiatives (30%)
These factors align with global findings of workers from other countries, which suggest that the Great Resignation is largely driven by an emotional disconnect between the worker and the company.
However, what needs to be emphasised is that while the Great Resignation focuses on the phenomenon of workers resigning from work, the Great Reshuffle dives deeper to explain how these workers are leaving in search of something more fulfilling and better suited to their values and life choices.
The Great Reshuffle: What do employees want?
Building a meaningful career is not just about having the ability to pay the bills, but also having a sense of fulfilment and purpose — without which the employee-employer relationship becomes a purely transactional exchange that has no extrinsic motivational value.
According to Grace Lordan, an associate professor in behavioural science at the London School of Economics, movement in the job market is a reshuffling: workers shifting their career path, gradually making their way to companies offering work arrangements and perks that match their preferences.
In Singapore, many workers are willing to compromise on salary for work-life balance. A survey by global travel company Brand Expedia found that nearly eight in 10 Singaporeans, or 77%, would accept less pay to get one more day’s leave.
With the advent of digitalisation and remote working, workers are now also seeing the possibility of being in a job that allows them to have more control in balancing their work and personal domains.
Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, and the originator of the term ‘Great Resignation’, said:
“There’s now a greater ability for people to fit work into their lives, instead of having lives that squeeze into their work.”
The Great Reshuffle: How can employers support?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to hiring and enhancing employee retention. Employers should always look within and engage their employees to discover the factors that drive their motivations. After all, this is important in shaping the future of work for the business.
However, employers can improve on employee-employer relations by looking into these four key domains:
1. Be open to hybrid working arrangements
As many employees took to remote working, they have discovered that it is possible to balance work and personal commitments when they’re working from home.
According to LinkedIn’s VP of Product Management for Talent Solutions, Hari Srinivasan:
“For companies, it means being more open to change and creating flexible environments that work for your business — whether that’s redesigning workspaces or rethinking culture and values to align with your employees’ changing needs.”
2. Look into skills, not just fancy degrees
Not all skills come from work experience or the completion of a degree program. Broader talent pools are needed, and to tap into them, companies need to be more specific in job descriptions on what skills are needed for a particular role. According to Hari, a learning-centric, skills-focused culture empowers all employees to invest in themselves and yields major returns to the business.
3. Provide more opportunities for upskilling
With digital and technological revolutions increasing in pace, the only way for organisations to remain competitive is to ensure that their team possesses the skills to thrive and succeed in an environment that is always in flux.
By taking a proactive approach to training and developing your team, you are not only ensuring that you are equipped to move forward as a business but also that you are invested in them and committed to helping them develop their careers.
Read More: Here’s Why You Should Upskill Your Team
4. Build a culture of trust and support
One of the biggest opportunities that an employer can seize during this transformational time is to re-engage employees with trust and empathy. For this to happen, Hari believes that more dialogue between employers and employees is needed. “Trust will be at the core of a company’s success when it comes to attracting and retaining talent,” he says.
“What’s most important, above all, is that leaders spend time listening to their teams, creating cultures based on trust and embracing new opportunities amidst the Great Reshuffle.”
A strong and positive company identity goes a long way
Having a strong company identity goes a long way to impress your company as a desirable workplace. If your company emphasises employees’ work-life balance or has policies that are committed to supporting employees’ professional growth, now is the time to show how much your company values talent! And if you’re looking to hire, tap on our 500,000-strong talent pool of Singaporeans by posting your jobs on MyCareersFuture today.
Read more: How to Build a Positive Company Culture