In August 2021, in an unprecedented move, 4.3 million Americans left their jobs. So-called the “Great Resignation”, the trend has continued into 2022. According to the Willis Tower Watson 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, 44% of workers are seeking a new job, with 33% active job seekers and another 11% planning to look later in the year.
This shift in the way employees view their jobs—temporary until something better comes along—has caused some anxiety for employers. Causes of resignation have been of the pandemic-era, including poorly adapted hybrid work conditions, fears of contracting COVID-19, and existential epiphanies. But these aren’t the only reasons people walk away from a job. In this blog, we uncover why employees are still resigning in 2022—and what your business can do about it, including improving processes.
Why are people leaving their jobs in 2022?
Many thought that, as the pandemic subsided, so too would effects of the “Great Resignation”. In 2021, the economic trend was largely put down to stressors like remote work, childcare concerns, and issues with safety. In 2022, when the world is either returning to work or has adopted hybrid/remote options, it might come as a surprise that employees, at a high rate, are still quitting their jobs.
In 2022, job resignations are still up 23% above pre-pandemic levels, and this doesn’t seem to be slowing down. So, why are so many people quitting their jobs now and what can organizations like yours do to prevent it? We take a look at key reasons people resign.
A toxic culture, or perception of a toxic culture, is one of the biggest predictors for employee resignation—significantly higher than pay. The “Great Resignation” provided a cultural wake-up-call for many companies, who’ve since invested in schemes to address ingrained issues. Some of these include mental health schemes, courses in communication, and structural changes which increase representation for minority staff.
Unsurprisingly, a key reason employees quit their jobs is salary. In the year between January 2021 and January 2022, the consumer price index rose by 7.5%. This is the highest rise in America since the 1980s. Higher costs of living drive a need for higher earning, and with the “great resignation” we are seeing this played out. Employees are looking for work that means they can afford to live.
Since the pandemic, burnout has skyrocketed. Almost six times as many employers have reported mental health issues in staff since the pandemic began—and burnout seems to be the most common. Burnout is a form of exhaustion, caused by prolonged emotional and mental stress. In the aftermath of a pandemic, which included long periods of isolation, as well as prolonged anxiety about health and job security, it’s not surprising that people are exhausted by work and want to resign.
Change in career
The pandemic, for some, has provided a bit of an awakening. It has changed workplace conditions and skillsets needed but—more than this—it’s provided the possibility of a career change. During lockdown, many employees experienced the joy of working without a commute or paying for childcare. It unlocked the possibility of a healthy work-life balance, and since then employees are changing careers to better suit their needs.
In a remote setting, work processes are typically more difficult to perform. Processes like employee on-boarding, customer support, compliance, and inventory management became significantly harder to carry out during the pandemic. A 2021 report by Nintex found that nearly 50% of employees surveyed claimed that many processes within their organization did not work effectively. Improving processes within organizations has become a priority for business leaders, who want to reduce frustration and burnout among their staff.
Process improvement software helps retain employees
Improving processes is an undervalued, but key, initiative business leaders can take to retain staff. A remote work environment can only be a happy one when processes work smoothly. Unfortunately, many organizations still don’t have the tools in place to fix broken or sluggish processes.
Process improvement software, such as process automation, can be a lifeline for organizations who want to retain staff. Businesses which still function by manual processes have struggled with a remote and dispersed workforce. Improving processes with automation can help streamline:
- Employee administrative processes
- Employee onboarding
- Work from home processes and requests
- COVID-19 and/or health check processes
- Contract processes
- Customer/client/patient service or support processes
- Inventory management processes
- Finance and accounting processes
- Compliance and regulatory processes
- Customer/client/patient onboarding processes
How to improve a process at work
Improving processes begins by taking stock of them. Every organization has a certain number of processes they function by. Taking an audit of these processes, and thinking about how they can be refined, is the first step in tackling the frustration these broken processes cause.
When deliberating about how to improve a process at work, make sure to speak to employees. Those involved in the process may know best how to improve it. A surprising number of processes (more than organizations realize) work better when automated or mapped out.
Retain employees with process improvement software
There are lots of initiatives business leaders can take to reduce mass resignations this year. Automating slow or broken processes is just one of them. A process which lags, causes frustration for employees, or is simply broken is a key driver of resignations within an organization. Avoiding mass resignations in 2022 can be as simple as making life easier for your employees.