The time of the Great Resignation. Will we see the same thing play out in Australia? Or has it already started?
The US saw four million people exit the workforce in July. This rate marks a two decade high according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics.
Business Insider recently posted an article that shares research from employee wellbeing platform Limeade as well as other sources. Research suggests that whilst Australians are not quitting at the same rates as the US, a sense that their workplaces failed to support them during lockdowns and burnout are factors contributing to decisions people are making about where they are currently working (and where they will be working into the future).
Limeade shared that the strain of working longer hours from home during the lockdowns was the top reason people left their jobs. Interestingly, over 37% (in a 500 person survey of full time employees) shared they were leaving their workplace without another role lined up.
The article goes on to quote data from HR platform Employment Hero who suggest that in Australia, two in five people are getting ready to leave their current roles within six months.
Could it be that the additional strain of parents having to complete their same work load whilst supporting the remote learning of their children has caused significant stress?
Could it be that the removal of the village for families due to isolation has reduced their capacity to recharge their own batteries?
Could it be that having to work remotely proved to many people what was actually possible, not just within their current role but the limitless possibilities outside of the current constraints of the way they had structured work?
Could it be that the constant fear cycle has depleted people’s ability to find joy in their life and instead been replaced with constant worry?
Could business owners have felt:
Paralysed to act and adapt in a pandemic as symptom of their own fear of the unknown?
Fear about losing their business and therefore the livelihoods of not just themselves but their employees, which drove the lack of additional flexibility in how business needs were met?
Could we all be in a period of collective exhaustion after experiencing (and still experiencing one might argue) a collective trauma?
This is a complex situation; and this is definitely not a comprehensive assessment of all experiences, impacts and motivations. However, in general, could people on all sides have been significantly impacted by fear and burnout so not had the capacity to extend the open mindedness and compassion that was necessary during this time?
We can’t underestimate the impact pandemic fatigue and burnout has had on people from all walks of life. Could we all just say ‘Well shit, that was hard. What can we learn from this and do differently? For ourselves, our families, our communities and the world?’.
For all of us, there must first be a commitment to our own healing and forgiveness of the ways we think we could have acted differently. Through this process, we can get better at listening and adapting. We can get better at being aware of our trauma reactions. We can learn more about our nervous systems. There is SO much opportunity here on both sides.
I am an optimist, so as we step into this next stage of humanity I see opportunity to learn from these lessons and create change.
Opportunity for individuals to arrive at clarity on what they need from an employer and life in general to thrive.
Opportunity to improve communication processes in both directions.
Opportunity for employers to listen, adapt and innovate.
Opportunity to set new expectations.
What do you think? Can we all learn from each other and do better? What opportunity can you see?
If you are an employer and don’t know where to start on really listening to your employees and their needs or you don’t currently have the resources, please reach out I would love to support you through that process and provide advice on where to from here. If you want to provide ongoing support to your staff I also provide Employee Holistic Life Coaching which is a compliment and enhancement to any existing Employee Assistance Program you have in place. Alternatively, if you are one of those people who want to re-evaluate where you are currently and start or continue your healing journey, I can work with you individually.
Image: The text in the centre says ‘Is there value in us all asking the question ‘Well shit, that was hard. What can we learn from this and do differently? For ourselves, our families, our communities and the world?’.’ The background pink. The text is surrounded by a circle. The circle is pink at the top leading down to yellow. On the right side of each circle is a red flower with green leaves.