No, The Great Resignation is not about public servants leaving their jobs in droves due to the threat of furloughing on failure to take the COVID-19 vaccine by a particular deadline. Likewise, it is not about the lives of many parents, students, teachers, employees and employers frustrated and upended by the prolonged impact of this pandemic that is entering its third consecutive year.
Rather, The Great Resignation can be loosely defined as an economic trend that originated in the USA in early 2021, whereby employees voluntarily resigned in large numbers from their jobs. It appears to be symptomatic of a wider social reality that globally, many people of working age, or more specifically, those who constitute the respective labour forces of their countries are fed-up of the rigid constraints of the conventional work environment.
In addition to the continued stymie of flexibility to put their creative and innovative skills to the test in the work environment, is the sacrifice of invaluable family time, as well as adverse interim and long-term effects on their mental health. Therefore, rather than continue to remain in a job for the sole sake of earning a pay cheque, these (former) employees are challenging the status quo and demanding a more equitable, pragmatic environment that is reflective of their contemporary needs and desires.
So, here are 3 basic facts we all need to know about The Great Resignation:
1. It’s not just about the money: Employees today want to be respected, as much as they are expected to give respect on the job, whether to their colleagues, supervisors or seniors. They want to be valued as important contributors to the success of the organization they are regularly giving of their skills, talent and time, and also given tasks and responsibilities that equally reflect that sincere level of esteem, without overwhelming their family and personal time.
2. Our digital world supports it: Remember when you had to be physically present on the job, during the designated work hours in order to complete the day’s tasks? For the most part, those days are long gone, since, our modern world, replete with electronic devices such as iPads, iPhones and advanced PCs, along with Internet access have made conducting most aspects of business possible from any part of the world, at any time of day, without being physically present in the work-space.
3.Toxic work culture = adiós: Regardless of how lucrative and prestigious a job might be, if the environment is toxic, many of today’s employees would rather leave than remain. For them, it makes absolutely no sense remaining in a situation where one is (frequently) demoralised, disrespected, undermined and unsupported, especially where we are learning more about the direct connection between employee burnout and mental health, and prioritising mental health before wealth.
The Great Resignation is upon us, but, rather than get be buried by its currents, let’s learn the salient lessons and deftly ride the tide.
Keywords: LinkedIn Local Caribbean, The Great Resignation, workplace, employees, employers