Rajesh Nair

The Impact of great resignation in 2022 | Rajesh Nair | Chief Human Resource Officer and Executive President | | Polycab India Ltd

Rajesh NairThe burnout ensuing from our quarantined lives post the pandemic compelled people to look for professional growth, a work-life balance, and better career opportunities. A mass exodus where employees are quitting/switching their jobs has resulted in what is being called the Great Resignation.

As per a report by Skillsoft IT Skills and Salary, 59% of respondents who switched jobs in the past year cited a lack of growth and development opportunities as their primary reason for doing so, taking precedence over better compensation and work/life balance.

Professionals are reconsidering not just on what they work but more importantly, where, and why. Reportedly, India is not as impacted as many countries globally with the Great Resignation but there are clear signs of the Great Reshuffle.

Professionals are re-evaluating their careers with work-life balance and growth being primarily the important factors to arrive at decisions. It is time for companies to focus light inwards to assess and figure out the actions they should take to be a desired employer. Human Resources, as well as leaders of all organisations, are required to reflect on their work culture and tailor a sense of improvisation across departments.

Companies need to look beyond evident issues and understand the aspects where the top management is failing to incentivise its employees, which may range from a lack of appreciation to ineffective communication within the company. Absorbing the true idea of flexibility in its work culture, through WFH or mental health care, for instance, is enticing for employees to start with.

Reinventing the workplace culture
According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report, while job seekers are viewing nearly twice the number of job posts before applying, posts mentioning culture get 67% more engagement compared to average posts. Simply receiving pay checks and creating wealth is not the only priority for employees now. The work ethos of the ‘new normal’ involves forming healthy professional relationships and creating experiences outside of the office. It calls for flexibility that inspires them to work and policies that prioritises mental health stability.

Away from toxic corporate culture, employees are increasingly looking for flexible programs where they have a workplace culture, paid time off to reshape their approach towards life, and encouraging work values. The Great Resignation has caused a talent gap in the corporate sector leading to huge attrition rates, especially in the IT and manufacturing industries. Companies are racing to retain employees by offering competitive salary packages and other such benefits.

Employers of the future
Pioneering employers have already moved to hybrid or full-time remote working models as an increasing number of employees are looking out for similar working styles. Along with this, hiring models have also undergone a drastic change with the entire hiring process switching to virtual recruitment.

Companies must lead with the trust which involves establishing work/life boundaries, setting up specific guidelines on how to treat employees working remotely, and turning more impact and result oriented, rather than pivoting obsolete success metrics. At Polycab, for instance, there has been a constant improvement and upgrading of the approach towards an evolved corporate environment.

For organisations, the future of work is effort-oriented and establishing new standards that strive for work/life harmony. While the Great Resignation continues, the cultural nuances for employee engagement should also evolve. Sustaining through this phase will require a leap of faith where the run-up to the leap will dictate the success stories of companies.