talent acquisitionA new employment trend has taken hold of the job market, and it’s changing the way businesses look at hiring strategies and company culture. Unlike the “Great Resignation”, which associated higher unemployment rates with employee dissatisfaction, the “Great Reshuffle” refers to the growing number of individuals who resigned to change career paths. Experts have coined our most recent employment challenge “the great talent reshuffle” because the individuals involved aren’t leaving the labor force. Instead, employees are quitting their jobs in search of a career they consider more fulfilling, flexible or beneficial to their lives outside of work.

How the Great Resignation Turned into the Great Reshuffle

After the pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a record number of people leaving their jobs. Workers concerned with contracting COVID-19 resolved to quit, contributing to higher unemployment rates during a time of economic uncertainty. Many industries were uniquely affected by the overwhelming number of resignations because in-person roles played an essential part in day-to-day operations. When schools and childcare centers were slow to reopen, limited availability was especially common for employees with children at home, which put an additional strain on businesses with a reduced workforce.

Hospitality, restaurant and health care industries were just a few of the many sectors that experienced mass resignations. Despite prolonged periods of unemployment, quit rates were on the rise again in 2022. Economists called this phenomenon a labor shortage, which eventually turned into the “Great Resignation”.

Employers struggled to balance the loss of labor with the growing demand for flexibility in the workplace. With more and more industries facing widespread resignations, companies began offering attractive employment packages to underqualified candidates, making the job market more competitive across the board. As a result, workers experiencing “burnout” left their jobs in search of something better, signifying the start of the great reshuffle.

Trends in Employee Resignations and Talent Acquisition

Forbes reported more than half of the 4.4 million Americans who quit their jobs in February switched occupations or industries. CNBC noticed a majority of those who made the decision to switch were younger — falling between the ages of 18 and 29. Many experts speculate combating these statistics could be as simple as investing in certain areas such as professional development, flexible work support, and health and wellness. While this is a step in the right direction, resignation trends have proven there’s more to the Great Reshuffle than offering new benefits based on general research.

An Oxford University study found conclusive evidence that happy employees are 13% more productive in the workplace. While productivity is important, focusing on company culture has several mutually beneficial outcomes for employers and employees. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, workers are reassessing their values and prioritizing personal well-being over the need for a higher salary. In fact, the same study found that pay ranked near the bottom of the list of factors that make employees happy in terms of work.

There are several studies and surveys that suggest work-life balance is more important to jobseekers when compared to company culture, compensation and benefits. The LinkedIn 2022 Global Talent Trends report discusses the reinvention of company culture and explores how businesses are responding to the needs of their employees. These are the top three factors driving widespread resignations:

  1. Flexibility — Studies show employees with time and location flexibility were nearly three times more likely to report being happy and twice as likely to recommend their company.
  2. Well-being — Surveys show that employees who feel their well-being is valued by their employer were three times more likely to be happy at work and four times more likely to recommend the company to others.
  3. The Great Reshuffle — Data indicates that online job posts that mention culture receive about 70% more engagements than other listings. And 2021 saw about twice as many hiring posts viewed by jobseekers, compared to 2019.

Responding to the Great Reshuffle

There are many ways companies can respond to the Great Reshuffle, but with so many factors affecting such decisions, the solution is just as complex as the topic. Ultimately, employee satisfaction is based on issues that might vary by individual or department, depending on your business and industry. We encourage employers to tailor their solutions to meet their business’s unique needs — and the needs of those employed there. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Look After Employees’ Whole-Person Health: Introduce new mental health and wellness benefits to show employees you value their lives outside of work. This can create a more meaningful connection between employees and leadership while also placing value on what workers care about most.
  2. Reach Out Directly: Conduct employee surveys and obtain quarterly feedback to better understand problem areas within your organization. From there, leadership can determine whether they need to customize solutions based on specific individuals or groups of employees.
  3. Help Workers Grow in Their Field: Incorporate personal development training and upskilling incentives into the company’s programs and policies. These opportunities have long-term benefits such as improving the staff’s knowledge and skill sets while enriching employees’ careers. Many employees thrive in a challenging work environment that keeps them engaged and learning new things.
  4. Offer Flexibility: Implement leadership training and coaching, so managers can lead remote and hybrid teams. On that note, if you don’t currently offer remote or hybrid options, consider incorporating them into the mix. Remember, when incorporating any policy change into day-to-day work, it’s important to consider industry-specific setbacks or potential issues which might crop up. Addressing such issues early on can help you combat reshuffling statistics.

BCH Tip: Download our HR Insights tip sheet to learn more about Attracting and Retaining Employees During the Great Reshuffle.

Updating company policies, implementing new communication methods and offering professional development opportunities are just a few of the ways businesses can adapt to changes in the modern-day labor force. Instead of treating the Great Reshuffle as a problem, leadership should consider using it as an opportunity to make long-lasting changes that are mutually beneficial to the company and its employees.

If you’re interested in talking through ways your company can respond to fluctuations in the labor market, or if you have questions regarding how to ensure your business is best prepared for the changing environment, feel free to contact us. A BCH expert will be happy to help you. As always, we’re here to help your business find and keep talent when it matters.