Why have Employee’s quit in 2021
This may be our last news article of the year, but it most certainly will not be one that we will hear the last of in 2022, we are taking a look back at why Employee’s have quit their jobs in 2021 and will continue to do so. This has been labelled as the Great Resignation, predominantly ignited by the very fact that your Employees just don’t want to get back to their desks in your offices.
It really is true, yes, and yes again, the overriding reason behind the revolt is related to working from home (WFH), and what is more, it is set to continue into 2022, that is what we take a look at in our very last news post of 2021.
Why has working from home (WFH) led to Employees quitting their jobs?
Casting our minds back to when the Coronavirus Pandemic first hit, many Employers adopted practices in their businesses that allowed their Employees to WFH, with these changes and or sacrifices to facilitate Employees WFH brought challenges for so many businesses and their owners, let’s face it the rush to work from home was rather frantic, as a result, you may have invested in extra equipment, even downsized or even closed your office as a result in an attempt to cut costs.
Your Employees in the meantime will not have given a thought to the impact on your business, the operation of it, and importantly your plummeting sales and profits.
They will have felt that WFH had no detriment to them directly, in fact, many have felt they have continued in the same way as pre-pandemic, or even thrived, taking these factors into account you can then see why they want to continue to WFH.
As a business owner, on the other hand, you may have had other long-term plans that have not matched your Employees expectations, during the pandemic you may have identified gaps in their performance, it can be easy to identify that WFH does not work, perhaps your Employee cannot meet your and your current short term or long terms plans, as a business owner you know how your business needs to operate, you should know where your Employees perform and are the most productive and when this is not happening you must act upon it.
What are the top reasons your Employees want to WFH?
Are your Employees more productive at home?
Many Employees believe they are more productive working from home, it could be that they feel in the office there are distractions, phones ringing, the doorbell ringing, even colleagues chatting and meetings taking place.
On the face of it that all could be true, but idle distractions do not need to be reciprocated, phones, meetings, and communicating with others are undoubtedly part of their role?
When referring to distractions much the same can be said for WFH, I am pretty sure phones and doorbells still ring, in fact, most of which are not work-related, thus causing these unwanted distractions. On top of which idle chatter from friends, family, and pets can cause the same, of course, unless your Employee is extremely organised, efficient, and above all proficient, it can have a detrimental effect on both productivity and performance.
In a nutshell, office working can be the most productive place to work and if your Employee is not organised, efficient and above all proficient in-home working it can lead to a detriment in productivity.
Is the work-life balance risking your business?
Along with the Coronavirus Pandemic, your Employees may have changed their way of family living, some may have changed to home-schooling and have embraced the new workday routines, many have become new parents and with this want to take responsibility for the day-day care of their new children, the same may be for ones with elderly family members, your Employees may now want to take more of an active part in their lives.
Not forgetting the ones who purchased pets during the pandemic, those pets will have become part of the family with Employees reluctant to leave them home alone, the same can be said for Employees with existing pets, they may have become more accustomed to being with them.
It may be that your Employees have moved home, for some due to downsizing homes or personal choices, in any case, this may now be proving to be problematic with location and travel plans.
Finally, not forgetting that your Employees will find it more convenient at home, cleaning, cooking, nipping to the shops, popping the laundry in, even a bit of lunch out with the family are all now options throughout the working day.
We can see the benefits to WFH, but just how does this fit in with their role, objectives, productivity, performance, and most certainly driving your business forward, it may be that WFH has been viewed and driven as a benefit but it can be detrimental when it is taken out of context, as we can see when it is used to manage a work-life balance to this extent it can damage productivity and performance to the extent it can place not just your Employees role at risk but your profits.
Is the commute really a good enough reason?
It can be true that many of your Employees do not want to commute to their place of work, this was one of the top reasons for the Great Resignation 2021, on balance if your Employee can demonstrate they have the relevant skills, knowledge, experience, attitude, and behaviours and they want to WFH for the right reasons then the commute should not be the reason, it should be that they want to be productive and reach the performance level that they are capable of in their current role.
Some Employers have consulted with their Employees in relation to pay, whilst this may have caused controversy over cost savings for your Employee, they there to be made and not just the savings in their daily commute, on food on breakfast, lunches and coffee breaks, office attire clothing and other associated costs, whilst not a popular subject with Employees they cannot have it both ways, as Employer overheads must still be met, and with the ever-growing demand for hybrid approach office spaces are still a requirement.
Is the Burnout from Covid and Lockdown/s a reason?
There are other reasons for Employee departures in the workplace, Covid has taken its toll on many people, many believe they have been taken advantage of rightly or wrongly, some Employees believe they should have been furloughed or at least offered the opportunity to be.
Before Covid-19, many of us thought remote working sounded blissful. Now, Employees, when all is said and done are in essence social beings, meaning that once again they have yearned across the world long for chats by the coffee machine, eye contact with others, face-face meetings, the whirr of printers, drinks after work and even the commute.
We hear the words ‘burnout’ being used, again would this not then refer back to the Employees themselves, how the role is managed, how organised, efficient and above all proficient they are, WFH is no mean feat and it takes determination to achieve the desired outcomes, whilst it sounds like a dream it isn’t, all too often a blame culture can be placed online/HR managers, this may be that the Employee has not been communicated with, supported, there has been a lack of communication, the list goes on; WFH is a two-way process, it most certainly should not be an option for all, line/HR managers do play a part in WFH but ultimately in this grown-up world of work then your Employees should take accountability for their own roles.
Should I be concerned about Mental Health?
One aspect not mentioned above is the mental health and of course the general well-being of your Employees, pre-pandemic we all should be aware that mental health was at an all-time high, I do not say this lightly, but we are now at a crisis point, admittedly, it is reported daily, it is also a fact that our clients are genuinely concerned for their Employees.
Covid has had a devastating impact on lives, I am not even touching the surface here of our working day; so, considering how Covid may have impacted your Employees, you may then begin to understand how they feel about the work in general.
How this then relates to WFH versus being in the office can vary vastly, the only way to identify this is to speak openly with each of your Employees, I would strongly recommend the assistance of a qualified and practicing Mental Health Provider, they are invaluable to your business and your Employees, pre-pandemic for any Employee with pre-existing mental health or general wellbeing concern was difficult enough, help and support is needed now.
If you believe, or feel you have no concerns in your workplace with either Mental Health, general wellbeing and or providing any type of support to your Employee then I would seriously urge you to re-think this sentence, it takes 2 minutes to ask someone if they are ok, the chances are they are not; you are not expected to know the answers or even fix your Employees problems, you are there to just signpost them to relevant the help.
I will leave it with you. You could literally save someone’s life.
Have you got new starters joining you?
On a much brighter note, it may be that you have new starters joining you in 2022, if this is the case then why not get off to a positive start, take a read of our recent posts, in one we cover induction https://canine.brandgasm.co.uk/the-importance-of-a-an-effective-induction-in-your-workplace/
and we also cover the importance of requesting references https://canine.brandgasm.co.uk/are-employment-references-always-necessary/
We strongly suggest you cover both of these areas as part of your induction/onboarding to ensure you are covering all areas.
What do we predict in 2022?
It is unfortunate that 2021 has seen many resignations, or is it? Having had recent attrition we don’t really believe so, it is my considered opinion that if you have an Employee that has, is, or will resign it is purely their choice to do so.
I say this with an advisory warning…..so long as you can demonstrate you have provided your Employee with the tools to carry out their role in the appropriate manner, provided them with adequate support, learning, and development opportunities along with the expectations set out at the beginning of their appointment (or review period), you have treated them with respect, acted fairly and consistently then let them move on, ultimately Employees will bring undue pressure, cause upheaval, create a toxic culture, damage your brand and your profits.
Let them leave, be happy, move to pastures new and you can embrace new beginnings.
Let us all see what 2022 brings.
How can we help you?
We are here to provide full advice, support, and guidance. We can advise in any HR or Employment Law matter: you can contact a member of our team on 0333 006 9489 or [email protected]
This article contains a general overview of information only. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon, as legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter.
HR and You Ltd, owns the copyright in this document. You must not use this document in any way that infringes the intellectual property rights in it. You may download and print this document which you may then use, for your own internal non-profit making purposes. However, under no circumstances are you permitted to use, copy, or reproduce this document with a view to profit or gain.
In addition, you must not sell or distribute this document to third parties who are not members of your organisation, whether for monetary payment or otherwise.
This document is intended to serve as general guidance only and does not constitute legal advice. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a HR and You Ltd Consultant or a member of our legal team.
In no circumstances will HR and You Ltd, or any company within HR and You Ltd be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information contained within this document or for any consequential, special or similar damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.