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After The Great Resignation, Here Comes The Great Reshuffle: 5 Ways To Deal

After The Great Resignation, Here Comes The Great Reshuffle: 5 Ways To Deal

The Current situation 

The past two years were nothing short of turbulent if you own or manage a business. Following the Great Resignation, and now, the Great Reshuffle, we can now look back with certainty to assess the impact that this pandemic has brought to our businesses before confronting our challenges in recovering from this period. 

Survival of the fittest

38% of businesses have voluntarily closed during the height of the pandemic. Several of these were in vulnerable industries such as tourism, food, and hospitality. According to an ADB study, this impact made the Philippines suffer economic losses anywhere between a quarter to 2.5 trillion pesos.

Companies that survived pivoted to strategies to maximize shrinking profits or take advantage of opportunities during the pandemic.

According to JobStreet's study:

  • 40% of companies postponed promotions 

  • 35% asked their staff to take unpaid leaves

  • 30% required to reduce working hours

  • 25% needed to redeploy staff to different roles or other branches. 

The most significant change was the pivot towards remote work, where 57% of total employees from all industries were required to work from home. In addition, many companies invested in digital technology to secure data and shifted their budget to run their marketing and operations online.

As of 2022, however, the situation seems to be improving. This is due to increased vaccination rates among the population and a decreasing number of overall infections and mortality. However, a new kind of "problem" quickly moved to the forefront--substantial numbers of employees have been resigning en masse.

It's a significant setback for companies looking to recover from the pandemic impact on their businesses. 

Microsoft's recently-released Work Trend Index report "Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work" notes that 46% of those that have resigned or considered changing employers within this year came from the Millennial and Gen-Z age group.

Before we look for avenues to resolve the issue, we must first appreciate what is going on to get a better understanding, both from a hirer and from an employee perspective: 

What is The Great Resignation? 

Professor Clotz of Texas A&M University predicted May 2021 as the beginning of this exodus. A July 2021 survey by Business Mirror shares the highest labor attrition rate in a decade. The second quarter of 2020 reflected a 12% surge in separation. This is in comparison to Q1 2020's 11.11%, an equally staggering number. Further breakdown of the percentage saw that about 80% were employee-initiated resignations. 

What brought about these resignations? Despite a shift in working from home, 48% of employees recognized that they were clocking in significant hours beyond what was expected--this is on top of taking on more domestic responsibilities.  

More than ever, there was also increased pressure to reach targets for the organization to stay afloat. This includes carrying a greater workload, and managing expectations from managers. As a result, employees resorted to re-evaluating their current situation and deciding to leave their organization. 

What is the Great Reshuffle?

It started as "The Great Resignation", where droves of employees who re-evaluated their situation in the lockdown quit their jobs. However, we now know that this event is part of a greater phenomenon that includes other "Greats" that we predict could happen or is happening currently – The Reshuffle, the Onboarding, and the Retention. 

The Great Resignation vs. The Great Reshuffle Similar to the Great Resignation, the Great Reshuffle has employees reconsider their place in the organization, home, purpose, lifestyle, personal relationships, mental, financial, and material well-being. 

With even more news as we fully return to "normalcy"--that we will be ditching working remote and the perks that come with it to go commuting in traffic daily despite showing that remote work works. This has hit a nerve in the general consciousness of employees and leads to this exodus. 

However, unlike the Great Resignation anticipated, experts agree that people were not resigning and remaining unemployed to introspect on their lives for an extended period. Instead, this means that millions of people have left their jobs in search of more fulfilling roles that provide the flexibility they are looking for. 

The Great Reshuffle has also drastically changed the power dynamics between businesses and employees - High job vacancies mean that pay, benefits, and flexibility are differentiating factors for employers. 

Companies now have to compete aggressively for more attractive benefits to get the upper hand in landing top candidates. According to Tiffany Uman, a career strategy coach, "The Great Reshuffle is a perfect foundation to seize opportunities internally more strategically and intentionally than ever before."  

After years of anxiety, and overall burnout, many workers have taken the time to reassess not just their careers, but even their personal life. Overall, employees have emerged with a stronger sense of what they want from work and what they are willing to accept. 

Employees have a new equation on whether a job is "worth it or not": a surprising 67 percent of Filipino employees chose to prioritize their health and well-being over work than before the pandemic.

Hybrid work is inevitable. The past two years have proven that a pivot to working remotely is not only a viable solution during the pandemic but a way forward in how we think about what work is. According to a survey of workers by Prudential, more than 8 of 10 persons want at the very least the opportunity to work part of the week from home 

Despite this, most industry leaders – 69% in the Philippines say that they are pushing for a return to full-time face-to-face work this year, despite a global trend of only 50%. 

It leads to 46% of Filipino managers saying that this leadership is out of touch, but 81% of these identical segments say they do not have the influence or resources to drive changes for their teams.  

This leads to pushback. 

Despite this, employees are campaigning to maintain the working remote setup. In one survey, 53% of the respondents stated that they would prefer keeping the benefits of working from home even if this entails an additional 10 hours of work per week – especially since they are already doing the extra work. 

Additionally, 41% say they would accept a lower salary as long as they can move somewhere more affordable. To remain competitive, businesses must adapt to this post-pandemic trend and provide possible hybrid work models to attract and retain quality talent

What are steps to address the Great Reshuffle?

The best way to ride this phenomenon is to address the pain points. So what are the major concepts that we need to engrain in our organizations to not just survive but thrive during the Great Reshuffle?  

  • Think Positive Think of this time in history as a major opportunity for the organization. With employees reassessing their lives vis-à-vis work, so too must the company. This gives the organization unprecedented flexibility to re-evaluate the structure and goals of teams within the company. For example, during the pandemic, many organizations emphasized digital rather than brick & mortar establishments and thrived. Reshaping your teams to reflect this poses many opportunities. 

  • Invest in team skills The recent trend still holds that to move forward, one must invest in upskilling our employees. However, the downside to this is that when these said individuals do leave, they carry the learned skill with them and away from the organization. A way to mitigate this loss is to ensure that the talent is ingrained within the team and not just in the individual.  

  • Focus on retention It has already been proven in countless studies that it is hands down more expensive to hire than to maintain existing personnel in the long run. This includes the cost in training and the impact of a learning curve for individuals to adapt to their tasks. To achieve this, provide flexibility to your existing employees – no more concrete than providing a flexible work environment (WFH) proven during the pandemic. An excellent way to emphasize this is by having top management work from home and show that this is acceptable.  

  • Focus on mental health and guard against burnout  This often is the stepping stone to resignation, more than an opportunity for better pay. As it was previously noted, stress and pressure to perform may have been building up among your team, so it might be great for the individuals to "reset" where they are in the organization by cleaning out their slate for re-evaluation, without losing their position. 

  • Do not burn bridges  It would be best not to sever ties with employees, especially performing ones, even after their resignation. They may become boomerang employees who return to the organization. It is best to be seen as a nurturing team where we want them to know that we want them to learn new experiences but also that the door is always open should they choose to return. The benefit of re-hiring is that they know their way around your company, and you know what you are getting in terms of their strengths and areas of development opportunities, according to Miriam Nelson, Ph.D. 

  • Finally, create a transparent feedback culture and give company stakeholders a voice. Listen to their feedback and act upon their expressed needs. 

To know more about building a more inclusive and flexible organization, you may want to do further reading on 5 signs your company is not inclusive and how to fix it

Address the issues above, and you can expect to navigate through the Great Reshuffle phenomenon safe and sound.

Care for your employees in the same way you care about your business results. Use Talent Search to access the largest talent database in Southeast Asia and find the best candidate for the job. Visit Inspirations for more advice and insights on how you can adapt your business to face today's challenges.

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