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February 14, 2023

How The Great Resignation Has Evolved

The Great Resignation isn’t over. Despite recent high-profile layoffs and worries of a recession, quit rates are still high. Skilled workers are in demand and many are willing to leave companies that don’t provide the compensation or work environment that they want. As the Great Resignation continues to evolve, employers should consider adjusting their employee benefits.

Record Quit Rates

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says quit rates and job openings reached record highs in 2021. In November 2021, there were 4.5 million quits and in December 2021, there were 11.4 million job openings.

Since then, quit rates have fallen somewhat. In June 2022, BLS data shows there were around 4.3 million quits. By July 2022, this figure dropped further to around 4.1 million. Some industries – including accommodation and food services, professional and business services, and retail trade – have especially high quit rates. As a result, some businesses are struggling with staffing shortages.

The Quiet Quitting Trend

Amid the Great Resignation, another trend took shape: quiet quitting. According to Investopedia, the term describes workers who decide to put no more effort than is necessary into their jobs. They do the bare minimum required of them and won’t take on extra projects or volunteer to stay late. If something is not in their job description or not absolutely required, they don’t do it.

A Gallup poll found that at least 50% of U.S. workers could be considered quiet quitters.

This could be cause for alarm, as companies will suffer from lost productivity. A Venture Beat article even warns that quiet quitting could lead to cybersecurity risks if employees are less careful about avoiding phishing schemes.

On the other hand, workers argue they’re paid to do a particular job and fulfilling their duties should be enough. If their employers want them to take on more responsibilities or work longer hours, they should change the job description and provide a raise.

After the stress of the pandemic, many workers may simply have had enough. The American Psychological Association says burnout and stress have reached all-time highs. In the 2021 Work and Well-being Survey, 79% of employees said they had experienced work-related stress in the last month and close to three in five said they were experiencing a lack of interest, emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue, or other negative impacts of work-related stress.

The Impact of Layoffs and Economic Concerns

Recently, there have been some high-profile layoffs, especially in the tech industry. With rising inflation and talk about the possibility of a global recession, some workers might be worrying about job security, which could convince them to work harder and stay put – although it might not.

Quit rates have slowed, but many workers are still suffering from burnout. At the same time, wages haven’t necessarily kept up with inflation, meaning some workers might decide they need to switch jobs to improve their finances.

According to Workhuman, 36.4% of workers say they’re planning to quit in 2023.

What Do Workers Want?

The Great Resignation may be slowing, but with so many workers still planning to quit, employers need to assess their retention strategies. Optimizing your benefits package to meet the needs of today’s workforce should be a major part of your strategy. Workers want:

  • Fair compensation. With the cost of living rising, workers can’t afford to be underpaid. Whereas increasing salaries may be a simple option, increasing benefits can be more cost effective.
  • Financial security. Many workers are stressed about money – in particular, the pandemic has shown how life can change fast. A benefits package that includes a retirement plan as well as a health savings account, life insurance, and other insurance products can help workers take control of their financial futures.
  • Flexibility and a work–life balance. Whether or not your employees are working remotely, flexibility is huge. Time off, flexible schedules, and childcare benefits can help workers achieve a better work–life balance.
  • Mental health support. Stress can be a serious problem, and workers are speaking up about it more. Employers can help by fostering a healthy and supportive work environment. The right benefits can also help; for example, you can offer remote therapy benefits and an employee assistance program.

Can Your Employee Benefit Package Take on the Great Resignation?

One way to address challenging employment trends is by updating your employee benefit package. See how Heffernan Insurance Brokers can help.

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