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30 Nov 2021

REPORT: 4 in 10 of us see work future away from current employer

REPORT: 4 in 10 of us see work future away from current employer

REPORT: 4 in 10 of us see work future away from current employer

Irish employers could see increasing numbers of workers quitting their jobs en masse, with pay and perks no longer enough to retain talent amid the “great resignation”, the chief executive of employee benefit and workforce management platform Eppione has warned.

David Kindlon said the instability of the COVID-19 pandemic led those working to stay in their jobs. However, with confidence returning as vaccination rates rise, and economies gradually open back up, people are on the hunt again.

He commented, “Recruitment is becoming an employee’s market, and the volume of roles available gives workers more options, allowing them to select the business with the best offering. Furthermore, after 18 months of working from their own homes, many people don’t want to go back to the office full-time.”

Some 40% of respondents to a survey of around 1,000 Irish employees by the University of Limerick’s Kemmy Business School said they agreed or strongly agreed that ‘my future career lies outside of this organisation’. This was regardless of whether they worked in multinationals, indigenous Irish companies, SMEs or the public sector.

The survey found that 41% of managers, 24% of site leaders, 39% of regional leaders and 19% of global leaders based in Ireland also feel their future lies outside of their current organisation.

Mr Kindlon said businesses that fail to prioritise employee wellbeing, professional development and company culture could see employees leave in their droves in search of an employer that better meets their needs – and struggle to recruit new talent to the business.

“It’s crucial that businesses focus on becoming an employer of choice in order to sustain operations and accelerate growth as economies recover from the disruption of the pandemic.”

While competitive pay and generous perks are key to employee satisfaction and retention, he said flexibility and the ability to make a meaningful contribution to the job is just as important.

“Multiple studies have shown that, more than ever, traditional office-based workers want a better work-life balance. That means flexible, remote or hybrid working to allow them to manage their professional and personal responsibilities in a way that benefits both their wellbeing and productivity.”

“It means offering tangible, valuable employee benefits that put employee wellbeing at the forefront – so less of the ping pong tables, more of the competitive pension contributions and annual leave allowances. And it means nurturing a more positive company culture, in which the right to disconnect is respected – and so are employees.”

He said the true impact of the great resignation remains to be seen, but employers who take the possibility of mass resignations and stifled recruitment lightly will surely bear the brunt of this once-in-a-generation phenomenon as we move into 2022.

“Losing employees can be very costly. If multiple employees leave within a short time frame, depending on your company size you could be hit with huge costs as well as stifled growth while you backfill positions.”

There are a number of ways that companies can retain and engage current employees. These include offering a competitive mix of employee benefits with tangible value – such as enhanced pension payments, health insurance, above-statutory annual leave allowances, and flexible working to support employees’ work-life balance and wellbeing. Offering routes for career progression, either through promotion opportunities or by enabling employees to move to a different area of the business where desired and appropriate are also options.

Mr Kindlon said the great resignation is both a threat and an opportunity for businesses in a wide range of industries.

“While some businesses could see employees leave due to a number of contributing factors, employers with a competitive offering could see an increase in the talent available to bring into their teams.”

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