Professionals combat rising

As a Human Resources professional, you likely remember the widespread conversations about the “Great Resignation” that were commonplace in 2021. Even though this topic has been brought up less frequently over the last couple years, the fact is that the Great Resignation never ended.

PageGroup recently conducted a global study of just under 70,000 professionals to create our annual Talent Trends report. One of the more surprising facts we found was that here in the U.S., 2022 saw nearly three times as many resignations as in 2021. And since we also found that 48% of our respondents reported that they were actively looking for a job, we can expect that this trend will not slow down in 2023.

So, if you’ve noticed that attrition rates in your organization are rising, you are not alone. We believe that this is all due to a wider and permanent cultural shift amongst the workforce, which we are calling “The Invisible Revolution.” 

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But what does that mean for you, and what can be done?

The Cultural Shift Leading to a Less Engaged Workforce

Whether they’re actively seeking a new role or not, we’ve found that employees across the board are becoming less engaged with work. Ever since the start of the pandemic, many people have been replacing the emotional benefits of passion, belonging, and purpose that they derived from their jobs with more apt and real-life substitutes, such as their families, friends, and communities.

This means that their relationship with work is much more transactional, leading to a lack of loyalty to their employers. In fact, 82% of people are now open to a new opportunity. If their employers are not fulfilling their needs, they will not hesitate to go elsewhere, regardless of the economic climate.

This is one of the reasons we’re seeing such a distinct rise in attrition.

Through our study, we found that one of the key shifts in mindset that employers may not fully understand is the level of importance now placed on work-life balance. It is well-documented that work-life balance has become more important over the last few years, but the exact extent of this is noteworthy. Nearly half of our respondents said they would reject a promotion if they thought it would have a negative effect on their well-being. They also ranked work-life balance more important than salary to overall job satisfaction.

With this top of mind, we have defined a “Work-Life Balance Equation” to provide some clarity around exactly what professionals are looking for from their employers. The components of this “equation” are salary, flexibility, and career progression.

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Adapting to the Changing Needs of Employees

It may seem like both current and prospective employees want it all, and that is true to an extent. But attraction and retention do not fully rely on loading up an offer with an inflated salary and unlimited vacation time. It’s all about striking a balance.

Our results show that offering competitive salaries, flexibility, and opportunities for career progression is the most effective way to appeal to today’s workforce. These three elements are absolutely essential, and only focusing on one of them is a mistake that could cost you your best talent. For example, if an employee has a salary well above market rate, but doesn’t see room for advancement or isn’t offered the autonomy to adjust their hours or where they work from, they will still leave; the salary won’t be sufficient reason for them to stay.

In some ways, this is good news. Companies, of course, do not have unlimited budgets for payroll and benefits. So, being able to offer things like flexibility and clear career paths which do not put as heavy a strain on resources may be within reach. 

Leveraging This Data to Improve Processes

With all of this change, it’s clear that there is a lot of pressure on HR professionals right now. Attrition is simply a reality that needs to be navigated along with a challenging, candidate-short hiring market. 

There are resources to help you, however. Whether you need to bring on temporary support, look into an outsourcing model, or work with a recruiter like us. The right recruitment partner can help you to utilize these insights and more in order to help you run a smooth hiring process. You can reach out to us today to start a conversation about possible solutions with one of our expert recruitment consultants.

You can also download our full Talent Trends 2023 report, “The Invisible Revolution,” today to dive deeper into the data around this phenomenon, as well as our recommendations to help you navigate the changing attitudes of the workforce.

Download the full report

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