3 Post-Pandemic Turnover Predictions and How to Start Preparing Right Now

3 Post-Pandemic Turnover Predictions and How to Start Preparing Right Now

Think back to the pre-COVID job economy—jobs and employment rates were surging past record levels while employer loyalty was hitting all-time lows in what was being aptly referred to as a “Job Seeker’s Talent Market”. Now with the vaccine rollout moving full speed ahead, and growing hope for a post-COVID-19 reality, more employees have new possibilities and jobs on their minds. According to a new study, over half of employees surveyed in North America are eyeing a new job this year.

Since the pandemic disrupted life and business-as-usual last spring, employee resignations have reached their lowest level in almost a decade. But retention experts are predicting a spike in voluntary departures this year as more team members resume the job searches they postponed among the chaos last year with more fully-remote, national options available.

So, why are experts planning for a mass exodus?

1. Demographics are changing fast. Company cultures are too.

While many put off retiring amidst the backdrop of an unprecedented, chaotic pandemic, more baby boomers will resume retirement plans as they see an opening to returning to a more normal lifestyle with the perks they’ve been missing outside of the office—family get-togethers and hugs from grandchildren. Boomers are frustrated by the limitations of the remote workforce. According to Pew Research, more than 28M boomers left the workforce in the third quarter of 2020. This trend is predicted to continue well into 2021. 

And that’s significant when you think about how just a few years ago in 2018 more than half of the generation was still actively working on hunting for work. 

Millennials make up more than half of the American workforce, and this shift is bringing a different set of values to company cultures—everywhere. The work-smarter-not-harder mind shift is the only permanent, new normal. Millennials and zennials are searching for an organization where they can make an impact while maintaining a work-life balance. 

Case in point—you’ve probably seen a meme that’s been circulating around social feeds about how people measure personal success now, compared to just a few years ago. The first pie chart for previous measures of success split of 50/50 at job title and pay. The now chart slices success into more areas outside of salary and org charts like work-life balance, respect, mental health, and happiness.

2. Employer loyalty is changing.

Along with these generational demographic shifts in the workforce, the hard, quick paradigm shift to working remotely has isolated more employees—making it more challenging to stay engaged. While burnout and Zoom fatigue increase, company loyalty is on a steady decline. More employees who feel disconnected and less engaged working from home are worried about their professional futures in an increasingly disrupted and uncertain job market. 

Team members are more concerned about their future than loyalty to companies they are feeling less and less connected to while working in a virtual vacuum. More employees are expected to give their LinkedIn profiles a refresh while looking for more lucrative opportunities elsewhere.

3. The competition is growing—nationally. 

And as if the complicated nuances of generational shifts and the decline in company loyalty weren’t enough, there’s the surge in national competitors. That’s because with the remote workforce taking hold and more companies planning on never requiring employees to return to the office again, employers are no longer limited by geography. 

As our approach to collaboration changes and more employers are downsizing on office space, more companies are ready to retire previous talent parameters tied to office locations and onsite work. That means a growing number of employers in your industry and others are entertaining a broader, more diverse, national talent pool.

So, how can you prepare for the talent exodus?

First, accept that workforce planning is going to look a lot different after the pandemic and start planning on how to identify the right talent, roles, and skills to support your business in a post-COVID-19 reality. Instead of preparing to backfill roles with the same skillsets, define and discover new skill sets that can benefit your organization moving into the future.

Next, remember to recognize your employees and their achievements. 74% of employees want more recognition from their direct managers for their work. Building a formal recognition and career development process to celebrate successes and set milestones is important to investing in your workforce and keeping them invested in your business.

And, while it might sound counter-intuitive, higher performers are usually the most susceptible to burnout. So, find ways to empower your A-players and make them feel valued and excited to be at the company. Training managers on effective professional recognition and holding them responsible for regularly recognizing team achievements is mission-critical to maintaining employee engagement and retention.

Lastly, ask for feedback and look for solutions—from employees. Listen to them, engage them with surveys on everything from company culture and events to policy changes and how you can support them working remotely. Listening and promoting engagement with regular surveys and townhalls is essential.

Let’s get connected!

At Staffing Strong, we are here to help your organization prepare for whatever comes next while identifying game-changing talent to help you level up marketing, technology, and business operations to thrive in the disruption. Drop us a line to get started.

Meet the Author

Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum set!

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