As if a deadly virus, massive supply chain issues, and a year of brutal isolation weren’t enough, there is yet another disruptive force accompanying the pandemic into 2021. The year after The Year of Covid is so far turning out to be one of market uncertainty, labor shortages, and mass resignations. This April, American employers experienced nearly 4 million quits and the highest resignation rate in over 20 years. 2021 may just be remembered as the year of “The Great Resignation.” At least, it will be if employers don’t make important adjustments to their organizational structure and practices.
The Great Resignation of 2021
On the heels of the largest economic collapse in the modern era, it’s difficult to imagine the circumstance where millions of people would voluntarily leave their jobs in such a setting. But that’s exactly what we’re seeing. Retail employees, manufacturers, and hospitality workers are logical casualties of this movement, given the stop-and-go effects of rolling lockdowns on their employment. However, even high-skilled labor like software developers and nurses are leaving their current roles in search of greener, more fulfilling pastures.
Before executives, management, and HR can begin to address this issue, it’s important to understand some of the antecedent factors contributing to The Great Resignation of 2021.
A Lack of Trust
According to a research study of enterprise behavior during the pandemic, nearly one-third of the over 300 large-scale corporations surveyed were likely to reduce their workforce in the face of reduced business demand. With this as a backdrop, it becomes much less surprising why many employees are choosing to leave their employers at a time where job security seems to be highly jeopardized. CPOs and other executives consistently displayed a lack of investment in their employees throughout the pandemic and employees are now returning the favor.
A Paradigm Shift
There are countless stories of professionals of all age demographics realizing that they need to shift gears during the pandemic. Teachers who are now industrial designers and career-commuters who come fully remote workers are just a few of the anecdotes you’ll find while investigating this en masse career change.
One of the primary reasons behind these transitions is the paradigm shift resulting from extended bouts of remote work, prolonged isolation, and stop-and-go employment. The global workforce, particularly those in the middle of their careers, are hearing the call of the Coronavirus’s economic disruption and are using it to spur large-scale career transitions.
A Call for Leadership
Mark Cuban gave a prescient warning to other enterprise employers early on in the pandemic, warning executives not to rush their employees back into the office. “How companies respond to that very question is going to define their brand for decades.”
This level of foresight and understanding appears to be in short order, as many ex-employees cite a lack of strong leadership as a reason for leaving their positions. While that term may seem ambiguous to some, it’s crucial that enterprise management and executives understand the concept. Creating a healthy work environment, motivating employees, and mentoring growing professionals are just a few of the important contributions leaders make towards the retention of employees. The Great Resignation is a prime example of how many enterprise environments lack quality leaders and mentors.
So, How Can You Stop Your Top Talent From Leaving?
It’s well documented that employees who engage with their work and workplace are more likely to stay with a company than those who are unmotivated, or worse, burnt out. This is as true for hourly workers as it is for those in skilled, salary positions.
A newer concept, employee experience (EX), is also helpful for explaining why millions of people have left their employer this year. Similar to customer experience, EX refers to the ways in which a company provides for the basic needs, personal growth, and career development of their employees, among other deliverables. Enterprise CPOs and HR representatives need to flip the script and start asking how they can better serve their employees to successfully retain top talent during this widespread shake-up.
The increasing percentage of remote and hybrid-remote departments within the enterprise structure certainly makes improving employee engagement and experience more challenging. Providing quality leadership, driving engagement, and improving employee experience are generally thought of as an in-person process. However, with the development of powerful mentorship platforms, enterprise CPOs and leaders can provide all the guidance and professional training necessary to retain top talent.
Mentoring Software—The Key to Retention in the Remote Work Era
Mentoring programs allow companies to implement a comprehensive, custom platform for their career development initiatives. These portals remove the traditional geographic constraints of one-to-one mentorship, essentially expanding the pool of mentors to a global level. Enterprises can leverage this technology to pair their employees with the perfect in-house or external mentor, improving the efficacy of the process.
Mentoring software not only demonstrates an investment from the company towards the improvement of employee experience but also optimizes the professional development process. Cutting-edge functionality like AI matching, scheduling prompts and automation, and progress tracking ensure that employees get the most from enterprise mentorship programming. This culminates in vast improvement on the traditional outcomes and ROI of career development investments while meshing perfectly with the workflows and processes of the modern-day distributed organization.
If you’re interested in learning more about how mentoring software can improve the engagement and overall experience of your employees—and stemming the loss of top talent during The Great Resignation of 2021—reach out to the experts at MentorCloud today. You’ll learn more about our comprehensive enterprise platform that is currently used by over 100,000 professionals across 170 countries. From a career change coach to seasoned industry experts, MentorCloud helps connect employees with the perfect guide for their journey of professional growth.