The Great Resignation is a phenomenon that has been widely featured in the news cycle for the last year. It has been reported that over a million workers left the workforce after the pandemic and 85% of UK businesses said that it has affected them.
But why is this happening? And as inflation bites and pressure on disposable income grows, what can we do as hiring managers to ensure we have enough cover and that the people we do have on payroll want to stay?
Employment feels less secure post-pandemic
In many ways we are coming to terms with a post-pandemic world, our experiences through the pandemic have reshaped the lives we want to live and revealed to us the importance of a work / life balance. The blue-collar industry, which must mainly operate onsite, experienced an extremely turbulent change during the pandemic. Many workers were placed on furlough as they were not able to go into work, or needed to go in when they did not feel particularly safe working on minimum capacity; some were let go entirely.
Interestingly the BBC reported that blue-collar workers are leaving their employment in favour of entry-level positions elsewhere in offices or warehouses, actually with less pay but more benefits, upward mobility, and compassion. Plus, not forgetting, the ability to work from home which now adds an additional level of job security.
Expectations of benefits are higher
For most people, work is now more than just a pay packet. Employees expect a workplace culture and environment where they feel valued. The Guardian reported that blue-collar workers are particularly motivated to change jobs, even with only marginally better financial offers but more focus on benefits.
It has come to the point where companies need to invest in their employees or risk falling behind. But what tangible actions can employers take to create this environment for their employees?
Flexibility has become a trigger word for candidates when looking for new positions. If you can create an environment where your employees feel like they have flexible working, then you’re winning. This can be in the form of allowing them to choose which shifts work for them, having cover in place for unexpected time off to care for family members, and transparent annual leave policies.
Companies can facilitate this internally by ensuring they forecast potential absences during busy periods such as the summer holiday or Christmas. Also, working with a recruitment agency such as Thrive means that you can tag in temp workers if you ever find yourself understaffed.
According to a new poll commissioned by leading UK employee benefits provider Unum, it is estimated that more than 6 million people in the UK workforce — over 1 in 5 workers — are juggling dual caring responsibilities for children and elderly relatives and these numbers are expected to grow.
Most families now have two working parents, therefore any consideration that employers can make for childcare is also a huge plus. It’s a headache for most parents juggling school drop off and pick up or unexpected absences having to take care of poorly children. For those with children too young to go to school it’s also a case of paying for childcare support which eats into the benefit of working for a wage.
As well as considering the flexibility previously discussed to elect shifts around school times or provide cover for last-minute absences, some employers are starting to offer ‘childcare vouchers’ as part of their benefits package which helps to take some of the financial and logistical strain off parents.
3. Mental health support
If the last few years have taught us anything it’s that mental health is not something we can ignore. 31% of employers have seen team burnout which comes from all the stressors mentioned already, and while tackling the causes of stress such as lack of flexibility and childcare are key to reducing burnout, establishing a culture that prioritises good mental health sets a company precedent to ask for help if you are struggling.
Many companies are now offering mental health support as part of their benefits package, and when you work with Thrive your employees get access to the Thrive Benefits app which provides access to free counselling, a 24/7 GP and more.
How Thrive can help you as a client
Flexible, effective workforces are at the heart of what we provide at Thrive. We specialise in the essential work of the manufacturing, warehousing, logistics and commercial sectors.
From the strategic to the short term, we help clients deliver their capability & perform at their best, through workforce recruitment, management & planning.
To find out how we could support your business and empower your company to offer a more complete benefits package, please get in touch.