The last few months have seen a new emerging trend as great as last year’s rapid transition to remote work: The Great Resignation—a phenomenon where employees are voluntarily resigning from their current positions in record numbers. Many businesses around the world are experiencing a resignation boom, but why are people suddenly quitting? To better understand what many employers are going through right now, I’ll be sharing some statistics on the Great Resignation of 2021. You’ll find some really surprising statistics here that we, as Ergonomics Consultants, need to know in order to position ourselves in the best way possible.

A Look at The Great Resignation

There’s no doubt that the pandemic changed the work landscape in 2020. With the rise of work-from-home arrangements amid the pandemic, many predicted that there’s going to be an increase of pain and injuries occurring from working in “less-than-ideal” situations, such as doing work at the kitchen counter or on the couch or sitting hunched over a laptop for hours. That prediction held true. From anecdotal evidence, there’s been an increase in Workers’ Compensation Claims due to work-from-home injuries. While remote work is a huge part of the conversation around the new normal, there’s a looming trend that employers should also be paying attention to: the Great Resignation.

Coined in 2019 by an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, Anthony C. Klotz, the Great Resignation (also known as the ‘Big Quit’) describes the ongoing trend of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs post-pandemic. The number is actually staggering: more than 34 million American employees have resigned from their jobs this year, according to the latest data from the US Labor Department. The resignation peaked in April, just around the time the economy began to recover, but the trend seems to be picking up speed for the last few months. The latest data from the US Labor Department shows that 4.4 million people resigned in September, up from 4.3 million in August. 

One important thing to note is that companies in different industries have a great difference in turnover rates. A recent study from the Harvard Business Review had found that the tech and healthcare industries are seeing the most resignations this year, while the manufacturing and finance sectors are only noticing a slight decline. Resignations increased by 4.5% in tech, and 3.6% more healthcare employees quit their jobs compared to last year. 

What’s Driving the High Resignation Rate?

As Ergonomics Consultants, we earn our bread and butter by identifying the root cause of ergonomics-related challenges. Whether you’ve been pulled into a system-wide process to ensure that the employee is optimized at every level, or you’re more on a one-to-one client assessor basis, we’re paid to solve our clients’ problems. With regard to the resignation boom, it seems to be caused by a variety of factors. Some state that the reason why employees are resigning is simply that they want to shift to a different career path altogether. 

Others also say that the demanding remote work led employees to reconsider their priorities, resulting in some looking for more pay, balance, and flexibility in their work. This comes as no surprise as resignation rates were higher among employees working in fields that had seen a sharp increase in demand during the pandemic, including healthcare and tech, likely due to increased workloads and burnout. Many companies, largely in the US, are feeling the effects of this wave of resignation. 

Fast facts, by the numbers:

  • 73% of 380 employers in North America were having difficulty attracting employees, and 70% expect this difficulty to persist into 2022. 
  • 46% of full-time employed U.S. adults are either actively looking for or considering a new job search. 
  • The unemployment rate declined to 4.6% from 4.8% in September, which means that employees now have the upper hand.

Looking at the numbers, it seems that there’s been a shift in the employment scene. The high resignation rate has turned the tables from having been an employer’s market to being an employee's market, and with more than 10 million jobs open right now, employers have no choice but to respond to it or risk losing their top employees. This is where ergonomics and our services come in.

Turn the Great Resignation Into A Great Opportunity

During the pandemic, many workers have the opportunity to figure out what type of work environment they prefer. Some even considered leaving their positions if their current job doesn’t support their well-being. Employers now need to put more effort into convincing their current and would-be workers why they should stay or join their organizations. Now that skilled workers are more demanding, many employers are forced to get creative proactively or reactively. Some companies are raising their salaries, offering new benefits to support employees’ personal and professional development, and giving employees flexible working options. 

There are several steps employers can take to mitigate the impact of resignations, but one key strategy is making sure that employees are getting the RIGHT ergonomic equipment, and are cared for so that injuries can be avoided. There’s so much value in having this conversation with employers.

Using this information today and communicating the benefits of your services when talking to your clients is OFTEN all you need to move forward. Why? Because many companies are SCRAMBLING to retain and attract workers. Ergonomics is a non-negotiable going forward for many employers. They certainly need, want, and desire our services, but they have to understand it in a way that really resonates with them.

So the question now is: As someone who wants to target those employers who are trying to make an ideal employee experience, how would you describe your services? 

The Great Resignation has revealed a lot about the importance of employee wellness. This is why reaching out to our clients during this time is important. The Great Resignation presents a huge opportunity for us to market to employers and leave a positive impact on that organization. I really believe that what we can offer is so valuable. It just comes down to how we market our services. 

I’d like to invite you to a three-part LIVE training that I’m doing on December 2, 2021. You’ll learn how to market your ergonomic business effectively and find paying clients by attending. Sign up here for free. 

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