How would you best manage your workplace culture in light of the Great Resignation?

Drake Editorial



‘The Great Resignation, also known as the Big Quit, is an ongoing economic trend in which employees have voluntarily resigned from their jobs en masse, beginning in early 2021, primarily in the United States. Possible causes include wage stagnation amid rising cost of living, economic freedom provided by COVID-19 stimulus payments, long-lasting job dissatisfaction, and safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic.’ (Wikipedia, 2022)

According to an Employee Movement study of 1,000 Australia workers between the 30th of August and the 7th of September 2021  by Employment Hero, 40% of workers were planning to look for a new job within 6 months and 48% within 12 months. A whopping 66% of those aged 18-24 were planning on changing roles within the year. Interestingly, Victorians were 14% more likely to change roles within the year. Last year in the US, around 35 million workers are reported to have quit their jobs. Despite these seemingly stark numbers, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, when you look at the overall workforce here in Australia, we’re not experiencing the great resignation. According to Josh Frydenberg, what we’re rather experiencing here is ‘the great reshuffle’. Data from the ABS suggests that each year, approximately 1 million Austraians leave their job. Furthermore, almost 1.1 million Australians left their jobs between February 2020 and February 2021  which is on par with what we’ve seen in previous years. It’s important to remember that leaving and changing jobs is a sign of a healthy, well-functioning labour market and to an extent, it should be welcomed.

Despite individuals having their own reasons for wanting to move on, we’re seeing patterns that are driving these decisions. 

  1. Opportunity - short and longer-term work opportunity is becoming more and more important to workers. Without ample opportunity for growth, development and promotion, workers are more likely to seek alternate work.
  2. Work-life balance - remote work or a hybrid working arrangement  have been the norm for many workers over the last two years. According to a recent Forbes article, workers are serious about quitting in search of more flexible working conditions.
  3. Pay - 47% of workers want a pay increase, with 20% wanting a bonus or introduction to a bonus pay scheme. 
  4. Workplace culture - in large organisations, poor workplace culture was a primary driver for high levels of staff turnover. 

At Drake WorkWise,  we’re  interested in a healthy workplace culture. Despite Australia not officially experiencing the great resignation, change is taking place in organisations which can negatively  impact workplace culture and in turn, employee satisfaction, engagement and productivity levels. Results from our recent poll on LinkedIn revealed that 48% of respondents believe that fostering open communication is key to managing workplace culture in light of the great resignation, and that 21% would opt to carry out team building activities, and 15% would draw upon mental health support services as well as 15% would focus on the role of leadership in influencing systemic change from the top down. 

The assumption  is that all four strategies can greatly contribute to a more healthy workplace culture, fostering an environment for workers to thrive in. Success in general, whether in personal or professional relationships, is built on mutual respect, trust and open communication. Team building activities are a great way to help workers get to know one another and build relationships, which is so important to effective teamwork and collaboration. We firmly believe in the role that leaders play in workplace culture. Leaders are in a highly influential role and therefore must practice what they preach and take responsibility for the health and wellness of their workforce. After all, they are the influencers of change. Finally, mental health support services are fundamental to individuals, teams and organisational wellbeing. Through effective wellbeing solutions, workers can be sure to get the support that they need during difficult times. Building a positive workplace culture is more successful with a healthy workforce

If you’re looking to combat the effects of the great resignation or rather the great reshuffle in your workplace, or would simply like to work on your workplace culture, contact the Drake WorkWise team to find out how we can help. 



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