HR has been prepared for our turn at the decision table. Now that events like the Great Resignation have propelled us there, we must seize this moment to effect real change—to truly reshape the future world of work.
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
Is the Great Resignation HR’s Moment to Effect Change?
I consistently hear from fellow CEOs that their most pressing challenge is not financial capital, but human capital. Nothing embodies this switch in business priorities more than the unprecedented surge in workers leaving their jobs: The Great Resignation (TGR).
In response, many businesses have aggressively mined the same talent pool to depletion. With so many organizations competing for too little talent, we’re experiencing widespread wage inflation. This phenomenon is borne out by SHRM data: Of organizations who have seen higher turnover in the past six months, nearly one-third have implemented new or additional employee referral bonuses in response.
Even workers content with their positions are drawn to lucrative opportunities, further exacerbating the turnover trend. According to SHRM surveys, more than half of U.S. workers say they’ve had direct colleagues voluntarily leave their organization within the past six months, encouraging many more to reconsider their options. Businesses cannot function optimally without adequately meeting their staffing needs. Moreover, understaffed businesses risk overburdening their remaining workers and further undercutting retention, portending a dangerous cycle.
The employee turnover data used to assess the health of an organization and its talent strategies is more than just numbers. It reveals why our people stay, how effectively our talent retention strategies work and whether we are meeting evolving worker needs. Sound data analysis empowers HR not just to measure attitudes about the world of work, but to shape it. SHRM provides data-driven tools, such as our report on
Surviving the Great Resignation, so our members can do more than just anticipate the effect of change; they can cause the effect.
According to job candidates, career development is the new job security. The career investments employers make in their growth and development serves them in their current position and downstream in their careers.
Also, the push for remote work, hybrid work and flexible scheduling reveals a desire for greater workplace flexibility.
Additionally, in this ultra-competitive talent market, cash remains king. Employee perks no longer carry the weight they once did. Base compensation and bonuses give workers the freedom to create their own “perks.”
Finally, businesses must fully understand the physical and mental health needs of their people. Empathy is vital to fostering this understanding. According to recent SHRM data, 93% of workers agree they would seek an empathetic company if they were seeking a job. Empathy is not a soft skill; it’s a business skill with a value proposition that the unprecedented global bidding for talent so vividly illustrates.
HR has been prepared for our turn at the decision table. Now that events like TGR have propelled us there, we must seize this moment to effect real change—to truly reshape the future world of work. It is not enough to simply be ahead of the curve; we must set the curve and cause the effect. Our business organizations are counting on it.
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCPPresident and CEO, SHRM
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Your session has expired. Please log in as a SHRM member.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred