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John Kelleher

John Kelleher

19th Feb 2024

Webinar Insights

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From Great Resignation to Great Reimagination: An Irish Perspective – Webinar Insights

IMI Members recently had the chance to join a highly informative webinar, hosted in partnership with Deloitte. We heard from Jon Kelleher and Anusha Monga, who are Managers on the Deloitte Human Capital Team. Deloitte has recently undertaken a report of Gen Z and Millennial workers, across a number of countries. In this article, we’ll share some key insights from the webinar.

The world of work is constantly changing and reinventing itself. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve come to understand that work will never be the same again, and additional factors like the war in Ukraine, inflation, and the energy crisis have continued to influence ways of working this year.

A global shift in worker values and expectations

Covid gave workers the unique opportunity to pause and consider what was important to them. For example, the focus has shifted to time with family, a change in values, new career goals, and people looking to avoid long commutes, low wages, and burnout.

This year alone, 4.25 million people in the US quit their jobs. That’s up from 3.3 million in 2021. So, who is leaving? Resignations are highest amongst mid-career workers (aged 30 – 45 years); women; and people of colour.

41% of the global workforce were likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next year. With 4 in 10 Gen-Z workers planning to quit their jobs in 2022, better flexibility, greater opportunities for advancement, and purposeful culture were cited amongst the top reasons. Looking forward, 56% of Gen-Z and 40% of millennials in Ireland would like to leave their job within the next two years, with almost a third of Gen-Z being willing to leave their job without another one lined up.

65% of workers said that the pandemic has made them re-think the value of their job, and workers believe they have more agency than ever when it comes to securing a new job.

The push for flexibility is a key driver. 75% of Gen-Z and 76% of millennials would prefer a hybrid working pattern. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that this is equitable. New generations are pursuing non-traditional work, like start-ups and gig work.

An Irish Perspective

From an Irish perspective, cost of living concerns are key, followed by mental health factors, workplace culture, and career progression opportunities and rewards.

From the standpoint of the organisation, there is a need to do more to prevent burnout. Unsurprisingly, there is still a stigma around mental health, with around half of Gen-Z and Millennials not feeling comfortable talking to their direct managers about mental health concerns. On top of this, the time they are taking off due to anxiety-related issues is increasing.

People in senior positions are also now rejecting jobs based on their personal values. For example, only 20% of respondents in the Deloitte survey believe that their organisations are committed to environmental causes, like sustainability.

So how can organisations work towards flipping the Great Resignation to the Great Reimagination? The answer falls into three pillars: work, the workforce, and the workplace.

Benefits are changing with the times

When it comes to work, the key is to re-focus by optimising processes, eliminating low priority work, and re-designing towards achieving new outcomes. In terms of the workforce, organisations should explore new talent pipelines, leverage workforce ecosystems, create new opportunities for existing employees, and work towards re-skilling the workforce. Finally, organisations should work towards improving both the physical and digital workspace, and focus on culture and collaboration by bringing staff together to create the right environment for work.

At a more granular level, organisations should think slightly out of the box. For example by introducing more relevant perks like paid family leave, home office stipends, or childcare assistance funds. When it comes to skills and training, organisations should look at the human skills needed to develop leadership potential and eliminate entry-level qualifications which are not longer relevant to the job at hand.

When we talk about a workforce ecosystem, organisations need to rethink their workforce strategy to explore untapped talent. Allowing workers to flex their skills leads to stronger performance and higher satisfaction amongst the staff members. Furthermore, the physical and digital workplace should be designed to facilitate automated or completely remote tasks. Technology should be implemented in ways that work towards specific goals, rather than for the sake of it.

Leadership also has to shift in this new world of work. In years gone by, leadership would require identifying a problem, assessing for gaps and building a solution to fill those gaps. Nowadays, leaders need to understand where you are and where you need to go, lead in an adaptive way, and innovate and maximise long-term value through strategic partnerships.

In summary, it can be said that a paradigm shift is occurring – and if organisations don’t move with the times, they’ll be stuck with the great resignation, rather than moving forwards to the great reimagination.

IMI Corporate members can enjoy access to webinars, in-person events and other benefits. You can find out more about Corporate Membership here.

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