According to a recent survey, almost half of all workers are either currently looking for a new job or plan to soon. This, coupled with the fact that 40% of Generation Z and millennials say they would quit their job because it didn’t fit with their personal life has contributed to a drastic change in the working landscape.
What is The Great Resignation?
Commonly referred to as ‘The Great Resignation’, many people believe this recent shift in working mentality has come around due to the pandemic, with healthcare workers worldwide now considering how they live and work, and what they want to achieve out of both.
As a result, job loyalty now appears to be a thing of the past, with the various lockdowns encountered over recent years greatly influencing the way in which people perceive their career choices.
The Rise of Burnout
Another key factor behind this movement is thought to be burnout – a mental health condition brought on by feelings of exhaustion and a state of continual emotional stress in the workplace.
Commonly encountered by thousands of healthcare workers around the world, research currently shows that staff burnout is on the rise; according to the workplace app Slack, work-related stress and anxiety levels among workers were at their highest levels since the start of 2020.
This, in turn, is believed to be due to the huge increase in the number of job openings currently available, with loyal employees being given more responsibilities to counteract the high staff turnover rates.
In fact, a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management recently found that 50% of American employees had been required to take on more work and responsibilities over the past year.
Similarly, statistics show that 47.8 million US workers voluntarily quit their jobs in 2021, with 40% citing burnout as the main reason for deciding to leave. This, therefore, proves how much of a contributing factor burnout is to The Great Resignation and highlights a huge issue currently faced by employees and employers alike.
What Can Be Done to Address Burnout?
Left unaddressed, the mental health effects of burnout for healthcare employees can be catastrophic, leading to potential substance abuse, heightened anxiety and an increased risk of depression.
For organisations in the medical industry, burnout can also lead to lower productivity, higher absenteeism and – you guessed it – a much higher staff turnover rate. So, is there anything that can be done to stop it in its tracks? And, ultimately, can the Great Resignation trend be reversed?
According to a survey recently conducted by Microsoft, companies are now trying to combat the issue by killing two birds with one stone, addressing the worker shortage and burnout at the same time. To do this most effectively, they are now providing added incentives to new and existing hires, including increased pay and more paid time off.
However, these incentives don’t appear to be enough on their own. According to this same survey, Generation Z and millennial workers are now looking for roles that offer a positive culture in the workplace, mental health or wellbeing benefits, flexible working hours, and more than two weeks of paid annual leave per year.
These findings also echo the results of Limeade’s survey, which reiterated the importance of remote work, flexibility and mental health support. In essence, post-pandemic employees need to feel better supported in their roles, mentally, physically and financially, in order to stem the tide of burnout’s influence on The Great Resignation.
The link between burnout in the healthcare sector and The Great Resignation is clear for all to see. But, if counteracting the issue continues to be seen as some kind of unassailable obstacle, mental health issues and staff turnover rates will only continue to rise.
Put simply, this change in working mentality is something that needs to be embraced by organisations instead of shied away from. Only those that learn, grow and rise to the challenges faced by this recent adversity will be seen to succeed over the long run.