The ‘Great Resignation’ is not going anywhere.
Research by performance management vendor Lattice has found that 74% of US workers and 85% of UK employees are either actively looking or open to a new job opportunity within the next year. This data comes from a survey of more than 2,000 US workers and over 1,000 UK employees.
45% in the US and 53% in the UK are actively looking for a new job, while 29% in the US and 33% in the UK are open to new opportunities. This means that just 26% and 15% in the US and the UK respectively are not looking for a new job in the next year.
These shocking statistics beg the question – what is pushing employees to join the ‘Great Resignation’?
According to Lattice pay is the main cause in both the UK and the US. 43% of those in the US actively searching for a new job attributed this to salary; this falls slight to 41% in the UK. Salary was ranked as important by 94% of all respondents in the US, and 93% in the UK.
The second biggest cause of the ‘Great Resignation’ was a lack of career development opportunities. 25% of US workers cited this as a reason why they were actively looking; this rose to 32% in the UK. 89% of US and UK workers described this as important in their job hunt.
In the UK, a lack of flexible working options was the third most important reason for resignations with 22% of the vote. 18% of US workers actively looking for a job agreed. 86% of US workers said flexible work was important to them when looking for a new job or considering staying in their current role – this declined slightly to 84% in the UK.
Other important reasons for the war for talent were a lack of trust in leaders (20% in the US, 19% in the UK), a lack of belonging (18% for the US and the UK) and challenging relationships with colleagues (15% for both countries).
What are the generational differences?
While these stats should give the C-Suite and HR leaders food for thought about how to survive and thrive in the ‘Great Resignation’, even more interesting is Lattice’s focus on the demographics underlying this war for talent.
While Gen Z in the US and the UK are leading the ‘Great Resignation’ according to Lattice, this doesn’t mean that HR should rest on its laurel and assume older, more experienced workers also won’t quit.
Lattice’s study found that 66% of Gen Z in the US (and 69% in the UK) are actively looking for new jobs. The percentages decline slightly for younger millennials (25- to 34-year-olds) (59% in the US, 56% in the UK) and older millennials aged between 35 and 44 (41% in the US, 52% in the UK).
The proportion drops lower, but remains significant, for Gen X (45 to 54) (34% in the US and 47% in the UK) and 55+ boomers (23% in the US, 31% in the UK).
Interestingly, just 55% of boomers said they weren’t actively looking or open to a new job in the US – this declined to 31% in the UK.
Of course, the reasons for different generations wanting to resign differ. While salary is important for all in both the US and the UK, career development is particularly important for younger millennials in the US, and both sets of millennials and Gen Z in the UK.
Flexible work was important to Gen Z and millennials in the UK, while belonging was very important to these two demographics in the US.
In addition, Lattice’s study found that in the UK senior talent are looking to the door. Although 51% of individual contributors are actively looking to work, this rises to 53% for those who supervise one or more employees and 70% for those who supervise managers.
Further to this, 42% of those who lead departments are keen to resign, and 35% of them are open to new opportunities.
Talking about these findings, Lattice VP of People Dave Carhart commented:
”The finding that more senior managers are prioritizing career growth and development – and may decide to move on if it’s lacking – is not a surprise.
“Lattice’s most recent State of People Strategy report, an annual report created with data from over 1,000 HR professionals in 37 countries, also found that one of the factors playing a role in the mass departure is employees not feeling like they have opportunities for advancement at their organization (37%).
“This can be especially true for senior managers who may feel they have stalled out in their current role and are lacking in opportunities for career development or mentorship.
So what can companies to do to not lose their more experienced, senior talent?
Cahart continues: “To address this, organizations must provide a clear vision, incentives and growth opportunities across the company.
“Investing dedicated resources in your managers, as well as individual contributors, will not only secure the essential link between executives and employees but avoid the spike in attrition that often follows the loss of strong leaders.”