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The Great Resignation

Covid-19 has transcended from being a mere infectious disease to a part of people's everyday life. For businesses, how well they can cope with Covid-19 has also become an indicator of business resilience. Apart from disrupting companies' growth and operation, the spread of viruses has also shattered the traditional way of human resource management that correlates with the organization's culture. A report from the World Economic Forum shows that in 2022, one in five workers globally—an increase from last year at the proportion of one to four—plan to quit their jobs. This phenomenon is called "the Great Resignation." Though it is expected to resolve when the pandemic is subdued, it continues to intensify; various companies are now struggling with employee retention.


At the beginning of the global pandemic, the Great Resignation describes the trend of employees leaving their jobs after an extended work-from-home policy. With the facilitation of the internet, gadgets, and other technological advancements, people can fully adopt remote work and prioritize their work-life balance. Despite the fact that salaries remain the first factor for quitting or reshuffling, over two-thirds of workers say that their fulfillment, creativity, and flexibility at work are also major concerns. While the spread of COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for employees to decide where and how they work, businesses and employers are now facing challenges from massive quitting and organizational culture disruption.


To turn a disadvantage into an advantage and face this disruption, employers and employees need the mindset and operational changes. The huge gap prohibiting a win-win situation for employees and employers is their disagreements on the company’s work mode. According to the World Economic Forum, while 26% of employees prefer full-time remote work, only 18% of their employers are willing to reciprocate and adjust in compliance with the demand of the workforce.

In the hope of maintaining quality human capital and attracting top talent in the future, businesses must change their focus. On the one hand, top management needs to empathize with the demands of the sub-module and tailor their workforce strategy to keep current employees in the company. On the other hand, they can aim to recruit those who are highly trustworthy and result-oriented to accomplish an efficient transition from physical to remote work. For employees, flexibility should come with accountability. Although the working style is getting more convenient, employees are expected to be responsive and demonstrate full ownership of work as much as a full adoption of the WFH model.

All in all, the key to employee retention during the Great Resignation is to harmonize between the flexibility of working and quality hiring from the company side and high accountability and entrepreneurial spirit from the employee side. When the unique demands are served and businesses get their expected outcome as employees can reach their full potential and perform virtually, the systematic transition of the corporate operating model could benefit both employees and employers in their best interests alike.

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