The global quitting trend that just won’t quit

It’s been called the Great Resignation, the Great Attrition, and the Big Quit.

It started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and, according to the latest findings, is showing no sign of stopping on a global level. A new survey from McKinsey & Company, Global management consulting firm,  suggests the Great Resignation isn’t going away anytime soon. It found that 40% of people surveyed in six countries are unhappy at work and are considering leaving their job in the near future. That’s two out of five employees thinking about leaving in the next three to six months. McKinsey’s findings echo those in a recent survey carried out by consulting firm PwC. It contacted 52,000 workers in 44 countries and territories and found that one in five plans to quit in 2022

It isn’t just better remuneration that’s driving the global surge, according to the survey: 41% of people in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, India, and Singapore said a lack of prospects for upward mobility was the main reason they had resigned from a job. Inadequate pay came second on the list, but other significant factors included uncaring or uninspiring leaders, work not being meaningful, unsustainable expectations, inadequate workplace flexibility, and a lack of support for health and wellbeing.

The report’s authors say this suggests that the world of work may have changed forever: “People are switching jobs and industries, moving from traditional to non-traditional roles, retiring early, or starting their own businesses. They are taking time out to tend to their personal lives or embarking on sabbaticals. The Great Attrition has become the Great Renegotiation.”

 

 

 

 

Great resignation in Armenia. Is there any?

While the Great Resignation is a “big thing” on a global level, it would be interesting to look into the local labor market and see how the global “quitting” trend affected the Armenian economy. Dedicated research on the topic had not been conducted; however, with a compilation of available labor market research and interviews with HR field experts, we tried to come up with a summary of the main trends and challenges connected with the global quitting trend. What we found out is that the major shakes in the country during recent years, the war in 2020, and the difficult political and economic situation significantly influenced the state of the labor market by creating a specific local context impacting the supply and demand of employees. The war in 2020 created a large wave of emigration of the workforce from the country and affected the labor market. In 2022, we could observe another tendency, which is the flow of employees from Russian-based companies that faced sanctions and other financial difficulties due to the war in Ukraine. 

Generally, people look for more secure and stable working conditions. Those employees who stayed in the country are less reluctant to make drastic changes in their careers. To the question “To what degree are you worried about losing your job or not finding a job?”, asked in the World Values Survey in 2021, 48.5% of respondents in Armenia chose the option “very much” (53.6% among 30-49 y.o.), 18.4% – “a great deal”, and only 22.5% – “not at all”. Thus, the brief research indicates that though there is a resignation trend in Armenia, it rather has a specific local context, and the “Great Resignation” is not a major course in the Armenian labor market. Here is a summary of the main resignation trends and challenges present in the  Armenian labor market.

 
1.The IT and Technology sector boom.
The World Economic Forum forecasts that technology will disrupt 85 million jobs globally by 2025, but 97 million new jobs will emerge. The research among employers in Armenia shows that 84.5% of organizations are expecting growth, specifically in the IT/tech industry. IT specialists in Armenia earn one of the highest salaries, averaging 645 thousand AMD (or about 1,320 USD) per month, while the average monthly salary in the country is about three times lower. IT companies have become the most desired employers for many candidates resulting in a big flow of IT professionals from all non-tech sectors. People shift to IT in search of stability and security from other vulnerable industries (the hospitality sector has been hit the most, followed by retail, production, and other non-tech sectors). Turnover in non-tech firms has increased notably, perhaps 2.5-3 times compared to 2019 and earlier. This trend is stable also on a global level. As a result of COVID-19 and imposed restrictions, the global hospitality sector suffered huge financial losses, and 62 million jobs were cut across the sector globally. Digitalization and remote work opportunities have expanded the boundaries of the physical workplace, and now employers need to compete not only with other local employers but also with remote and freelance work opportunities since many qualified candidates tend to choose these for their career advancement. Even in the IT/Tech industry, more than 75% of employers stated that they have difficulties in finding a qualified workforce, which is even more challenging given the plans for active growth of businesses.

 
2. They want it all now. Prioritizing well-being and wanting to live a meaningful life.
Whether it is due to Covid or the 2020 war, the priorities and expectations of employees/candidates have changed significantly. PwC’s global study shows that remuneration aside, work flexibility has become increasingly important to people on a global level. More than a quarter of interviewed employees said they would like to work remotely full-time. However, only 18% said that their employer is likely to allow that to happen. Employees now, especially the GenZ representatives, are seeking quick and “easy” ways to advance in their careers and are often not ready to invest time, energy, and personal resources in a long-term career. They also expect more comfort at the workplace, whether it is office conditions, working schedules, or efforts in building relationships with their coworkers or supervisors. A major skill gap isn’t the only problem employers face; they must also address gaps in values, attitudes, and hiring practices. It is interesting that, when surveyed on reasons that are complicating finding qualified employees, the value gap turned out to be a major challenge for employers in different fields and was ranked highest in the IT/tech industry in Armenia (4.02 out of 5). The other barriers indicated were the insufficient level of practical knowledge/skills of candidates/employees, lack of soft skills, and others. Programs supporting employees’ mental health and aimed at addressing PTSD issues have been introduced in companies striving to attract and retain the best talent. It is notable that the employees and graduates themselves indicate that emotion management and self-control are the most needed skills for advancing in their careers.

In a nutshell, the work is changing and we will most likely see more shifts away from traditional career management and employment practices in the coming years. Companies should focus more on providing better compensation and benefits, ensuring career development, and, crucially, making certain their leaders inspire staff. McKinsey states that to keep and attract a new generation of workers,  a “non-traditional value proposition” must be built. It should revolve around flexibility, mental well-being and behavioral health benefits, and a strong and meaningful company culture to make jobs more “sticky”. Talent-sourcing approaches should also be broadened to be tailored toward different types of workers. PwC also advises that companies “must tailor their workforce strategy to the unique needs of their workers”, if they are to succeed in today’s challenging environment.
 

  Recently, DeeM held a conference called Generation N where one of the panel discussions was dedicated to the concept of the Great Resignation. Speakers from New York, Montreal and Yerevan discussed these challenges and offered some insights but also some quick and long-term solutions for employers and employees seeking mindful jobs that are rewarding. 

Anush Manucharyan

Co-founder

grow edutainment

DeeMmag, December 2022