The Great Resignation – A Revolution of the Tech Workplace
Many workers left their jobs in 2021 in record numbers across the world, a term coined as the “Great Resignation”. Just the year before, COVID-19 had instilled enough uncertainty and fear to ensure that workers stayed at their jobs, the result being an employer’s market – retrenchments were the norm, and resignations were unheard of. Fast forward one year later, and people were leaving their jobs in droves, especially in the tech market. Why is this happening?
According to Forbes, this trend was the inevitable result of pandemic reflection – workers started to realize that they did not have to put up with certain aspects of work that no longer appealed to them – the commute, traffic and work culture. Suddenly it all seemed no longer worth the pay. Tech workers, who are already in high demand before the pandemic, are now experiencing a buffet of choice, being free to reconsider what matters to them when choosing an employer.
According to a recent survey by Talent LMS, the top reasons that drive tech workers to seek out a new job were a toxic work environment, the lack of career progression and the lack of flexibility in working hours. The key to attract these workers in considering a new company is better pay with benefits in skill development and flexibility in work options, or remote work. This is in line with the survey findings that burnout was the key push driver, while feeling valued was the key pull factor. Many companies focus too hard on attracting new talent while neglecting initiatives to retain existing ones.
Tech workers in particular value growth and learning. Employers who want to differentiate themselves in a competitive market should take time to curate a growth plan customized to each employee. This helps foster a relationship with the employee where they feel valued and can picture their long-term journey to expanding their skill sets and earning capabilities with the company.
While remote work, or any hybrid models of it are still hot topics of debate, tech workers value the flexibility in working hours slightly more over remote work. However, all indicators still point to a new norm in working conditions – to stay competitive, employers need to adjust their focus on to getting results instead of micromanaging the hours and the means of getting the output.
The pandemic has also driven up usage for tech platforms, such as Zoom and Netflix. Tech employees who work in these particular types of companies are facing burnout from the stress of maintaining those platforms and keeping them in optimum condition to meet the rising demand. According to a source quoted by Wired, it’s creating a phenomenon within the tech industry called ‘the Great Reconsideration’, where instead of dropping out of the workforce, tech workers are re-evaluating their priorities in what matters to them when seeking out their next job.
Instead of just languishing in the attractive powers of being a well-known tech brand, tech companies now must consider what is most important to most of their specialized workforce. For instance, some workers might place more importance in workload distribution. For others, it might be a completely remote culture, which also has the added advantage of a hiring pool unlimited by geography.
In the long run, tech employers will have to consider fundamental changes to the hiring and retention model, as the market for tech employees is already highly competitive. To win the war for talent and retain quality employees, employers will have to revamp the how, where and when their employees work.