Employees who remain at their workplaces in the wake of the “Great Resignation” are feeling the impacts of those who left, Oct. 20 study results from the Society for Human Resource Management suggest. The study surveyed 200 executives, 1,150 employees, and more than 2,200 HR professionals from mid to late summer.
Fifty-two percent of the remaining workers surveyed reported taking on more work and responsibilities and 30% said they are struggling to complete their work. Workers are reported more frustration and emotional stress; 27% feel less loyal to their organization, 28% feel more lonely or isolated and 55% are now wondering whether they are underpaid, according to SHRM.
Workers who said they were job searching cited better compensation (53%), better work-life balance (42%), and better benefits (36%) as their top reasons for doing so. Executives’ top guesses for workers’ job searching were better benefited (28%), better career advancement opportunities (28%), and workplace discomfort due to COVID-19 (26%).
With more workers leaving their jobs, it was only a matter of time before employers began to see the effects on remaining staff.
The survey findings reflect data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which found that quit rates hit a record high in April, with 4 million quits recorded that month. As employees leave the job market due to burnout, the remaining employees, with compounding work, appear to be experiencing burnout of their own.
The cycle may be creating a positive feedback loop and a perilous situation for employers. With mental health concerns on the rise and workers posed to quit over burnout and poor work-life balance, employers may need to consider ways they might loosen their grip to provide workers needed flexibility.
In addition, survey results released during the second half of the year have repeatedly emphasized a gap between what employees and employers see and expect in the workplace. Recently, HR Dive reported on findings that employers overvalue learning programs compared with employees, that employers and employees disagree on the most “emotionally exhausting” type of work arrangement and that employers and employees are developing different visions on the future of work.
These findings — and the rise of employees quitting and searching for other job options — reinforce the importance of employers not only soliciting employee feedback but developing a culture in which employees feel they can share.
Employers may feel squeezed by the labor shortage, but that same shortage is contributing to workers’ greater degree of power; workplaces that want to hold on to their employees may need to cede ground to their concerns.