The pandemic unearthed a slew of opportunities for workers. Over the last year, a record number of employees—33 million—have called it quits. This is now known as The Great Resignation.
Along with the novel coronavirus, the new generation is shapeshifting what they expect and are willing to deal with at the workplace. This is forcing employers to rethink both their possible toxic company culture and environment.
The pertinent fact of The Great Resignation leading to the Great Negotiation are as follows:
Brief History of The Great Resignation
The Great Resignation refers to the mass exit of employees between 2021 and 2022. This occurrence was not simply a labor trend—it is a huge social movement that is forcing business owners to rethink what it means to ‘work in the office’.
Now that remote work has become an option for many industries and workers, a lot of employees are not eager to return back to the workplace. The pandemic revealed the need for many to shift their collective priorities to the things in their lives that matter the most. This can include family, downtime, and peace of mind.
The Great Negotiation
As remote work, more time off, better health care, and more perks are revealed from the pandemic, workers are demanding change and ready to negotiate. No longer are employees sitting back and taking the work as it comes; they want a spot in the driver’s seat if they are expected to work.
This rebelliousness is driving businesses to provide more suitable options to their employees. Thousands of businesses were and are being shuttered by a lack of people who want to work there. Employers are now pushed against the wall.
Workers Want Remote Options
Employees are more interested in the autonomy of their time and how it is spent. Remote work interest is increasing tenfold for employees who would rather no longer go into a formal office setting.
Both professional and personal development are more achievable when workers have more control of their time and positions in a company. A study conducted by Stanford discovered productivity increased by a whopping 13% for workers who worked from home.
The New Goal: Clarity
Workers are seeking clarity. Whether they will ultimately negotiate—and perhaps renegotiate—better working terms based on their wants, clarity is the ultimate goal.
This opens conversations that can align everyone on the same page. The necessary conversations will confirm or deny whether the company’s culture is no longer aligned with personal values and needs.
Inflation is a Factor
As prices continue to increase, workers are demanding more money for their work. The following areas have seen drastic increases—some well over 12%—since inflation began earlier in 2022:
- Household goods
- And more
Workers are now seeking better pay as their costs of living continue to increase, and their wages are not. Inflation as a byproduct has leveraged more bargaining power for workers—and they now know it.
Low-wage Workers Seek Better
A record number of low-wage workers have joined the negotiation fight: Pay me more or I walk away. Employers are losing low-wage workers if they choose to not accommodate their staff.
Workers are seeking higher-income positions in addition to better amenities and perks. Those in the hospitality and leisure professions—over 1 million of them—have already quit their jobs seeking a salary increase.
When Negotiation Doesn’t Work
When negotiation fails to go in the employees’ direction, they inevitably quit. Small business growth trends were on the increase since the last 2 years of the pandemic. In 2021 alone, over 4.3 million new businesses were opened across the country. Workers are less likely to settle for the ‘take it or leave it’ approach than ever before.
People are looking to pursue passions versus clocking in for a mundane paycheck. The pandemic sparked these hobbies into lucrative, profitable careers that provide peace of mind and flexibility in their schedules for the lifestyles they desire.
Employees are aware they no longer have to bear the burden of accepting the position and its duties provided. They have a strong, powerful voice that employers are now obligated to listen to and adhere to.
The Great Resignation opened the door to The Great Negotiation in more ways than one—and it’s working. More employers are offering remote work options, better pay, and less-toxic company culture, and employees are thrilled about it!
The power is in the hands of the people once more.