06 Jun What is the Great Resignation?
The worldwide spread of COVID-19 has impacted the job market in a multitude of ways. One important change is the shift in people’s perception of an exceptional work-life balance based on the lifestyle the virus demanded.
By November 2021, not many months after the initial spread, the US Bureau of Labour Statistics found that about 4.5 million employees in the US quit or resigned from their jobs – sparking the development of the Great Resignation. Some of the reasons employees resigned included low pay, lack of career development opportunities, insufficient flexibility, demanding or limited hours, sparse benefits, and many more.
How may Canada respond?
Canadian employees have also been afflicted by the poor environment COVID-19 has caused. Yet, Canadian workers have not been as quick to resign from their jobs as the US. Some Canadian employees are disappointed with their treatment during the pandemic, and as we enter the post-pandemic workforce, there is a chance more resignations could follow.
One of the reasons we could see an increase in resignations is due to the impact the virus has had on the mental health of Canadian employees. According to Work’s Mental Health Index, one in four workers have stated their work and private lives have greatly suffered since the spread of COVID-19. This survey concluded that approximately thirty-five percent of Canadian workers want to resign from their job due to their unhappiness.
Further, many jobs that were vital during the pandemic have not been provided rewards or recognition outside of communal respect. A wide range of industries have been impacted by the virus, but frontline workers have perhaps been affected the most, especially doctors and nurses. They have continuously been tending to the immense number of COVID-19 patients, working long hours, and putting themselves at risk every day for the safety of the community. While they have been predominately recognized as the most imperative workers influencing the safety of our country, they continue to be paid the same wages as before the spread.
The pandemic has exposed the discrepancy between the current and potential treatment of employees by their employers. For instance, some employers have been less flexible about work hours or remote working conditions pre-pandemic. However, many lockdowns have shown employees that these conditions are possible and should be normalized. The pandemic has helped employees recognize that adapting the workplace to correspond with employee demands is achievable.
While a future increase in resignations among Canadian workers is mostly speculative, it is necessary that employers do what they can to appreciate the adjustments employees have made and respond to the new work environment that employees believe is better for their career.
If you are an employer who wants advice on how to initiate new policies best suited for the post-pandemic workplace or require advice on certain changes that may be essential in your workplace, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.