The Great Reentry Survey Results
68% of Companies Worried About Exodus of Talent,
81% Facing Pushback, 59% Cite Burnout
Published July 29, 2021
U.S. employers are worried about and planning for The Great Resignation: 68% of companies report a concern about an exodus of talent. As to what is fueling workers’ desire to leave, 75% of companies cite a desire for more flexibility and 59% cite worker burnout. See the full infographic here.
These findings are according to survey results released Thursday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. The survey was conducted online among 172 Human Resources and Business Leaders from companies of various sizes and industries nationwide July 7th through July 20th.
“For many Americans, after 18 months of lockdowns and precautions, doing their work every day is like trying to light a used match. Add to that mounting pressure to work in-person, any child care or health care issues, and now rising COVID cases nationwide, it’s no wonder workers increasingly are leaving jobs,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
“Simone Biles is like so many American workers: dedicated, talented, and instrumental team members making the difficult decision to do what they think is best in the face of unprecedented pressures,” he added.
How women are reacting
In fact, women are pushing back more than any other group, according to Challenger findings. Over 81% of companies are facing pushback to the return to the office, primarily coming from mothers and women.
Women are leaving the workplace at higher levels than their male counterparts. According to the latest non-seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,060,000 fewer employed women aged 20 years or older in June 2021, down 5.6%, than in February 2020. For men the same age, employment fell 2,614,000, or 3.2%, from February 2020.
In Challenger’s survey, 29% of employers cited childcare as an issue fueling workers’ desire to leave their jobs. Another 9% cited mental health concerns. Nearly 6% said all issues listed were fueling resignations.
Employees Pushing Back
In the Challenger survey, 56% of respondents saw a gender divide among those pushing back on reentering the office, with 69% coming from mothers and women. Respondents indicated the remaining 31% were parents pushing back. None of the respondents indicated men or fathers alone were among those pushing back on returning to the office.
Meanwhile, 52% of respondents saw a generational divide among those pushing back, with 55% occurring among younger colleagues. Another 18% said the older workforce was pushing back, and the remaining respondents indicated the generational divide aligned with other factors, such as a long commute or young children.
Incentives for Workers to Stay
When asked if respondents were offering new incentives to keep talent, 63% said they were, with 15% offering it to the entire workforce.
Companies are primarily offering incentives that address the desire for flexibility and burnout they believe are driving the high quit levels and difficulty attracting talent. When asked what new incentives they were offering, 65% reported offering flexible work hours, while 62% are offering remote work options. Another 53% are offering hybrid work arrangements. While 41% of companies responded workers are leaving due to low wages, 46% are offering higher pay and cash bonuses.
“Many workers have used the pandemic to reprioritize what is most important in their lives, and reassess what they want to do in their careers. Money is just a piece of that. Workers also want to be able to walk their dogs during the day and know they have opportunities for advancement,” said Challenger.
The U.S. Labor Shortage
Companies are indeed having trouble filling their open positions. Of respondents, 10.3% reported they were not experiencing a labor shortage, and another 5.1% were not hiring. That leaves nearly 85% of companies having trouble filling positions.
“We’ve long known that workers tend to leave managers, not jobs. The last year was an extraordinary test of leadership. It has not been easy on the country’s business leaders,” he added.
Companies and COVID-19 Vaccinations for EmployeEs
As cases around the country rise, and as New York City workers, California state government workers, and Veterans’ Affairs mandate the vaccine to get a handle on the pandemic, companies surveyed by Challenger are not going the route of mandating vaccines. Fewer companies are mandating the vaccine in July compared to March, when Challenger surveyed 201 companies.
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— ChallengerGray (@ChallengerGray) July 8, 2021
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With some of America’s biggest companies now imposing vaccine mandates, is it just a matter of time before other businesses follow suit?https://t.co/UkimkMG2zV
— WTTW (Chicago PBS) (@wttw) August 6, 2021