The Trends Behind The Great Resignation – Hyper Island North America Skip to content

The Trends Behind The Great Resignation

Hyper Island Treinamento e Educação Executiva do Brasil Ltda @ 2022-06-22 10:00:11 -0500

The pandemic has spurred employees to prioritize their well-being and seek more agency over where – and when – they work. This insistence on a new relationship with work is a key trigger for the so-called "Great Resignation" or "Great Reshuffle". We are living in a moment when all business leaders are rethinking their work models, cultures and company values. Employees, meanwhile, are rethinking not just how they work, but why they work.

Hyper Island has undertaken a series of surveys with its network, curated some of the world's top talent reports and pulled together some of the top industry trends to help you navigate this new context.

Human-centric culture

The cultural models of companies are going through a turning point. They are being reshaped by the pandemic, the acceleration of automation, the rise of millennials and Gen Z in the workforce, and the Great Resignation. Employees are demanding (and often getting) more freedom to work wherever and whenever they want and with more attention to their well-being.

The LinkedIn 2022 Global Talent Trends Report found that employees believe professional development is the #1 way to improve company culture. Companies will need to unravel how, in the midst of an epic workforce upheaval, they can preserve and enhance their culture rather than see it erode.

For companies to attract, retain and develop talent, they need to adjust – or reshape – their culture to meet the expectations of professionals who want to be seen as human beings first. A 2021 LinkedIn survey of what matters most to job seekers around the world found that a good work-life balance ranks #1, followed by excellent pay and benefits.

“Gone are the days when companies could lead with perks — think ping-pong tables and endless snacks — designed to make the office a home away from home. Today, forward thinking organizations are working with employees to make home an office away from office.” LinkedIn 2022



Time and space dedicated to learning

Learning strengthens culture, and culture empowers engaged employees who are motivated to innovate and delight customers. Given the changes in the global scenario, there is a need for companies and their employees to adopt a “new operating system of work” that allows adaptability, and acquiring technical and transversal skills together will be important for this.

More than ever, organizations are instilling a lifelong learning mindset. The pandemic has underscored the importance of a skills-based talent model and agile work design in building the workforce of the future. This is a fundamental redefinition of an organization's role in building talent, focused not only on reskilling/upskilling, but also on learning that leverages employee interests, and requires leaders to be ready to embrace workers who lack typical training and experience.

Case Udemy

Udemy's motto is "We have to give space and permission to learn." A good example of how the company puts this mantra into practice is the DEAL Hour (Drop Everything And Learn) initiative, which allows all employees to take time while on the job to learn new skills and explore their passions. 

It's an hour a month for everyone within the organization to drop everything and, along with everyone else, learn together. People can learn independently, they can read a book, or they can use the Udemy platform. They give out prizes, they have a Slack channel dedicated to the Udemy courses people are taking, trying to encourage them to learn non-prescriptive and top-down.

"Learning is a muscle, a habit to be built. If you can give people space and time to learn organizationally, when your company is going through something difficult, like this year (2021) with COVID, people do that muscle exercise and say ok, I'm ready to learn from this. How do we solve this through learning and how do we engage our employees so they can raise their hands and say what's working and what's not. It's all through the lens of finding knowledge, improving and work on something with the support of the organization." - SVP of People, Places, and Learning at Udemy, Cara Brennan Allamano

Read more about the Udemy case in this Business Wire article.


Developing correct and necessary skills

In a more automated, digital and dynamic job market, regardless of industry or occupation, constantly developing the right skills is important to continually adapt to new ways of working and new occupations.

According to the World Economic Forum, 50% of all employees will need to be re-skilled by 2025 as technology adoption increases. Fostering a meta-learning mindset is critical to building on-demand skills, as is addressing the structural and legacy barriers of past work models that have not facilitated a skills-based approach to developing, moving, and rewarding talent.

"Employees who feel their skills are not being put to good use are 10 times more likely to look for a new job than those who feel their skills are being put to good use." LinkedIn 2022

Circular economy of talent

Many leaders see the value of skills-based talent models in increasing business agility, but fear that investing in skills building will make their employees more attractive to competitors. According to the 2021 Mercer Global Talent Trends Study, employees are clear: while a focus on skill building increases your marketability, investing in your development really makes them want to stay.

"Investments in learning will never be lost if organizations embrace the concept of a circular talent economy, where skills development is continuous and talent is perpetually redistributed according to new opportunities and an evolving technological/human work environment." Mercer Global Talent Trends Study 2021

The mobility of talent inside and even outside the organization is part of a healthy flow, as there is the possibility of former employees becoming customers, partners or suppliers. Allowing employees to move internally and externally is part of a company's ongoing commitment to improving not only its employees, but also the workforce of the nations in which it operates.

"Henry Ford is credited with saying: The only thing worse than training your employees and seeing them leave is not training them and seeing them stay."



Energize the team

Today, "partnership" rather than "leadership" may be a company's biggest competitive advantage. People no longer want to work FOR a company; they want to work WITH a company. More than one in three executives say the pandemic has helped them realize that their investment in employee health and well-being has yielded a measurable return. (Mercer Global Talent Trends Study 2021)

The employee experience is the intersection of an employee's expectations, their environment (culture, co-workers, leaders, processes, technology, workspaces) and the events (work and life) that shape their journey. Employees yearn for a balanced future—one where work has been redesigned to allow time and energy for family, hobbies, health, and learning as well. The key to unleashing collective energy is ensuring that business transformation and employee life experience are considered together; It's balancing productivity and empathy. Energy is sapped by bureaucracy, inefficient technology, siled work, and staff too small to keep up with demand.

Energy can be replenished by clarifying ways of working, addressing organizational complexity, and designing a frictionless digital environment. As a rethink of work is underway, the key is to continue to empower employees by reducing complexity, clarifying expectations, and being honest about the workload.

To end, in true Hyper Island style, we hope to bring you to a point of reflection as opposed to answers and here are some questions to think around: what most affected you about this content? What insights did you get from what you've read so far? And what can you start applying now in both your professional projects and life?

The Great Resignation movement, like all others, is not a watertight thing for which there is a ready-made recipe on how to navigate its waters. More important is to be open to observe, in ourselves and in our organizations, the changes that surround us and how we can deal with the transformations that are sure to come.


About the author

Graduated in Social Communication from PUC-Rio, she has a specialization in Marketing from COPPEAD-UFRJ and a master's degree in Digital Experience Design from Hyper Island UK. She has dedicated a good part of her professional life to the corporate market, working for companies such as, RJZCyrela and Telefonica. Today she is part of the Hyper Island Remote Courses team.

Your cart is currently empty