The Great Resignation, coined by Texas A&M professor Anthony Klotz, is a socio-economic event that has been on just about everyone’s lips. Nearly every industry, post-pandemic, is predicted to experience resignations of upwards to 40% of the workforce.
The shift is expected to come for a variety of reasons. The pandemic was a period of instability. Employees were uncertain of what their economic future might hold, so they hung onto a job, watching those around them losing their positions or being laid off indefinitely. No matter how they felt about the job or their company at the time, steady pay and benefits were beyond precious commodities.
Secondly, many offices went virtual, allowing employees to work from the comfort of their homes, spend more time with their loved ones and saving the time spent previously getting to and from work. While some find the traditional office environment more appealing, most studies suggest a sizable portion of the workforce found the virtual office to be a comfortable and productive working environment.
Now many employers are faced with a decision. Do we try to return to business as usual, restoring workplace strategies to pre-pandemic status? Or, do we embrace a fully remote or hybrid workplace, taking advantage of the many project management and teleconferencing technologies?
Returning to a traditional office will most likely result in the loss of valuable contributors, while the virtual or hybrid office comes with its own set of challenges. If reality meets up with expectations, this is something professionals and organizations need to prepare for.
What does The Great Resignation mean for organizations? Right now, many consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies have the chance to study the previous year to determine the agility of their businesses. How were they able to cope with the unexpected? Were there strategies in place that allowed their organization to hit the ground running, reduce downtime and maintain productivity?
Company cultures should never remain static. Your culture is your brand and your most powerful marketing tool for attracting new talent and retaining the outstanding talent you already have. Employees want to be heard, feel that they are valued, and work in environments that are receptive to reasonable changes that benefit the organization as a whole.
CPG companies were already undergoing some significant changes. As companies redefine their relationships with consumers, offering new and personalized experiences, The Great Resignation might be a chance to find those talented leaders and specialized professionals who fit your project growth goals.
What does The Great Resignation mean for professionals? Simply put, the need for skilled professionals in CPG and every vertical it touches is enormous. Leveraging your potential contributions and your current accomplishments is something you should always do.
Engage in meaningful conversations. Establish what you love about where you work. Establish what could be better and determine if there is a road to that result. The current candidate-driven market, along with potentially The Great Resignation, is a prime opportunity for top-performing professionals to engage their employers in a meaningful way that could pay back huge and long-standing dividends.
Whether you are a professional or an employer, we are still in a time of recovery and change. While The Great Resignation could seem potentially frightening, we should all look at it as an opportunity to grow, adapt and evolve.
Cameron Smith is the CEO and founder of executive recruiting Cameron Smith & Associates in Rogers. The firm recruits nationwide for CPG supplier teams supporting grocery and mass retail. The opinions expressed are those of the author.