TrustRadius, the company delivering the most trusted research and review platform for business technology, recently announced new data from its HR Industry Trends Report. The report drew from polling 764 human resources professionals from the associate level to C-suite across industries in the U.S. It found that 76 percent think change in the labor market accompanying the Great Resignation is permanent. Forty-three percent consider the attrition movement itself a significant permanent change. Thirty-four percent say it will create some small but permanent changes.
In the wake of 2021’s labor market upheaval, the report also revealed that HR professionals are generally embracing a more remote, diverse and empowered workforce. As the pandemic has continued, 55 percent said their companies are spending more on HR technology right now. This move may help them stay competitive amid new realities.
The report results bolster the idea that the Great Resignation, or more accurately the Great Attrition or Big Switch, will likely have long-lasting impacts on the U.S. labor market. During the pandemic, a combination of generational retirement, talent shortages, changing employee priorities and a job-switching revolution has concerned businesses. With complex factors in play, HR professionals honed in further on company- and employee-specific causes of the Great Resignation.
What the HR Industry Trends Report found
For company-related causes, 31 percent pointed to stressful working conditions as the single biggest cause. Sixteen percent cited low pay and 15 percent cited a lack of flexibility. Thirteen percent cited company failure to address work/life balance. For employee-related causes of the Great Resignation, top observations from HR professionals were as follows:
- 30 percent said workers have gained perspective on what’s important in their lives
- 18 percent said workers are reflecting on what they want from their career
- 14 percent said workers are taking advantage of the pandemic to make demands
- 14 percent said workers are looking for better-paying opportunities
“Employees will no longer tolerate being overworked, underpaid and unsupported,” said Jamy Conrad, senior director of people at TrustRadius. “This empowered workforce is challenging companies to support them with better onboarding, benefits and overall flexibility. However, the vast majority of HR professionals are feeling challenged and exhausted by the pandemic. And they’re facing even bigger hurdles with the Great Resignation and the need to rapidly improve their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts.”
How DEI efforts will be impacted
The research revealed that 71 percent of HR professionals think that the Great Resignation will impact their DEI efforts. That group was able to offer more than one response on the nature of the impact:
- 41 percent said the Great Resignation offers an opportunity to increase diversity
- 44 percent said it will require a complete rethinking of company DEI efforts
- 21 percent said it will derail company DEI efforts
HR professionals also offered more than one response in evaluating their company’s current state of DEI:
- 60 percent said their company is diverse
- 44 percent said their company is equitable
- 43 percent said their company is inclusive
Reducing bias through software
With respect to DEI, the research found that almost half (49 percent) of HR professionals thought that their HR software helps prevent bias in hiring. But that perception differed significantly by gender, with 62 percent of men thinking this, but only 43 percent of women.
“Companies are looking for new technologies to streamline their processes when it comes to talent retention and to systematically improve diversity, inclusion and belonging,” said Megan Headley, vice president of research at TrustRadius. “This report looks at the state of the HR industry and learnings from 2021 so that we can make better decisions going into the new year. When most offices were planning to reopen this year, the pandemic continued and HR professionals had to go back to the drawing board once again. Worker mobility is becoming a permanent feature of the enterprise and SMB landscape and investing in the tech solutions that support employee needs is critical for business survival.”
The research offered insights on worker mobility. Nearly half of HR professionals (48 percent) said that remote work increases productivity. The figure jumped to 59 percent among those in fully remote environments, while 42 percent at office-only companies said remote work decreases productivity. Additionally, a clear majority of HR professionals, 65 percent, said that remote work increases well-being. Just 18 percent stated it has a negative effect. Millennial HR professionals had the most favorable opinion of remote work, with 58 percent finding that it increases employee productivity and 72 percent saying the same for well-being.
Learn more about the TrustRadius HR Industry Trends Report on our blog.
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