The Great Resignation, early 2021 to present, is the trend focused on employees voluntarily leaving their jobs. These resignations have been in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused individuals to consider new career paths and an overall lifestyle change. American workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers. In September 2021, 4.4 million people left their jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For many individuals, the pandemic has sparked a shift in priorities. Do people want to leave their current roles, try something different or switch to a new organization? The vast majority of employees leave their jobs feeling burned out and/or under-appreciated. They seek new positions with organizations that invest in their well-being and work-life balance.
While you may think that The Great Resignation just affects full-time employees, organizations also need to realize that it will also apply to their vendors and third-party partners. This shift in thinking is also happening with vendors and their own employees with whom you work. This shift will directly impact your vendor's companies and their business decisions to continue supporting your organization moving forward.
3 Reasons Behind The Great Resignation & How You Can Get Ahead of It If You're Working with Vendors:
- Burnout: According to a report from Limeade, 40% of individuals cited burnout as the top reason for leaving their job. Burnout is defined as a state of physical and emotional exhaustion that occurs when a person experiences long-term stress in a job or when a person has worked in a physically or emotionally draining role for an extended period. Considering 2020 - 2021, everyone working remotely was assumed to be available 24/7. There was effectively no time off, no vacations, and nowhere to go. The expectation going into 2022 is that this extreme level of availability and ability to respond to calls, emails, text, Slack messages, and more seems to be here to stay. When communicating with your employees and vendor partners, it's essential that you consider that even though employees and vendor partner contacts may not be taking a standard vacation, they, too, will need to take a full day or two off to recharge. With so many individuals not having time to recharge in 2020 - 21, vendors and their employees are considering other career options and engagements in 2022 that better suit their lifestyle. Your vendor partners are also likely reconsidering the clients who may or may not be a good fit for them moving forward.
- Poor Treatment: According to the BBC, poor treatment at work is another reason for The Great Resignation, with the pandemic exacerbating already-toxic workplace cultures. 28% of respondents to the Limeade report, noted above, said they left their jobs without having another lined up. That speaks volumes for poor treatment and negative company culture. Remember that your vendor partners can always sense when a client's workplace is toxic, and it starts to translate into their view of working with the client, and if that client is a good fit for their own business. Your vendors are (or should be) constantly making sure that hostile workplaces don't impact the vendor’s employees. If you treat your employees poorly or have a toxic work environment, your vendors will know. This could be a reason they will not renew their contracts with your company.
- Underutilization of Strengths: This seems straightforward, but employees who are unsatisfied with the work they are doing are ultimately going to leave. The same goes for your vendor partners. If your vendors feel as though the work that they are doing is not leveraging the strengths of their team, they may consider leaving the engagement as well, especially if they have brought this up to you as the client. Over the past two years, I have seen that companies are trying to keep their internal employees "happy" to avoid them leaving, so they are relegating low-level administrative work to their vendors. One thing to consider is that you may have vendors, such as marketing agencies, whom you have contracted with to provide marketing services. Once you start asking those agencies to provide administrative or entry-level work to avoid asking your team to do this work, it could permanently ruin the relationship and end their engagement with you.
While reports say that The Great Resignation could be over by 2023, many believe employees and vendors are demanding more. The pandemic has changed worker and vendor priorities. Both employees and vendors deserve to be treated with respect. The impact from The Great Resignation will have a direct impact on your company. Be aware of this new reality and get ahead of the curve.