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The Great Resignation is coming to Asia: 6 ways to thrive

Published on 12 May 2022 by Stuart Harris

Concerns have been rising regarding the up-and-coming economic trend in Asia – the Great Resignation.

Initially starting in the U.S. in 2021, employees voluntarily resigned from their jobs for new opportunities, mainly to focus on self-development and finding purpose.

Studies have been conducted regarding this trend and Pew Research Center identified that low pay was the main reason for U.S. employees to quit their jobs in 2021. The second main reason was “no opportunities for career advancement” and thirdly, employees felt disrespected at work. This may be different for Asia, especially in Hong Kong where staff are also leaving due to other reasons, but it is still valuable to be aware of the reasons for the start of this trend in the U.S. and later in Europe as well.

So, what can you do when this trend is rising in Asia and in your organisation? How can you reduce the impact of The Great Resignation on your organisation and thrive through it?

  1. Prepare for it
  2. Being prepared will soften the blow (or the many blows). Be aware that many employees might resign, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. One of the things you can do is prepare a list of exit interview questions to identify the reasons why your staff are leaving.

  3. Retention is more than just financial incentives
  4. One of the reasons for leaving might be low pay – however, there’s more to talent attraction and retention than financial incentives. Today’s workforce is as driven by company culture, work-life balance, opportunities for career progression and flexibility as they are by salary.

  5. Company initiatives
  6. Organise company initiatives to remind your staff of your company culture and to recognise them for their role in it. This can go from weekly fun fact emails to a full weekend company retreat. After a long period of working from home and reduced social contact, this might just be what your employees are lacking.

  7. Upskilling
  8. According to a recent study, 78% of executives or managers in Asia are facing or will soon face significant skill gaps. Provide the opportunity for your staff to upskill. This will support them in their personal development as well as show them opportunities for progression.

  9. Job enrichment
  10. Assess your staff’s productivity and identify gaps where task efficiency and consequently job satisfaction can be improved. Add dimensions to your employees’ jobs by tapping into their skill set, increasing their skill variety, adding extra tasks, adding meaning to jobs, creating more autonomy, and giving feedback.

  11. Try not to worry too much
  12. The definition of a trend is that it’s temporary. This trend will blow over as all trends do. Though, the way you cope with it will determine its impact.

We hope to have equipped you with the tools to thrive through the Great Resignation in Asia. Do let us know if there’s anything we can help with.

Here’s to resilient organisations!

Stuart Harris

Co-Founder and Managing Director at Team Building Asia

Stuart Harris has built Team Building Asia into Asia's most prestigious and effective team building company.

Interested finding out more about Team Building Asia programs?

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