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Are companies unable to cope with the Great Resignation?

The restart after the pandemic has led to a different working environment, characterized almost everywhere in Western economies by the phenomenon defined as the "great resignation".

The underlying reason lays in the changed relationship of people with work, experienced in a different way during the months characterized by Covid-19 in which the typical dynamics of the career or workplace have become familiar with a new dimension, in which the search for personal gratification prevails.

People are looking for a dimension of fulfillment, an everyday life not dominated by work, if this does not correspond to their interests,  the desire to live their passions and have more sincere and selective direct relationships. All this determines in many cases a detachment from the work environment experienced so far, perceived as foreign and, in some way, artifact.

We talked about the Great Resignation phenomenon almost a year ago in this article, reporting an analysis of the Assurex Global network on the US market, which began to experience this trend before the European one.

The phenomenon is also strong in Italy: according to the latest research by the HR Innovation Practice Observatory of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano, in the last year the turnover rate has increased for 73% of companies and 45% of employees declare that they have changed jobs in the last year or intend to do it within 18 months. The trend is stronger between young people (18-30 years), for certain sectors (ICT, Services and Finance) and for some profiles (digital professionals).

Those who change jobs are driven mainly to economic benefits (46%), career opportunities (35%), greater physical or mental health (24%), pursuit of personal passions (18%) or greater flexibility of the working hours (18%).

The ability to attract talent was a crucial issue even before Covid, but today it has become even more central for 44% of companies. Other concerns relate to difficulties in terms of ability to motivate, involve and retain people: analyzing the three dimensions of physical, social and psychological work well-being, only 9% of the employed declare that they are well in all three. The most critical aspect is the psychological one: 4 out of 10 people have had at least one absence in the last year due to emotional desease. Concerns that also affect the physical state, with difficulty in sleeping well and / or insomnia (55%). This desease, however, seems almost totally unknown to companies, which only in 5% of cases consider it a problematic aspect. This is accompanied by a decrease in the level of engagement: compared to 2021 the fully "engaged" workers dropped from an already low 20% to a worrying 14%. And only 17% of people feel included and valued within the organization.

According to Martina Mauri, Director of the HR Innovation Practice Observatory, the solution to improve well-being and engagement involves "increasing flexibility, intended above all as empowerment and autonomy of the person in managing their work activities. On the other hand, it is appropriate to create an open and inclusive environment, capable of enhancing the skills of the workers, but also their personal interests and passions, to be given full citizenship within the organizational boundaries ".