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Announcing the Great Discontent: 2021 Worker Survey

Workers are quitting in droves and they’re done with the current system. But you still need them. What can you do as an employer to bridge the chasm of discontent?

Great Discontent Workable worker survey report

That’s been the burning question for employers all year, ever since predictions of the “The Great Resignation” made waves as a news item. It’s now no longer a prediction; it’s a current reality, and it’s evolved to what we’ll call a Great Discontent.

Quit rates are through the roof, and weirdly enough, it’s not translating into a larger and more active candidate pool for employers – rather, it’s the opposite. Workers appear to be dropping out of the system, and they’re not all ready to move to a new job. Data from the Workable network confirms this as well.

Employers are taking a hit from all this. At best, they’re making do with leaner teams; at worst, they’re shutting down entirely because of this unique talent shortage.

It’s becoming more challenging to retain talent, and harder to attract candidates to new roles. As leaders in the hiring space, we’re very cognizant of this, and we want to help you overcome these challenges. So, instead of theorizing and speculating and predicting and analyzing, we decided to ask 1,250 workers in the US and UK to find out what they want and value in a job.

Out of the many insights in the Great Discontent survey, we have four main takeaways for you:

Money still talks

Despite all the new workplace developments, salary, perks and benefits are still top of mind. People want – and need – more of it when working.

Flexy is sexy

Flexible work arrangements are important to many workers – and much more for women than men – but it’s not as high of a priority for their employers.

The power of connectivity

No matter the kind of work involved, people are at the heart of it all. When people feel connected to their colleagues and leadership, they’ll stay and they’ll thrive.

There’s no place like home

Integrating personal and professional lives is very important for people – it’s the top reason why those not working aren’t working and the top benefit of flexible work. Again, this is especially so for women.

Our survey also finds that three quarters of workers may be ready to bolt at any given time. This signals a potential disconnect in the system. It’s a tough situation for employers, and this may require a fresh look at your talent attraction and retention strategy.

These are strange, historic, exciting times, and it’s clear the rules of the game are changing for employers. We don’t have all the answers – those will come later in hindsight. But the conversation is always worth adding to. We think you’ll find useful insights here as we venture into the new world of work and post-pandemic environment.

Without further ado, check out our reports:

Have insights, concerns, criticisms, swear words, accolades, or anything else? We’d love to hear them. Please send them to our content team at [email protected] and we’ll be sure to address each and every one of them.

Yours in sustainability,

Nikos Moraitakis
CEO, Workable

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