According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index1, 41% of the global workforce is considering leaving their current job within the next year. As you are reading this, chances are that your employees may already be mulling over joining the so-called “The Great Resignation”. This is the predicted wave of resignations in the global workforce that may soon affect your company and other organizations worldwide.
Many reasons have been attributed to this event. For one, many feel burnt out from working from home—the seemingly endless stream of online meetings may finally be taking its toll. Employees also feel anxious about being required to return to the office once they are vaccinated. Others, too, face the realization that they prefer working remotely over going to the office every day.
It is a slightly different story in the Philippines’ National Capital Region. Based on available data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the local workforce saw turnover rates of 0.1% and -0.3% during the third and fourth quarters of 20202, respectively. These are lower than the 2.8% and 1.9% labor turnover rates for the same periods in 20193. These suggest that there are even less employees who leave a company. This is likely due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
Combined with the country’s unemployment rate peaking at 8.8% during the first half of 2021, the uncertain labor market has left Filipinos rethinking their decision to leave their jobs or delaying this until the labor market stabilizes.
Still, some events on the horizon may trigger a wave of resignations in the Philippines. As more and more Filipino employees are vaccinated, many may think twice about returning to the office. Others may ask themselves if they still love their job or the company they work for. And once borders open, this may once again start the exodus of Filipinos seeking better opportunities abroad.
Should Philippine-Based Companies be Worried?
While it is indeed concerning to face the possibility of losing a large percentage of your employees, there may still be time to avert this crisis. This is where we can follow the examples of the best employers in the country.
In our Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2021 Insights Report, we found that employees of these great workplaces have had a more positive perception of the companies they worked for compared to the previous year. These include areas such as respect (from 93% in 2020 to 97% in 2021) where employees believe that their organization is a physically safe place to work in as well as pride (from 93% in 2020 to 96% in 2021) where surveyed employees say they are proud to work in their company. These numbers may be linked to the initiatives of these companies to take better care of their employees during the pandemic.
Employees believe that their organization is a physically safe place to work in
Employees say they are proud to work in their company
For example, employees of Canva Philippines who have switched to working from home received allowances to purchase ergonomic home office furniture and daily meal stipends to make up for the free meals they used to have at the office.
Western Union Asia Regional Operations Center, meanwhile, provided flu vaccines for staff and their families as well as a free one-year subscription to the meditation app Headspace, among other benefits. These helped ensure that employees were not only ready to transition to working from home, but also that their physical and mental well-being were taken care of.
Programs like these strengthened the two companies’ employer brand and enabled them to continue to attract and retain employees even during the pandemic.
Your Employer Brand is More Valuable Than Ever
An infographic published by LinkedIn in July 2021 4 revealed that 67% of American employees consider having a sense of purpose as more important now than it was before the pandemic. It would not be surprising to find Filipino employees sharing the same sentiment.
Currently, employees are looking beyond the traditional benefits package when choosing to stay or apply at an organization. Millennials and Gen Z employees, for example, are largely concerned about whether the company’s values align with theirs. They are also worried about their health and safety when they return to the office.
Because of this, you need to put greater emphasis on adding the key ingredients of a great employer brand to your organization. You can start by articulating your organization’s purpose and ensuring that you consistently live by it in everything you do and every decision you make. Having leaders who will embody your company’s values will also be critical as your employees will follow their lead.
The Great Resignation may be looming over organizations worldwide but having a great employer brand will enable you to minimize or even avoid its impact on your company altogether.
Antoniette Talosig is the Managing Partner of Great Place to Work® Philippines and the Lead Consultant for Singapore. Driven by her passion to help people be the best that they can be, Toni started Great Place to Work® in the Philippines with a vision to create a high-trust workplace experience for every Filipino. She has close to two decades of partnership with some government agencies, SMEs, MNCs and some Fortune 100 companies across industries and geographies. Toni believes being a mother is the greatest adventure of her life and she enjoys seeing the world with her family.