According to a new survey, U.S. laborers are overworked amid the COVID-19 pandemic 

With 2022 right around the corner, everyone is beginning to set their goals and intentions for the new year. While business objectives and revenue targets are very much an important aspect of 2022 prep, organizations must also view these through a wider lens and incorporate the employee experience into their plans. 

For many businesses, this is often seen in December in the form of annual reviews, open enrollment periods and end-of-year bonuses. However, amid the Great Resignation, it’s time to take that one — or a few — step(s) further and get a deeper look at how employees are feeling. 

The Great Resignation will continue on into 2022 if we don’t make big changes 

The Great Resignation is not just a headline grabber – it’s really here and hitting organizations across the globe hard. In the U.S., a record 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the heels of this news, SailPoint wanted to better understand how employed individuals in the U.S. are feeling, what they want to see in the new year and how business leaders can make a change today. 

According to the findings, a quarter of respondents plan to leave their jobs within the next year. When looking at age breakdowns, more than a third of Millennials (36%) and close to half (48%) of Gen Z plan to leave within the next year. 

So, what’s driving this trend? 

Employee retention is primarily dependent upon work-life balance 

The data overwhelmingly points to work-life balance as a key factor when it comes to the employee experience. When looking at hours worked, respondents said that they work outside of their agreed-upon hours (55%) with almost 10% working outside of their hours every day. Similarly, nearly half (44%) work more than a 40-hour week and about 10% work 10+ hours a day. 

As a result, about half (48%) agreed that they aren’t able to maintain a healthy work-life balance. When asked how their employers support them on this front, employees were torn. About 50% don’t think their employer-backed benefits help and nearly half don’t believe they receive a suitable salary/wage (45%) or reasonable paid-time-off (PTO) policy to maintain a healthy work-life balance.  

Wages and benefits are a close second 

When asked what else would make them stay, nearly half of respondents (58%) pointed to more competitive salaries and 42% (50% for Millennials and Gen Z) emphasized greater work flexibility. 

Based on how organizations operate today, 64% of respondents said they would not consider returning to a previous employer for future employment, unless they were able to receive higher salaries (63%), flexible work hours (43%) and more impressive benefits (38%). 

These results highlight a growing concern as companies begin to dig out from the pandemic – employees are leaving for better work-life balance, greater flexibility and increased pay.  However, the organizations that offer strong values, respect and understanding have the opportunity to turn the Great Resignation on its head and even entice former employees to boomerang back to a company that resolves to improve the employee experience in 2022. 

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