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How to Avoid the Great Resignation in Canada

There’s a Great Resignation happening in the United States: it’s a term being used to describe how millions of people have quit their jobs because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. From frontline workers to CEOs, the US is seeing a huge labour shortage while people look for new jobs. It’s predicted that this Great Resignation will be felt in places all over the world. But what about in Canada? 

While Canada is experiencing a labour shortage of it’s own, it’s not anticipated that Canada will experience a Great Resignation on the same scale as the US, according to the CIBC. But just because the Great Resignation may not happen on the same scale as in the US doesn’t mean that eastern Ontario employers should ignore the phenomenon. Read on to understand why the people are leaving their jobs in droves and how you can avoid it with your own workforce. 

What’s Causing the Great Resignation?

There are 3 factors influencing workers’ decisions to leave their jobs: 

  1. Discontent: COVID-19 is affecting more than just people’s health; it’s changing how we do business. Workloads are getting bigger and pressure is increasing with no end in sight. 
  2. Downsizing: The pandemic has caused a lot of people to reconsider their priorities and has highlighted the importance of spending time on ourselves and with family. Workers are considering part-time roles or job sharing while salaries have become less important. 
  3. Side Hustles: Another impact of workers’ reprioritization is their focus on part-time entrepreneurship. Many workers are also focusing more on their side hustles, turning their hobbies into fully-fledged businesses. 

Eastern Ontario Employers: Focus on These Retention Strategies

In an ideal world and according to banks like CIBC, the Great Resignation likely won’t happen in Canada. Other banks like BDC, however, acknowledge the labour shortage that needs to be dealt with. Here are some strategies eastern Ontario employers can utilize to mitigate the impact on your workforce:  

  1. Be Flexible: Many folks who are downsizing their jobs are doing so without speaking to their employers about their options. Let your staff know that there are part-time options for your workforce so you can retain staff and maybe even hire new employees to fill gaps.
  2. Reward and Recognize: Sometimes it’s not possible to compensate employees with the pay they’d like to receive. But meaningful rewards and recognition still go a long way toward improving your employees’ morale and retention. 
  3. Communicate: Chances are if you’re running a business, you already understand the importance of communication and are doing it well. But it cannot be overstated. Communication is key to employee retention. Transparency and consistency are key to keeping employees engaged. Communication creates opportunities for mentorship and leadership to keep your top performers invested. Finally, communication demonstrates a level of emotional intelligence and empathy that, unfortunately, many employers still cannot produce. 

Regardless of the impact of the Great Resignation on eastern Ontario businesses, these retention strategies will help employers keep a happy and engaged workforce long after the pandemic. 

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