Editorial: Great resignation

·2 min read

The Covid-19 pandemic has shuttered several businesses around the world, reeling economies and throwing millions of workers into unemployment. The Filipino workforce has not been spared by the pandemic too. Over three million Filipino workers were jobless in February 2022, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported last March.

It was thought that uncertainties brought by the pandemic would push still-employed workers to stay in their companies as finding new careers could be difficult; however, this has not been the case. In the United States, the Great Resignation happened in 2021 and it is still ongoing. American news site CNBC.com reported that a record 4.5 million employees left their jobs in November last year, stunning business leaders in the United States.

Big companies cannot survive in a world amid a pandemic if their workforce is thin.

In Cebu, the Great Resignation could drag the economy of the province, which is trying to get back on its feet amid the ongoing pandemic. This as the recent study of online job portal Mynimo.com shows that 42 percent or 1,890 of the 4,500 Cebu-based workers are planning on quitting their jobs soon. “Lack of company benefits” was the top reason of the surveyed employees who plan to quit. It is followed by “limited growth in the company,” “being underpaid,” “feeling undervalued,” and “no work-life balance.”

Mynimo.com’s chief executive officer and president Wesley Chiongbian has said in a statement the Great Resignation is changing the way employers engage their employees. He has suggested “companies should be more sensitive to the needs of each employee to be able to retain them,” not just providing them with competitive salaries and benefits.

Employers could show their sensitivity to employees who have to commute daily and endure the traffic that has returned to its pre-pandemic ugliness by allowing them to continue their work-from-home (WFH) setup or by coming up with a hybrid setup like scheduling days for their workers to render duties on-site and WFH. Traffic in Metro Cebu is a great stressor, and being stuck on the road for at least two hours is unproductive.

In May 2021, American organizational psychologist Anthony Klotz coined the term Great Resignation. In a CNBC interview, he described it as “not just about getting another job, or leaving the workforce. It’s about taking control of your work and personal life, and making a big decision – resigning – to accomplish that. This is a moment of empowerment for workers, one that will continue well into the new year.”

The Great Resignation has indeed continued this year.

Employers must think that doing business is not a one-sided affair. It’s a symbiosis, the scientific term describing the relationship between two dissimilar organisms of mutual benefit. That should be the ideal employer-employee relationship but in the capitalist world, parasitism at times prevails.

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