It has been termed the “Great Resignation” with businesses across the world are seeing a huge uptick in resignations as the new year prompts many to not only change jobs but also their lifestyles.
While resignations began to rise exponentially in October there is no sign that the pace is slowing.
The term was coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management in Texas, who in May 2021 said a wave of resignations was coming as people digested the lessons of lockdown and reimagined what normal life should look like. After working from home for months, with no commute and more time with family, many people have decided it’s time for a change.
In the UK, a study by recruitment firm Ranstad UK found nearly 70% of workers thought they could get a new job if they wished and a quarter of employees who participated the study said they planned to move jobs in the next three months.
In the US, the so-called ‘quits rate’, a measure of voluntary resignations per month, rose in August to an all-time high – 4.3 million people, or 2.9% of the entire workforce, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The picture is no different in other parts of the world, with a report from Digital Workforce Trends claiming that ASEAN companies are experiencing a growing shortage of skilled workers and difficulties when looking to transition employees back to on-site work.
The insurance industry has been braced for a rise in resignations and the IPMI sector will not be immune to the impact of this post Covid phenomena.
Ranstad UK CEO Victoria Short said: “The Great Resignation is here and job loyalty is a thing of the past. Very few people moved jobs during the pandemic – the missing quits. A lot of people who wanted to quit just hadn’t and they led to a deluge of resignations. Another factor is burnout. Some teams have been running too hot for too long.
“The pandemic has changed how some people think about life, work, and what they want out of both. It’s made people step back and rethink their lives. Covid has reminded them that life is too short – and the number of vacancies means that not only do they want to change one of the key aspects of their life – their jobs – they can.
“In some cases, people are changing their whole careers. The most important factor, however, is that ties to firms have become weaker. Working from home means you are no longer sitting next to a friend or that you have a particularly good commute. Suddenly those factors, which are surprisingly powerful, are negated; working from home makes it matter less who you work for.”
The complexity of the IPMI classes of business makes the underwriting and distribution of products a skilled process and there are concerns that in the months to come the exodus of experienced staff will leave gaps that the industry will struggle to fill.
As a regulated business the market needs to ensure that a lack of skilled and experienced staff are not leaving organisations open to breeches of any regulatory requirements.
One such issue is around product transparency where technology will increasingly be utilised to allow intermediaries to more easily discuss the key differences in a range of policies with clients. This will enhance client’s abilities to make informed choices and provide greater job satisfaction to intermediaries able to match cover with client need more accurately.
Technology is also helping to replace mundane and time consuming repetitive tasks – such as ensuring documentation is created and delivered securely to all participants in the transaction. This will go a long way to allowing businesses to deploy their skilled staff in areas where they can make a tangible difference to the business with more challenging roles.
‘Boreout’ as some have termed the phrase is a challenge for many employers, and is not helping with the trends associated with the great resignation. In one an extreme case, a court in France awarding damages to a perfume company employee suffering from boreout. The court decided the firm was guilty of harassment by depriving the worker of meaningful, challenging tasks after sidelining him with non-existent duties over four years.
With the likelihood of the sector facing a skills shortage in the months to come the benefits technology can deliver cannot come soon enough.