“The Big Quit”
AMCHAM Position Paper
Topic: The Big Quit
Trust and purpose are key in engaging and retaining employees.
The Big Quit trend is affecting businesses globally across sectors with many leading organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, have experienced high employee attrition. Though the trend is yet to catch up in the UAE and region, companies here are scrambling to retain their employees in the post-COVID phase to stay ahead.
This was discussed at the AmCham Dubai panel discussion focused on ‘The Big Quit’. Panelists at the session: Nairouz Bader, CEO of Envision Partnership – a leading Executive Search entity, Toneya Sarwar, HR Leader – Middle East & Africa and EMEAR Service Provider at Cisco, and Isil Ata, Head of HR – Middle East at Cigna. The panel looked at how ‘The Big Quit’ trend is affecting businesses and what needs to be done to recruit and retain talent.
The panel discussed that today’s market has become employee-centric. Human resources and talent acquisition are among the top concerns of organizations worldwide, which perennially face the challenge of attracting new members, training them quickly, and ensuring ways and means to retain them and reduce attrition, it discussed. The influence of business trust on talent acquisition has also become one of the fundamental priorities for companies as employees’ expectations of employers have changed o late, said experts at the panel. Trusting, recruiting, and retention have become extremely important, as employees are likely to work for companies that are trustworthy, it was discussed. Trust is an important currency–both at an individual or an institutional level. It is imperative to think about how companies can establish trust, building that up and maintaining it, which is fundamental. The panel also reinforced that companies must think out of the box by evaluating roles and responsibilities of the teams, by disrupting the processes, and streamlining conversations – particularly with the younger generation. It is important to note that pay raise is not enough to retain talent, as employees are increasingly looking for a good environment, culture, and work-life balance, it emphasized. Prioritizing employee wellness is an important element – particularly in the pandemic and post-pandemic world, said the panel. And purpose is a core value that employees are looking in organizations.
As per the Cigna 360 Wellbeing Survey, nearly 50% of employees want to quit their jobs in the UAE. And almost 46% of the people are dissatisfied with salary package and work benefits. A LinkedIn study has also revealed that 70% of employees in the Middle East will quit jobs due to flexibility. Employees have consistently stated that flexibility improves mental health, especially amongst females juggling responsibilities. Longer hours and Always-on culture have affected employees’ morale, making them feel stressed about work, the panel discussed. To retain talent, companies must adopt solutions that not only cater to the needs of their employees, but are also simple, affordable, and accessible, it highlighted. HR committees can offer wellbeing initiatives, seminars, regular check-ins with managers and employees, and remote working options to resolve issues or support a better work-life balance to the employees, said experts at the panel. The ability to demonstrate empathy in the workplace has become more important now than ever, particularly when it comes to the mental health and wellbeing of their employees to help them & their families live healthier, happier, and fulfilled lives, it reiterated. As the lines between personal and professional blur, it is the responsibility of HR leaders to establish clear expectations, procedures, and boundaries to ensure work-life balance for a sustainable, successful ecosystem, said experts at the panel.