The Great Regret. Boomerang Employees. What’s It All About?

The global pandemic has transformed the workplace, along with employee expectations around job satisfaction.

Remote working, coupled with the labour crunch, saw more workers making the switch to workplaces they thought were offering more flexible and fulfilling roles.

However, as the Great Resignation turns into the Great Regret, around one in five workers are wishing they’d stayed put.

What can employers do to right the balance and retain their talent, in uncertain times?

Why the Boomerang employee?

As reality bites, workers who transitioned to new roles have discovered the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Around one in five employees who made the leap in the US are now admitting they didn’t think through the implications, according to a USA Today poll. During an unprecedented time of workplace change, many employees took a chance – not really knowing what lay on the other side.

As the Harvard Business Review reports, 30% of new workers are leaving their roles within 90 days of recruitment. The reasons, revealed in Jobvite statistics, include:

  • The role doesn’t meet expectations (43%)
  • A specific incident made the job unviable (34%)
  • Poor company culture (32%)

Many ‘boomerang employees’ are now reaching out to their previous employer, with a view to returning to the role they left behind.

How can employers do the Great Reshuffle?

This is a confusing time for employers, who face an extremely tight labour market. With departed employees now knocking on the door again, it’s tempting to try to turn back the clock.

Yet times have changed. You’ve moved on, your workplace has taken on a different shape, and you can’t rely on former workers to fill your vacant roles.

While you might take back a star performer, it makes economic sense to retain and optimise the talent you already have. This will stabilise your workforce, while keeping recruitment costs to a minimum.

-The right benefits

Pay attention to workplace diversity and inclusion. Be transparent. Ask for employee feedback, listen to it, then act on it. Put mental health supports in place, to genuinely look after your workers.

-Flexible work options

Workers now expect to have reasonable workplace flexibility. For many employers, this means finding the right blend of remote and onsite work practice. A hybrid work model is a versatile option.

-Training programs

Now’s the time to consider training opportunities for your employees. Arm your existing workers with the skillsets necessary to fill your job vacancies. Upskilling and reskilling options can work for both of you.

-Meet in the middle

The real-life workplace can’t meet all employee expectations thrown up by the pandemic. But you can find the best possible compromise using honest communication, clear guidelines, and a willingness to be flexible.

Remember, the workplace is always a work in progress. As we continue to move out of the pandemic, it will go on changing, responding to external events as they happen.

The right workplace planning now can future-proof your organisation against the unexpected. Ask us how.