For some time now we have been living in the Age of Worker, as industry circles proclaimed. Indeed, we have seen a high demand for people with specialized skills to support the activities carried out by companies operating in various industries (especially the most competitive – IT, high-tech, telecom, etc.). Talented candidates could easily run through job offers, climb the career ladder or even dictate terms of employment (receive better salaries). It stirred the labor market into what’s been called “The Great Resignation”, which happened last year.
The Big Stay – table of contents:
Now, in turn, experts are heralding the dawn of “The Big Stay”. Today, we’ll focus on this new trend in the labor market, investigate its genesis as well as advise what companies can do to harness its potential.
What is The Big Stay?
The Big Stay refers to a job market trend when employees choose to stay in their current jobs instead of actively seeking new employment opportunities. Such a situation means an organization stabilizes employment in a given position and cuts costs associated with staff turnover. Naturally, from the perspective of companies, the trend seems beneficial.
The Big Stay was first noted in the U.S. labor market by the ADP Research Institute, which having acquired and analyzed data, indicated that although the number of job vacancies in March 2023 was as high as 9.6 million, the overall number of vacancies fell by 20% compared to 2022 (then there were 12 million). Moreover, labor shortages and turnover rates fell by 5% compared to last year.
How did The Big Stay begin?
Why do employees decide to stay in their current jobs? The reasons behind such behavior may be both external and internal. On the one hand, there’s the current market situation – the ongoing economic crisis (as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic) which worries job seekers that the search for a new job may involve the risk of not having access to suitable job offers (both for the position and in the area of possible conditions).
For the sake of workers’ stability and financial security, it seems far better to remain in one’s current place of employment. But on the other, we should mention the increasing awareness of employers in the area of employee needs and the necessity to adapt, e.g., by implementing development programs, providing flexibility in employment conditions or supporting work-life balance.
What does The Big Stay mean for employees and employers?
The Big Stay has implications for both employees and employers. For the former, it means greater stability, financial security as well as the opportunity to grow within the current organization and reap the benefits of long-term affiliation and loyalty (e.g., benefits for long-term employees).
Still, at the same time, the Big Stay can be associated with career stagnation and a lack of new challenges, which may hinder performance at work. For employers, this market trend implies the need to focus on strategies to sustain loyalty (especially of the most talented employees), such as, among others:
- Benefit policy,
- Development opportunities within the organization,
- Flexibility in terms and conditions of employment.
How to harness the potential of the Big Stay trend? Some tips
For every employer and HR professional, the Big appears beneficial. However, we should point out that as with every trend, it isn’t permanent and it doesn’t hold good for every employee and firm regardless of the industry in which it operates. For this reason, companies should emphasize taking maximum advantage of the current labor market situation. Supporting it can take place through such measures as:
- Setting clear goals for everyone involved (as part of pointing the company’s direction and showing what role employees will play in it),
- Planning development paths (supporting employees in improving their skills),
- Maintaining continuous feedback,
- Providing employment flexibility (e.g., in the area of work location and hours),
- Recognizing and rewarding employee performance (including employee loyalty),
- Offering competitive benefits (especially those that support employee work-life balance),
- Implementing empowerment (giving employees more responsibility and autonomy).
The Big Stay – summary
After the time of Great Resignation came The Big Stay, but no one can predict how long this trend will continue. That’s why it’s crucial to take measures now to get the most out of this phenomenon. By following the above-mentioned exemplary practices, you’ll strengthen employee loyalty, establish a comfortable work environment and provide growth opportunities, making your workers more connected to the organization.
However, keep in mind that strengthening the described trend should primarily take the form of continuous dialogue – active listening and action (including responding to the changing needs of employees). Companies that implement such a strategy will undoubtedly enjoy lower staff turnover in individual positions.