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Two noticeable trends have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic.

One: resignations have fallen dramatically. Employees who’ve been lucky enough not to be laid off have dug in like limpets. The assumption has been that they’re grateful to still have jobs.

And two: employer-employee relationships have taken a big hit. 62% of employees feel that COVID has shifted the balance between themselves and their employers, and 32% feel it’s weakened the relationship, according to new research by MetLife UK. Almost half say their relationships with their employers have worsened and their productivity has dropped.

Put your hands together, and these two trends produce an alarming picture. Workers who’ve stuck with their jobs through the pandemic may not be so grateful to have them after all. They may just be biding their time until the conditions are right to resign.

In other words, once the current wave of COVID recedes, we could be looking at a dramatic surge in resignations over the summer.

For HR professionals, this demands a two-pronged approach. Your first step is to focus on employee retention. Arrange 1:1s with employees to listen to their needs and concerns and see what can be done to make them happier. Consider handing out some pay raises or bonuses; even if they’re hard to afford, they’ll be less costly than a wave of resignations.

Secondly, prepare for the worst and get your company ready for potentially hiring at scale. Make sure your people have written checklists for routine processes and procedures, which will not only make handover easier if they do resign, but also help them do a better job if they don’t.

Most importantly, engage a trusted recruitment partner who can save you time and money when finding candidates. Your company has already weathered 2020; make sure you have the support you need for 2021.

Posted by: Morgan Spencer