How to Navigate (and Win!) the Great Resignation.

Written by Angela Ferguson


Every business leader I talk to is concerned about the same issue – staff. Unemployment in Australia is low and below 4% – the last time that happened was in the 1970’s. People and culture teams are focussed on employee engagement, and at the same time they are seeing a high demand for people to fill important roles, with too few candidates available.  This makes it an employee centric job market – and a highly competitive one for anyone looking to employ people.  As businesses start to navigate the future of work, after two years of experimentation and in many cases a ‘test and learn’ approach to determining the most appropriate workplace strategy, their biggest concern is not only retaining talent but also attracting talent.

The Australian Financial Review reported that online classifieds site Seek posted a record number of job advertisements in January 2022 and a Linked-in Study around the same time found that 60% of people are considering or have started looking to change jobs.  With Australia’s borders only just re-opening in late February, it while be a while before immigration begins to have an impact on this as well. There is hope, however.

Through our work with a number of large Australian business’s we’ve found new and existing employees are looking for:

  • Alignment of values and culture – a clear understanding of what the company’s purpose is
  • Flexibility and autonomy – the ability to work from home, office, or other locations at the times and days that suit them
  • Mentoring, training and career advancement – connection with leaders and the opportunity to experience side by side learning
  • Something extra – what is going to make this role meaningful for them?

Smart companies will want to not only attract new candidates but also keep and reward their existing people.  At Future X Collective we use management consulting techniques to work with a range of businesses, in a variety of sectors to help them answer the question “What can we do to design the Optimum Workplace Employee Experience for our people?”

We look at this question across the 6 fundamental pillars of Leadership and Culture, Performance and Wellbeing, Agility and Technology, Change Readiness, Workplace Strategy and Workplace environment.  Here are some actions we recommend, based on our experience working with a diverse range of :

  1. Ensure leaders are empathetic, with good candour and communication skills and the ability to manage hybrid teams.
  2. Be more deliberate than ever about culture – a new era of culture shaping has emerged that considers innovation, performance and connection
  3. Be wary of change fatigue – the last two years have place high demands on people’s readiness for change, as well as a wariness of yet another survey or questionnaire
  4. Consider where you sit on the spectrum of hybrid working – whether it’s a high degree of organisation control or a high level of employee autonomy – and create an appropriate policy aligned with the business needs
  5. Align digital transformation with new technologies and behaviours that support all the variations of hybrid working in a way that is seamless and effortless
  6. Design a purpose led workplace that is as comfortable as home, but still offers people something more from the experience.

There are many reasons why people will be questioning everything to do with work right now; the last couple of years have lacked a lot of things for most people – diversity, change, excitement, joy.  One of the few things in peoples’ power to change is their job, and the market is currently experiencing a restlessness and desire for ‘the new’.  Its not all doom and gloom however, and smart leaders will see this as an opportunity to focus on the employee experience, ensuring that it is purpose driven, relevant and authentic.

(Source: Australian Financial Review)

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We work with businesses to strategise and deliver workplace transformation, providing consulting services across 6 fundamental pillars:

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1. Workplace Strategy

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2. Leadership & Culture

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3. Change Readiness

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4. Technology & Agility

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5. Performance & Wellness

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6. Workplace Environment

Our mission is to make work an enriching and life enhancing experience for organisations and their people.

The world of work has changed forever. Change with it.