It’s not unknown that a local version of the "Great Resignation" is playing out in South Africa. According to data gathered by Remchannel from human resources departments of 82 South African companies, high resignation rates result from employees searching for flexible work structures and personal development opportunities after the pandemic. Many are also leaving their jobs to escape toxic workplaces.
“Traditionally, South Africans resigned for better remuneration and opportunities. But the landscape has shifted. Today, people are looking for happier working environments, work-life balance, and opportunities to improve their skills and grow their careers,” said Michael Gullan, CEO of G&G Advocacy, a strategic eLearning consultancy that assists businesses in migrating their Learning and Development online.
The high cost of resignations
International studies show that Millennials—the largest age group in the US workforce––prioritise equity, transparency, flexibility, and purpose in their jobs. When companies don’t deliver, they’re not afraid to quit. According to a survey by WorkJam, two out of three managers say millennials have the highest churn rate. The cost of losing critical staff is severe. In South Africa, Remchannel’s data shows that almost 40,000 employees resigned from 82 companies in the past year, and the costs associated with filling vacant positions are nearly R24 billion.
The smart solution
“It’s not surprising that remote and hybrid work has increased employees’ need for new skills, mentoring, and career guidance,” added Gullan. “Our clients report that offering online learning that is flexible, personalised, relevant, and engaging is one of the most effective ways to respond to shifting employee needs and values.”
Gullan adds that the rapid exodus of skilled professionals opting to work abroad is leaving large skills gaps. “Training has never been more crucial,” he said, “and it has to be agile with clear outcomes so organisations can close those gaps quickly and effectively to survive and thrive.”
Gullan reports that 65% of employees want their training paid for by their employer and offered during work hours. And 59% of millennials say that opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important when applying for a job.
Employee development is a great way to attract and keep top talent as savvy applicants will choose an organisation that offers online learning over one that doesn’t,” Gullan concluded. “Organisations can no longer see eLearning as a budget item, but an investment that enhances employee retention and engagement, stimulates curiosity at work, and shows commitment to employee development, not to mention increased productivity and innovation that so many companies desperately need at this time.”