The Great Resignation in Europe and the effect of the Russian war in Ukraine on the European job market.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought changes in many areas of life, including the job market. According to EuroStat unemployment rates in Europe raised from 6,3% to 7,7% in March 2020, but they stabilized and got lower. However, in November 2021 the Western world faced another challenge that impacted the whole job market and caused a labor shortage. Covid affected people’s choices and made them rethink their priorities, this forced workers to massively quit their jobs. So why did this happen?

The Great Resignation or in other words The Big Quit is an economic trend that appeared in 2021 during the ongoing Covid pandemic. These phenomena describe the process of individuals voluntarily quitting their jobs. According to data from Linkedin the industries that were affected by Great Resignation, the most include retail, healthcare, and hospitality. Even though each individual had his own reasons for leaving his job, here are some of the most common ones.

Low payment and no growth opportunities were the most common reasons, also a total of 41% of the workers left their previous jobs as they were not satisfied with their current salary. Not all companies were able to provide compensations benefits as well as additional bonuses to their employees, workers didn’t get any guarantees of advancing to a higher position.

Work-life balance was one of the leading reasons why Great Resignation happened since many people reevaluated their goals and priorities. 72% of Europeans indicated that they felt burnout and unmotivated to continue working on their current position, many of them were physically and mentally exhausted, that’s why employees decided to pursue a different career path. In addition to added anxiety and stress, a great majority of people found remote work more effective and efficient. Some of them didn’t support business coming back to fully in-person mode, since “work from home” experience had proven to boost employees’ productivity, reduce turnover, save time, and lower organizational costs. The US statistics of 2021 show that young adults with a lower income were more likely to quit the job, in comparison to adults and middle to upper-income individuals. This proves that those who have less education and overall young generation is most likely to risk and switch to a different job position or even field, while others prefer stability and are not willing to risk.

The Great Resignation was definitely a big hit for many companies, however, businesses can still prevent employees from quitting their jobs. The management can easily spot the signs that would indicate the desire of employees to leave the company. Here are some of the main signs:

  • Employees are less interested in what they are doing
  • They do not participate in team meetings and their productivity decreases
  • People are doing minimum work
  • They are leaving the workplace early and ask for more sick leaves or days off

In such cases, it’s essential to have an honest and open talk with your employee, listen to his concerns, and reach a compromise. Managers can offer their workers flexible schedules, different working modes, benefits and discuss further career opportunities. Directors also should show recognition to their workers, give credit for their hard work, provide feedback and stay connected as much as possible. Finally, if the employee feels overwhelmed, he should be allowed to take a short vacation to recharge and come back to the office with more energy and motivation.

Recent geopolitical events impacted many spheres including the job market. As Ukrainians started fleeing to various European countries including Poland, Germany, Chech Republic, Romania, and the Baltic states, more companies started offering job opportunities. According to “Verslo žinios” currently there are around 7300 job offers in different Lithuanian cities, and during the first week, more than 170 Ukrainians were employed, also since March 1 employers are able to provide jobs to Ukrainians refugees without any additional procedures. Some professionals that Ukrainians were employed as include teachers, cooks, tailors, administration workers, etc. In addition to this, some companies will provide a living place and flexible working schedule for everyone, especially for women with small kids. Both skilled and unskilled workers are needed, however, most of the proposals were received from the manufacturing sector, food and clothing, and other textile companies. The hospitality sector offered jobs in hotels and restaurants for the construction companies they are also looking for new colleagues.

The Ukrainian-Russian war impacted Lithuanians and their career choices as well. Many of them were thinking to relocate to other cities or even countries and find a new position there, but the fear of war changed their plans. Now many of them are searching for stable jobs in any sector, also those who wanted to leave their current companies and start new positions decided to remain in the place where they are now in order to not risk.