There are indications that a global trend termed ‘The Great Resignation’ will see more workers than usual quit their jobs following the COVID-19 pandemic. What could this mean for you?

In 2021, a survey by consulting firm PwC Australia found that 38 per cent of workers wanted to find a new job in the next year, while people management platform Employment Hero’s survey found that figure to be 48 per cent, with 15 per cent of respondents stating that they were already looking for a new role.

Reasons cited by employees planning to change jobs included:

  • wanting flexible working arrangements
  • lacking career opportunities in their current role
  • not having had a pay rise
  • not being appreciated or recognised
  • poor company culture.

The increase in people considering changing jobs can also be attributed to pent-up demand, as fewer people than normal voluntarily changed their working arrangements over the past two years, during the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Due to the current shortage of skilled labour in many industries, workers with experience may have more bargaining power when looking for new roles, making 2022 an opportune time to make a change.

What does this mean if you are a worker looking for a change?

Many employees, who are dissatisfied with their current role, will automatically look for other employment elsewhere.

However, some may consider the time ripe to start their own small business instead of going to work for someone else.

Even if you have had some experience of small business ownership, it’s important to prepare properly before leaving your job, to ensure you have a robust framework to succeed.

If you are exploring the idea of starting your own enterprise, our useful resources include:

We also run a free Starting a Business workshop that takes you through all the essentials of preparing and launching your own business. Check our workshop schedule for this and other useful business skills workshops.

How could this impact you if you are a small business employer?

If you are a small business employer who is concerned about the prospect of your staff leaving, consider the main reasons given by people who are looking to change jobs in the next year, and how you can mitigate them.

Flexible working arrangements

Do you have the ability in your business to offer flexible working options such as changes to start and finish times; split shifts; job share arrangements; or working from home options to make your business more attractive to your employees? See Fair Work for more information.

Career opportunities

Have you created a staff development plan for long serving employees that allows them the opportunity to grow in their role? If you own a family business, you could also consider this as part of your succession plan.

Pay rises

If other businesses are offering to pay more than you for similar roles, you may be at risk of poaching. Consider whether you can make it more attractive to work in your business by giving your staff a raise.


Sometimes the difference between retaining and losing staff can be as simple as acknowledging a job well done. In fact, being recognised for one’s efforts is often cited as more important than extra pay. Consider showing your appreciation through ‘Employee of the Month’ acknowledgements, team morning teas, movie tickets or even a personal email.


Is your company culture strong and attractive to employees? Examine (or develop) shared core values, celebrate wins, be transparent and manage a safe and healthy environment to make your business an employer of choice.

With record low unemployment in WA, it is important for small businesses to make themselves as attractive as possible in order to compete for and retain workers.


While ‘The Great Resignation’ may not be as significant as predicted, it’s a good chance to take stock and ask whether you or your employees are entirely happy in your current positions, and what change that might lead to in 2022.

Starting and growing
04 January 2022