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Search Query: What’s Contributing to the Great Resignation?

6 minute read
Xavier Pornain avatar
How not having the right tools — search in particular — frustrates workers and drives attrition.

While it no longer dominates headlines or Google searches, the effects of the Great Resignation continue to be felt worldwide. What started as an above-average spike in voluntary resignations in early 2021 turned into month after month of record-setting job resignations. From 2020 to 2021, 21% of American workers took a new job.

But many workers aren’t yet fully committed to their new positions. The same study showed that 40% of new workers are already actively looking for a new job. Even if it may have become quieter, the Great Resignation is far from over.

In addition to work flexibility, employees are increasingly frustrated by the state of the digital workplace and the inability to perform at the top of their profession. The Great Resignation has increased turnover, bringing an influx of new employees to many organizations. If these new employees don’t have the tools to do their best work and can’t immediately perform at their best, they experience frustration and might lose enthusiasm for staying at their new company. Something needs to change regarding the digital workplace to reduce attrition and retain employees.In addition to work flexibility, employees are increasingly frustrated by the state of the digital workplace and the inability to perform at the top of their profession. The Great Resignation has increased turnover, bringing an influx of new employees to many organizations. If these new employees don’t have the tools to do their best work and can’t immediately perform at their best, they experience frustration and might lose enthusiasm for staying at their new company. Something needs to change regarding the digital workplace to reduce attrition and retain employees.

In 2022 Sinequa — in partnership with CMSWire — surveyed IT professionals and business users at enterprise-level organizations for a comprehensive look at a critical part of the digital workplace: enterprise search. We examined how it’s being used, where perception gaps exist between our two groups, and what fallout companies experience when their search tools aren’t ideal and practical. While it might take a back seat to larger, louder issues, companies can’t afford to sleep on enterprise search. To do so is to face the wrath of a million unhappy workers.

Enterprise Search Bridges the Frustration Gap

One of the critical components of the Great Resignation comes from business users’ frustration about their less-than-ideal digital workplaces. Business users want relevancy when discussing an ideal enterprise search environment, particularly as many of them feel like they rarely find the answers they seek.

However, many business users get the relevancy they want with their current capabilities. Shockingly, 33% of business users say they never find the information they were searching for often, either frequently or all the time. Having 1 out of every three searches end in failure indeed makes a case for moving on to another job with better digital tools. Another contributing factor comes from miscommunication between business users and IT teams.

The business impacts of a lack of relevance can be profound. Deficiencies in enterprise search can result in mistakes being made in work (53%), less effective customer customer service (47%) or the need to recreate work that had previously been created (42%). A robust enterprise search environment is designed to bridge these gaps, ensuring business users find what they’re looking for every time and reducing the need to recreate work.

IT Team Misconceptions Around Enterprise Search

One of the biggest misalignments between IT teams and business users around enterprise search is around what concepts business users use search for compared to what concepts IT thinks search is being used for. As it turns out, there are significant differences. Most glaringly, 69% of IT teams think search is typically used for corporate information, while only 38% of business users agree. On the other hand, 53% of business users are searching for solutions to issues, while only 42% of IT teams think this is a typical use case for enterprise search.

Learning Opportunities

IT teams might not think employee retention is a part of their job description, but how they manage the digital employee experience affects worker sentiment. To increase employee engagement levels and reduce attrition, IT professionals need better awareness of what business users look for and provide tools for users to get relevant information at the right time.

A Perfect Storm of Discontent

The mismatch between what IT professionals think business users need to search for and what business users do with search partially contributes to employee frustrations with their workplace and — if left unchecked — can cause disengagement and attrition. To make matters worse, only 48% of business users think their leadership knows they have a search problem.

Companies who don’t prioritize enterprise search do so at their peril. Tellingly, only 4% of business users report suffering no impact as a result of lousy enterprise search capabilities. Instead, 42% experience low employee satisfaction, while 47% report less effective customer service. (And let’s not forget the relationship between customer and employee experience, where bad EX can harm CX and vice versa.) Given enough negative sentiment surrounding the digital workplace, employees will leave. Companies don’t have long to make it right for their employees — with 4 in 10 new hires already looking for another job. Your workforce might already have one foot out the proverbial door.

Conclusion

The fallout from the Great Resignation will continue to be felt for a long time as employees continue to quit their jobs en masse. Above-average attrition has exacerbated search issues within companies that struggle to maintain in-house knowledge and avoid knowledge loss. While the Great Resignation has slowed, employees will still leave for something better if they don’t have an ideal digital workplace to work in. Such a workplace incorporates more robust enterprise search capabilities, fine-tuned to how business users look for information. Our upcoming webinar goes into this topic more in-depth and suggests actionable solutions.

Be sure to watch the webinar The IT/Business Chasm Surrounding Enterprise Search here. And be on the lookout for our next article, where we further discuss the disconnect between IT teams and business users.

About the author

Xavier Pornain

Xavier is in charge of Corporate Development, driving Strategic Alliance, mergers and acquisitions as well geographic expansions.

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