Talk these days on virtual meetings, over a coffee, or back in the office as we all start the process of returning to normal has been very focused on what is referred to as, the great resignation. The topic is not going away and is having a profound impact on the digital services market.

What’s it all about?

In simple terms, the pandemic has forced a new workplace environment, globally. This new work era includes work from home or anywhere really, and most importantly, employees standing up and saying I’ve had enough! Employees now want quality of life, flexibility, a work culture that offers a higher quality professional experience and more money too.

According to the Washington Post, the phenomenon dubbed as the “Great Resignation” seems to be picking up speed. A staggering record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August of 2021, according to the U.S. Labor Department. This is also backed by Microsoft's research for the 2021 Work Trend Index, in which they predicted a staggering 41% of workers are contemplating parting ways with their current employer this year.

The results many organizations and governments are experiencing are employees essentially saying, “to hell with this”. People have felt undervalued and unheard, which now is placing employers in a position of changing their corporate culture or being faced with a very significant challenge, not being able to hire or retain quality people. It’s happening globally. There is a global workforce shortage as people are taking back their lives.

How is it hurting digital services and their customers?

A global workforce shortage has hit all industries. The digital services space is part of this shift, and many agencies providing solutions and consulting services to industry and government are suffering. They are challenged with two frictions, finding the right resources to join their teams and then somehow retaining the resources. Essential resources in the digital services space include UX and UI designers, scrum masters, full-stack developers, data scientists, and more.

If a government or industry within the private sector runs a procurement process, some digital services providers are now scrambling behind the scenes, on the fly, as they prepare their procurement responses and try to find and hire the talent they need to fulfill their business commitments. This is having a direct impact on the final results clients are expecting and many projects are not being delivered on time, or on budget. The additional impact also can include solutions that are not the right fit for the future with issues around scalability, performance, and maintenance costs.

What is the true cost?

We all know the costs to a vendor when failing with their mission of providing digital services to a client, which includes damage to their brand, cost containment, and in some cases, legal implications. Let’s not forget how a failed delivery hurts their company culture as well. A LinkedIn survey found 27% of candidates who had a negative experience would “actively discourage” others from applying for a job with that company.

The cost of failure has a significant impact on the customer too. Looking at this from the government perspective, digital services that do not deliver the intended results mean citizens' dollars are being wasted and are perceived by the people government serve (aka voters), as typical bureaucratic misses. This fuels political challenges for parties, that ultimately will likely hurt their re-election bids.

If solutions for public sector digital services are not delivering reliable, usable, and meaningful applications that meet the highest standards of approval…it is simply wasted money and time. Is the great resignation impacting your organization?

Image Credit: Zoey Li / Midjourney

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