Perhaps the strangest, if you like, novel situation of the regime change years is becoming a constant in the Hungarian labour market, as the economic boom of the late 2010s and emigration have led to persistent labour shortages in a wide range of sectors. In addition, the pandemic, which has already been widely reported, has almost fundamentally reorganised sectors, such as the hospitality industry, where a significant number of workers were forced to 'try their luck' in another industry during the period of closures and then stayed there.
Economic performance requires workers, so more and more employers have started to look for social groups that can still be attracted, such as retired people, students or, as recent years have shown, workers from abroad.
- Due to the draining effect of major mega-investments, the steadily shrinking active workforce, the overheads boom and inflation, which have put workers under wage pressure, turnover has become almost constant, says turnover expert Katalin Csikós-Nagy. The managing director of HR Evolution, which has carried out annual national turnover surveys since 2016, adds that while during the COVID period there was a marked decline in the need to change jobs and workers were more likely to seek security, this trend has now been reversed and more and more people are becoming open to looking for a new job. In addition, the labour shortage is making it increasingly difficult for employers to replace workers, while workers are increasingly looking for a change, as they too are being hit by the 'pendulum of job offers'. According to profession.hu, the number of job vacancies published on the portal peaked towards the end of the pandemic in November 2021 (almost 22,000), but there are more than 17,000 advertised positions available in March this year.
Of course, the Hungarian labour market cannot "escape" global trends, and the reasons for the decline in engagement are similar. As the research showed, it is not only new job opportunities with higher wages that make workers lose faith in their jobs, but there are also many professional, psychological and personal reasons for the decline in commitment. For example - and this figure is particularly high for domestic workers -
which research shows is also an important expectation of Hungarian workers, but which they do not receive from their managers, or receive less often, or where the departure of immediate colleagues and the temporary non-replacement of their positions places a significantly greater burden on the remaining workers.
According to the data of the 2022 survey, Katalin Csikós-Nagy is firmly of the opinion that the Hungarian labour turnover trends are likely to remain in the higher range seen since 2018.
Source: HR Evolution
- Every year, when we ask companies, we find that they are much more optimistic than what they end up achieving in this area," he explains. What is new, however, is that, in addition to previous experience, it is mainly the physical workforce that is really affected by turnover,
Source: HR Evolution
According to Katalin Csikós-Nagy, one of the shocking effects of the pandemic is also felt in the labour market, where workers - whether they have lost a relative or have themselves suffered a more serious illness - are rethinking their lives and therefore their jobs, as the loss is "within reach". This in turn has changed their attitude to work and to the workplace. - During the pandemic, employers, managers and even employees became much more engaged with each other, with attention, security and human relations becoming important," he says, adding that companies were unable to fully compensate for the need to increase wages due to inflation, and this was reflected in the survey responses, while wages and support for various work-related costs, such as commuting to work, became a priority for employers as a key retention issue.
And this is where the responsibility of the leader comes in.
- Already in 2018, at the time of the record annual turnover, higher pay was cited as a reason for leaving by 45% of men and only 33% of women, while the top reason for men was unfulfilled promises and for women inhuman treatment," recalls the CEO of HR Evolution. - In the same year, ⅔ of those surveyed cited good team spirit and atmosphere as reasons for staying.
The research also showed, for example, that managers' communication style and treatment of manual workers is the most lenient.
- The role of managers in managing and preventing staff turnover has become inescapable, and it is clear that employees who are not well, are not engaged," says Katalin Csikós-Nagy.