News stories of people quitting their jobs are everywhere, reporting that people are leaving for better opportunities or working for themselves. In fact, 44 percent of employees are looking for new jobs, according to Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey.
On the flip side, the news reports stories of unfilled positions and the impact of the labor shortage as companies scramble to find employees. But workers across the globe are putting their collective foot down, telling leaders loud and clear that they want better working conditions, pay and work-life balance. And with 11 million unfilled jobs in the United States alone, it’s evident that companies aren’t creating careers that people want.
So what’s going on? Why are people leaving jobs? Why are they putting their collective foot down? We talk about why people are quitting in this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO.
The situation is complex, and it’s difficult to pinpoint a single issue, but I’ve narrowed ‘The Great Resignation’ down to these reasons.
Family Comes First
During the pandemic, many people began to reevaluate their work and life, especially when it came to spending time with family. Many people are saying, “I am putting my family first, and the health of my relationships is more important than grinding it out every day.” People left if their jobs didn’t fit with their newfound family-first purpose.
Looking for Purpose in Work
Finding purpose in our work is essential to thriving in life and the workplace. People want to know that their work matters in the bigger picture and aligns with their talents and skills. One gentleman I spoke to said, “If I am working 8-10 hours a day, I want to feel good about what I accomplished at the end of the day. But not just for the benefit of my company. I want to feel purposeful in my life – like I am doing something I am meant to be doing.”
Bad Jobs Are Bad Jobs
There’s no getting around it; some jobs suck. Low pay, long hours, unsafe work conditions, rude customers – all these things have always made people want to quit.
Many who are leaving jobs are going to work for themselves. The WFH movement showed people could do much of their work from anywhere and inspired people to go out independently.
What are businesses to do?
Notice that most of these reasons have nothing to do with pay. While compensation is important, pay is not the primary reason people leave. Employees want healthy workplaces that offer flexibility and autonomy – they want to choose where and when they work. They want to work for companies that value and respect them. People want to work in businesses where customers aren’t abusive and rude. Business leaders must start addressing the root causes of these issues and commit to authentically recreating their culture and relationships with their employees. Those who don’t will be left behind.
Question of the Week
This week’s question comes from someone on Facebook who asked, “My company is undergoing changes, and I have resistant people on my team. What should I do?
I share my tips on bringing people along, how to bite off change in small chunks, and what to do when you just have to rip the Band-Aid off.
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