"The Great Resignation," as it's been deemed, appears to have originated from the service sector -and understandably so. COVID-19 radically altered the nature of face-to-face interactions, and even now, health and safety concerns persist. Understandably, many workers are afraid to return to an unsafe workplace.
But as other industries return to on-site operations, they're encountering similar retention issues. As our research uncovered, this attrition often has less to do with physical safety, and more to do with psychological safety.
For employees, this Great Resignation isn't simply a matter of quitting; it's an opportunity to strike off on something new. The study began by asking respondents whether they've contemplated a career change in the past year. Nearly one in two respondents said yes.
Of those who have considered a career change in the past, 57% are thinking of leaving their company within the next 12 months. Thankfully, contemplation doesn't have to mean action. For leaders looking to mount their own "Great Retention," it's crucial to stop the attrition boulder before it gets rolling.
The big question, of course, is "why?" Why are employees so eager to pack up and leave? One possibility is that workers-such as those at restaurants or in retail-feel unsafe physically in their current jobs due to ongoing health concerns.
When asked whether they feel comfortable working on-site or in an office from a health and safety perspective, nearly 80% of employees said yes. What's more, this average was relatively consistent across industries-for retail, sentiment was even higher than 80%. So what else is it about?
Resignations may not correlate with industry, but that doesn't mean there aren't trends to glean. The next portion of the study presented respondents with the following question: "Rate your manager on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being a terrible manager and 5 being a world-class manager."
An encouraging 65% of respondents considered their managers either "good" or "world-class," while only 13% considered them "terrible" or "not-so-great." The remaining 22% said "average."
But the most telling finding lies between the numbers. Of those who said they have a bad manager (terrible or not-so-great), 63% are considering quitting in the next year. Only 27% of those with a good manager (good or world-class) said the same.
About This Report
"Being part of a fast-growing company, I cannot afford to lose our people and the institutional knowledge they hold, so I need to stay close to their needs and identify challenges before they become unsolvable problems. Customizing my management style to each one of my team members helps to get them engaged with their job and the mission we are pursuing. Showing interest in their success and challenges by exploring these topics during a stay interview increases their knowledge of being appreciated and allows me and other leaders to solve any issues before an exit is needed."
"Many Individual contributors get energy from being around colleagues even if they don't depend on them to complete their job. Remote work has eliminated the opportunity to engage with colleagues daily, thus creating a 'Meaningful Interaction Bubble.' Leaders must be proactive to ensure individual contributors get enough interaction to maintain energy and purpose in their work."
"Businesses fundamentally changed when COVID hit. They had to pivot quickly to not only send their employees home, but move all processes and strategies (hiring, onboarding, internal communications, marketing, selling, etc.) to an online model. With the world opening back up, there's no reason to assume that we would (as businesses, or people) return to a world before COVID. Many businesses learned how to streamline, how to become more efficient, and how to better trust and enable their employees during COVID. It makes sense that hybrid teams will become the new norm, for businesses who can make it work."
"Many companies are seeing accelerated growth or are ready to implement changes that were put on hold during the shutdown. As a result, we see an extraordinary number of open positions every day posted by companies I follow. In this environment, attracting the right candidates, hiring the right person for the job, and ensuring successful onboarding are more relevant than ever; tools like the Job Analyzer, the Job Target, and the Interview Guide play a key role in my success building a topperforming team."
"Every employee wants to be known and valued, but so few managers are willing to ensure it happens. When managers leverage personality assessments, it creates a perception for employees that check these two critical boxes. If that wasn't enough, personality assessments dramatically improve the ability for managers to personalize and customize communication with team members to increase engagement and performance."
2021 People Management Report