What’s Driving the Great Resignation?

Companies are quick to point to the economy, the pandemic, market conditions and unrealistic employee expectations to explain their high employee turnover. But a deeper look might prove otherwise. Here’s my top 5 reasons (with a little added commentary) for why employees are pressing the “I quit” button.

  • Companies love to tout that their employees are their most important asset but when times get tough, employees are the first to go. (Ciao baby!)
  • Employers court new hires by promising opportunities for learning and growth but after a few years many employees realize it just ain’t so. (The only way to move up is to move out)
  • While the company boasts about their best year ever with huge earnings and growth, employees (who made it happen) are rewarded with a standard 3% pay increase while top executives walk away with huge bonuses. (Oh, and new hires are brought in at higher rates while existing employee pay isn’t adjusted to reflect market value.)
  • Companies love to brag about what they are doing to improve inclusion and belonging but are reticent in dealing with toxic leaders who don’t practice leadership behaviors to support this. (Maybe that explains why employee engagement scores haven’t seen significant upward movement in a decade)
  • Employers promote work-life balance but are quick to pile-on the work and expect 24/7 coverage. (Stress much?)

Sound familiar? It should. Employees today want more than a job and a paycheck. They want to work for an organization that they can trust to deliver on promises, that cares about their development and career and that values their contributions. 

Organizations that struggle with high employee turnover should stop making excuses and look to their company leadership to resolve the real issues. Leaders have the ability to foster a work environement where all employees feel respected, valued and heard. Start today by:

  • Keeping promises, walk the talk
  • Giving credit where credit is due / recognize & value contributions
  • Being fair and inclusive
  • Communicating openly and honestly
  • Taking a genuine interest in employees and their success
  • Having the courage to do the right thing – even when no one is looking!

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