A commonly heard phrase these days is the “Great Resignation,” a term coined by Texas A & M associate management professor Anthony Klotz amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Klotz’s research indicates people held onto their jobs during the pandemic because of uncertainty. But the flexibility and autonomy of remote work made them realize they may want to freelance, and now is the time to quit. Freelancers are predicted to comprise more than 50 percent of workers by 2027.
BY THE NUMBERS
Based on in-depth analysis, Ian Cook wrote a recent article, “Who Is Driving the Great Resignation?” in Harvard Business Review. Cook discovered:
- Resignation rates are highest among mid-level employees (between 30 and 45 years old).
- Resignations are highest in the healthcare and tech industries.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4 million people quit their jobs in July 2021, and 10.9 million jobs were open at the end of that month. But before leaders can do something about this great exodus, they need to understand it and the root causes behind it. These could include: compensation, time between promotions, size of pay increases, tenure, performance, and training and development opportunities.
According to a new Microsoft corporate survey, several emerging trends indicate how the pandemic has profoundly reshaped the workplace:
- Flexible work is here to stay.
- Leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call.
- High productivity is masking an exhausted workforce.
- Authenticity will spur productivity and well-being.
- Talent is everywhere in a hybrid world.
MAKING WORK “WORK”
Dave Evans and Bill Burnett, authors of the new book, “Designing Your New Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness—and a New Freedom —at Work,” said in a recent podcast that the supervisory model—where you have to be seen to be working—is over. “Employees want to have agency over their lives,” they noted. “Employees are trustworthy and empowered… Leaders need to find ways to make work ‘work’ inside of people’s lives… Workers want a good life with a good job in it—meaning and money.”
Today’s employees are in the driver’s seat, so leaders need to recognize where they want to go and help them get there.