In 2021 a record-breaking 47.4 million Americans quit their jobs, sounding the alarm bells throughout organizations. With levels of burnout and resignations at an all time high (add to that the shift to hybrid or remote work setups), better understanding and managing employees and work culture have busted out of human resource departments and are no longer just an issue for team leaders. The entire C-suite is experiencing the turnover tsunami, with 88% of executives saying they're experience more quits than normal, as published in a recent PWC survey.
Though many are expecting quits to normalize by the end of 2022, one cannot (or must not) deny that there is still a lot to learn about how people work and the different factors that impact employees, their productivity, and their wellbeing. More than just 'the Great Resignation', experts are rephrasing it as 'the Great Reassessment'. And I agree.
The Great Resignation does not exist. Employees are not just leaving jobs. They are switching from one organization to a better one.
And if we do not take time to understand the drivers of employees' decision to resign from their current employment, then we will be poorly positioned in the ongoing war for talent. After all, better data breeds better understanding and better decision making!
What are four key factors driving this 'Big Switch'?
1. Moving to uncontrolled work environments
Thanks to the pandemic, employees have proven whether they can--or cannot--deliver on their work commitments in a remote work set up. In our new normal, many companies are migrating to remote or hybrid work formats and, as we transition, we're learning how to navigate through this new uncontrolled work environment.
By "uncontrolled" I mean physically unsupervised and not designed by the company. Employees working from home can design their own work spaces, shoot hoops while making calls, do the laundry while listening to an AI read them a report, or search for jobs with zero fear of being caught... all without their manager even knowing.
Out of the controlled office environment, employees have more autonomy and freedom, which, if they aren't engaged in their current job, can empower them to quit and move to a company that better suits their needs.
2. A rise in empowered workers
Fortunately, workers have more power than ever. With the global demand for talent increasing drastically, workers, most especially those that have proven That they can deliver on their job responsibilities, have more bargaining power with potential employers.
Job options have increased drastically, with people applying for work, not just in their own region or country, but in companies all over the world. Add to that the inability to supervise employees in an office setting, workers that have proven to be responsible and reliable even while working from home are ever more valuable.
With how complex people are, the tools we use to understand them are simple surveys and feedback mechanisms that don't read between the lines nor get to the heart of employee sentiment.
3. New gen, new drivers.
The younger generations are no longer driven by the traditional salary and benefits. They're looking for more than just financial security but also belonging, psychological safety, learning path, morale, and intangibles that are more elusive and difficult to establish or measure. There is talk of a lack of loyalty to companies and a move to loyalty to one's self and wellbeing.
While it might be a struggle for older generations to understand the next gen workers, the reality is that workplaces are evolving. Refusing to learn and shift with the times will only make it more difficult to attract the right talent that is essential for long-term success.
4. Outdated tools to understand human capital
While workplaces are evolving, the tools that help leaders understand their people are stuck in the past. Most of the solutions that we find in the market are not accurate and potentially biased. They're based on lagging indicators, meaning they're based on outdated data that may or may not be relevant when the leaders have to make his or her decision.
With how complex people are, the tools we use to understand them are simple surveys and feedback mechanisms that don't read between the lines nor get to the heart of employee sentiment. For this reason, we're extremely passionate about Erudit's survey-free solution. It addresses this frustration.
Every organization's main asset is its people, and yet the people data space is not sophisticated enough, even with the extremely impressive technology at our fingertips today. Through Erudit, I want to make the world take people data seriously and finally elevate people data and people understanding to the level it deserves.
Through Erudit, I want to make the world take people data seriously.
I'd like to thank Sam Blum and Morning Brew for the interview that sparked these thoughts and this article! They objectively covered the advantages of our deep tech while also bringing to light the concerns about its usage; concerns that we wish to address as well.
The more I talk about our solution, the more I feel we are at a critical point in the future of work. We are experiencing the transformation here and now, and we're very excited to form part of this discussion... and this evolution.
Want to learn more about the so-called 'Great Resignation'? Download this free executive's guide to understand its various causes and better navigate through the 'new normal'.