There seems to be a pandemic of quitting that is rolling across the nation. This has
compounded the issue that many organizations are facing over the past year finding and retaining good staff. Each and every week I hear a new story of companies losing what they thought were loyal staff, and are now struggling to find quality replacements. There seems to be several reasons that may be contributing to the disenchantment of employees.
In early October the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 2.9% of workers quit their
jobs in August. The Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation reported in 2021 that 42 per cent of Canadian employees say they’re considering changing their job or entire career in the next year. Here’s why:
1. Burnout – after almost 2 years of the pandemic with fear, panic, and worry, your team
members are tired. They are tired of worrying about their jobs, tired about being fearful of getting sick, tired of worrying about their families. They are fatigued by never ending requirements to do more isolation, social distancing, more jabs when they have done everything required by health officials and yet they are asked to do more. They are sick of having to enforce rules and laws that were never part of their jobs before, to people who are tired of complying. On top of that, restrictions, supply chain issues, workloads and accountability issues have pushed the stress to new levels. Of course, they are burned out, just like you are.
Solution: Tackle Burnout head on by starting to bring it up in conversations in your
workplace, team meetings and one to one’s. Find out who is burned out and start
working on a plan to support them.
2. Lack of Social Interaction: A recent study by the Hays group found that 43 % of
respondents are dealing with a lack of social interaction at work. For many people this is a key reason why they go to work in the first place. They want to be around people who energize them. If you are an extrovert, and 49% of the population are extroverts according to Myers Briggs, you get energy from being around people. If your interactions are now online, or you are isolated from hugging, talking or contacting people you are in trouble. The pandemic has changed how we work and this is not what many people signed up for.
Solution: Get your team doing what they love, people, or tasks. Use some psychometric testing like Extended DISC (email me if you don’t know what this is) or Myers Briggs and ensure that you have the right people doing the right jobs. If you have staff that love people now doing task-oriented work, you are in for trouble. Also, if you have task-oriented people now serving the public because their jobs have trained, be prepared for more termination notices on your desk.
3. Lack of Purpose: The pandemic has caused many people to take a step back and re-
evaluate the purpose of their lives and their jobs. If your staff members are unsure of
how they are making a difference and fuzzy about the purpose of your organization and their role in fulfilling that purpose, you may be in a bind.
Solution: It’s our job as leaders to inspire them to fulfill the purpose of their department, but it starts with you. Your staff wants to know that what they do is meaningful and contributes to something important. When people have purpose in their work, they are less likely to burn out and more passionate to come to work because it’s more like play. Finding the passion of your team members and finding ways to re-vitalize that passion will go a long way to supporting them and showing them that you care to support them through this hard time.
Your organization doesn’t have to be part of the wave of resignations that are going to be
coming quickly to an organization near you. However, in order to prevent the stress that
comes along with finding replacements, onboarding those replacements and getting them
up to speed, you will need to be proactive and supportive in order to prevent your burnout
and ultimate demise.
Dave Fuller MBA is the author of the book “Profit Yourself Healthy” and an Award Winning
Business Coach. Feel like quitting your leadership? Stop and email firstname.lastname@example.org
and explain your reasons why.