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5 Reasons Your Employees Are Quitting Right Now

Written by: Tania Caza, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Are your employees quitting? Are you seeing the great resignation happen right in front of your eyes?


We have seen the great resignation in action for several months, with no signs yet of slowing down. The Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work (microsoft.com) work trend index for 2022 reports that 43% of employees are somewhat or extremely likely to consider changing jobs in the coming year.

The remarkable amount of turnover combined with the mounting pressures we’ve faced over the last two years is causing unusual reactions from leaders that we didn’t see pre-2020. Questions and statements like:

  • “Why are they leaving me?”,

  • “I am a failure”,

  • “I am not good enough as a leader",

are spiraling fantastic leaders into a victim loop and causing them to look inward for reasons why turnover is so high. If you are finding yourself overwhelmed with turnover and sliding viciously down the victim spiral, here are Five Reasons your employees could be quitting right now that likely have nothing to do with your leadership. 1. Moral Injury


During the pandemic, employees navigated through many different scenarios faced by their organization, whether additional or new work, furloughs, fear of covid, etc. It was a new and different way of working. Many organizations fumbled, trying to figure it out very reactively and changing course often, causing much uncertainty for employees. If employees felt they were treated unfairly and taken advantage of by their organization during this period of uncertainty, it often resulted in overwhelm, frustration, disengagement, and burnout. Many employees believe they have gone above and beyond, helping the employer to operate as smoothly as possible during a really tough time, with little to no recognition or additional compensation leaving them feeling used and abused by their employers. This might amount to Moral Injury, which in a recent HBR article Employees Are Sick of Being Asked to Make Moral Compromises (hbr.org) is described as “a trauma response to witnessing or participating in workplace behaviors that contradict one’s moral beliefs in high-stakes situations and that have the potential of harming others physically, psychologically, socially, or economically.” They further go on to say that “many may be leaving because their conscience has been wounded and their innate sense of justice violated.”


2. The Workplace


Many employees felt like they had been slapped in the face when organizations demanded a return to the workplace on a full scale or even in a hybrid state, with many rules built-in, after two years of requiring them to work from home. [See Moral Injury above]. Employees are getting impatient as organizations try to figure out this evolving issue. They want flexibility and choice because they had two years of making this arrangement work and in fact, it worked well from their perspective. They were able to prove to themselves they could work productively while also dedicating focus to their personal lives. Achieving balance is possible under the right work arrangement. Organizations that listen and can deliver on an employee’s preferences concerning this issue will be able to attract and retain talent far better than ones that implement policies with hard and fast rules.


3. Compensation and Working Conditions


The pandemic has evolved how we work. Organizations that understand this have re-evaluated jobs, compensation packages, and overall working conditions and re-created them to align with employee preferences. They are now on the hunt for top talent, and they may come knocking at your employee’s door with a very attractive package. Your staff will quit because they are being poached by forward-thinking organizations that are offering something more attractive. On an overall basis, Microsoft WorkLab research [Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work (microsoft.com)] indicates the top 5 aspects of work that employees view as “very important” for an employer to provide are: positive culture (46%), mental health/wellbeing benefits (42%), a sense of purpose/meaning (40%), flexible work hours (38%), and more than the standard two weeks of paid vacation time each year (36%). Also ranked on the list are positive feedback, recognition, and career progression. Organizations that do not prioritize these pieces, will lose their top talent.


4. Positive Culture


We saw in the research above that positive culture is the number one aspect employees are looking for in their organization. Organizations that care, and invest in their leadership programming and their employees, will have the foundations for creating a positive culture. Organizations that understand and behave as if they would be nowhere without their employees and therefore treat them as if they are the most valuable part of the company will attract top talent. Organizations that say nothing, invest in the basics (e.g., minimum wage, basic benefits), do not have a leadership or people strategy, will have an inconsistent culture and working conditions. Employees want to work for an organization that cares about them as a human and will leave in pursuit of that kind of employer.


5. Senior Leadership


How does the senior leadership team lead? Do they confidently know the organization’s strategic direction, and can they articulate it clearly in a motivational and inspiring manner? Do they communicate regularly with employees? Are they approachable and humble? Do they truly live the corporate values? Depending on the answers here will depend on whether employees feel like they can follow this group of leaders or not. The Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work (microsoft.com) study reports that 21% of employees who quit in 2021 did so because of a lack of confidence in senior management/leadership. When employees lose faith in their senior leadership team, they will find another leadership team and organization whose purpose they can align with and who they can follow.

The phrase “Employees don’t leave companies they leave their bosses” may not necessarily hold right now. More likely it is due to the evolution of how we work and employees demanding more from the organization as a whole, not necessarily their direct leader. My best advice to you right now:

1. Show yourself some grace you have gone through a lot as an employee, a leader and as a human over the past two years, and 2. Hold a regular, open dialogue with your employees, human to human. It is time that our workplaces start building more empathy and kindness. Happy leading!


Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

 

Tania Caza, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

With years of being an executive in HR, Tania Caza is a leader in business coaching helping executives and leaders shift into high performers. With an MBA and certified with the NeuroLeadership Institute in the Brain Based Coaching program she has the background and expertise needed to guide leaders through the challenges and tough decisions faced at the executive table and the strategies required for a business to be successful. Tania is the Founder and Executive Coach of TanGo Business Coaching where the belief is that people are the true differentiator in every organization and investing in leaders through coaching will only lead to escalated business success.

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