Employees to Employers: “I QUIT!”

The Gallup Organization conducted a survey recently that concluded that 48% of people who are active employees are looking for new jobs. In fact, 3.6 million employees quit their jobs in May. Tried to hire recently? I’m sure you’ve experienced that this is more difficult than it has been in recent memory.

Gallup is coining this emerging trend as “The Great Resignation”, but suggests that the underlying theme is “The Great Discontent”.

The workplace is changing, and if you do nothing, you’ll find yourself at the bottom of the pack in terms of attracting and retaining qualified employees.

We’ve emphasized the importance of employee engagement over the years, but employee disengagement is at record highs. Gallup observes that “Disengagement is a better predictor than pay of disloyalty – workers at every level of income are looking for new jobs – but pay strategies can reinforce engagement or erode it.”

In fact, if you try to hire someone who is disengaged at another company, pay probably won’t be an issue. On the other hand, if you seek someone who is engaged, you may need to pay 20% more for that person to join your firm.

Think about the types of people you want to hire: disengaged workers at your preferred salary or engaged workers at a premium?

Clearly, changes in the workplace due to the pandemic have affected engagement, but not as dramatically as you may think. If your employees were somewhat disengaged before the pandemic, it’s probably worse today (if they still work for you).

In many cases you won’t even hear about discontent because most employees just stay silent and quietly bear their dissatisfaction.

Productivity and results are directly affected by disengagement, so if this is an issue in your company, it’s worth putting the effort towards changing the environment. I will explore this important topic further in my next few columns.

Header image by Andrea Piacquadio of Pixels.

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