According to a vey interesting study from McKinsey & Company more than 15 million Americans have left their job since the start of the pandemic. This is a staggering number until to realize that an additional 40% are considering quitting in the next six months, with 18% saying they are likely to almost certain to leave their current company. Clearly something global, something transformational is underway.
According to McKinsey’s findings, every company leader should be asking, will this next phase of the global recovery be the era of ‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’ for my company? The answer really depends on leadership.
Employers can’t address the issues employees face if they don’t understand how their staff feels. The report shows that companies often misunderstand employee motivations. In reality they don’t mainly leave because of compensation or work/life balance as employers believe. The survey shows that 54% of those who left a job didn’t feel valued by their organizations, while 51 % didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work. It is hard to fix a problem if you don’t grasp the underlying concerns.
The authors of the report suggest that companies should be asking themselves hard questions right now as they prepare for a post-pandemic workforce. Chief among them are these:
- Do we shelter toxic leaders?
- Do we have the right people in the right places (especially managers)?
- How strong was our culture before the pandemic?
- Is our work environment transactional?
- Are our benefits aligned with employee priorities?
- Employees want career paths and development opportunities. Can we provide it?
- How are we building a sense of community?
The authors sum up heir findings with these words of wisdom, “If you lead a large team or a company, remember this: the Great Attrition is real, will continue, and may get worse before it gets better. Yet this unique moment also represents a big opportunity. To seize it, take a step back, listen, learn, and make the changes employees want—starting with a focus on the relational aspects of work that people have missed the most. By understanding why they are leaving and by acting thoughtfully, you may just be able to turn the Great Attrition into the Great Attraction.”