business news in context, analysis with attitude

Excellent piece in Fast Company, which suggests that "it is rather staggering that nearly 69 million people quit their jobs in America last year—and the common assumption is that everyone who resigned found a new employer willing to give them a meaningful bump in pay.

"Aligned to this thinking, of course, companies could effectively end the Great Resignation, and stop the hemorrhaging, by beefing up their employee compensation and benefit plans. But if this really were the cure-all, shouldn’t we have seen a significant decline in turnover in recent months, rather than a record number of people packing up their boxes and heading elsewhere?"

There is no question that "Pay and benefits clearly matter: 64% of job seekers say the desire to earn more money is an important driver of the job search."

But there's something else going on here, according to Gallup’s chief research scientist, Jim Harter:

"Gallup’s research shows that 42% of the reasons people are quitting are tied to how they feel about their bosses and organizational cultures. And low engagement is specifically experienced when workers conclude they aren’t growing, appreciated, or treated with care and respect. Another 21% boils down to well-being, employees’ feelings about their work-life balance, work schedules, and their ability to work remotely some of the time."

You can read the piece here.

KC's View:

I'm not a chief research scientist - I'm not a scientist, I know very little about research, and it is hard to be a "chief" anything in what is largely a one-man band - but this doesn't surprise me … I've been writing here forever about how important it is for workers to feel like an investment, not a cost.  That feeling hasn't been fueled by research, but rather by experience working for people with radically different values and view of value than mine.

There continues to be a myth out there that people are quitting their jobs because they're surviving on inflated government assistance, but I don't think that's the case anymore.  That may have been true in the early days of the pandemic, but now I think it is more a convenient excuse that allows some folks to avoid dealing with the reality that employees are looking for something more from their work lives than they've been getting.

Deal with it.  Or not.  But I think the companies that embrace this as an opportunity to be better and do better will be the ones with the best and most engaged employees.