HomeBusinessEmployees say it's the #1 reason they'll quit

Employees say it’s the #1 reason they’ll quit

It’s rare for pandemic-era reports to show that workers and bosses are aligned on everything, but at least one study shows they can finally agree on one idea: people long for a meaningful connection at work. Without it, they are willing to stop.

Among those who work for remote and hybrid companies, employees say the main reason they would leave is because they feel disconnected from the culture and the people, according to a joint survey by Airspeed, an internal social platform, and Workplace Intelligence. , the HR research agency .

Meanwhile, C-suite leaders agree that connecting employees is the biggest challenge they’ve faced during the pandemic, with 2 in 3 believing their employees would quit for a job at another company where they feel more comfortable. would feel connected.

“Everyone recognizes that this sense of belonging is the biggest problem they face,” said Doug Camplejohn, founder and CEO of Airspeed. But, he adds, “the answer is not going back to the office. The reality is that this problem has been around forever, and Covid has only made us more aware and sensitive to it.”

Employee dissolution was bad before Covid

According to Gallup, dissatisfaction and employee departures have been increasing for years.

Disconnection makes employees feel lonely and isolated, that their coworkers don’t care about them and that they are replaceable, according to the Airspeed/Workplace Intelligence report that surveyed 800 C-suite leaders and 800 employees in March.

A majority view their work as a mere transaction: 52% of employees said they only do it for pay.

When your only point of connection as a remote or hybrid employee is back-to-back Zoom meetings, “there’s just no soul,” Camplejohn says. “You are more likely to rent yourself out to the highest bidder.” As he puts it, if you’re going to be in video conferences with people you don’t feel connected to anyway, why not do it where someone is going to pay you more?

To be sure, the silver lining is to retire from work, have more time and energy for your personal life, as many have prioritized during the pandemic. But “it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation,” Camplejohn says. “It’s not just that work has to be a paycheck, it can be something where I have the flexibility for balance and also be able to do meaningful work.”

Social connection as a business priority

Leaders should prioritize social connection as part of the work itself. About 44% of employees say their manager doesn’t encourage socialization, 36% say it’s not part of their normal work day and workflow, and 33% say they don’t have time to socialize.

When workplaces don’t encourage personal connection — such as recognizing milestones, having different departments work together, even pairing up coworkers for casual meetings — it can lead to lower productivity, says Camplejohn: “If you don’t feel that you don’t know the people you work with, communication just isn’t that fast.”

Employees would also be more likely to quit for even minor incentives: According to the survey, about 62% would take a similar job elsewhere for a $1,000 sign-up bonus.

To find better solutions, executives need to recognize that they don’t fully understand what employees want and need — at least not without further research and open discussion. An overwhelming majority of 9 in 10 executives say their company has a deep understanding of their workforce, but only 6 in 10 employees agree that their bosses understand what motivates them, or their personal characteristics, interests and values.

Workplace absenteeism is “a hot topic at the highest levels of companies. I don’t think people have cracked the code,” says Camplejohn. His team at Airspeed is also still trying to figure it out. But, he adds, “the answer is no more Zoom happy hours.”

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