The Great Resignation isn’t on track to stop anytime soon. According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, around 4.3 million workers left their jobs in August.
Executives seeking to understand the underlying causes of this movement may want to note a timely LinkedIn poll by Liz Ryan: “In our recent LinkedIn poll, 75% of respondents say they’re job hunting now or may job hunt soon. What’s the biggest reason for this?”
Better Culture & Leaders Make the Difference
From real-life powerhouses like Steve Jobs and Melissa Mayer to TV characters like Captain Kirk and Ted Lasso, our society exalts strong and devoted (if sometimes flawed) leaders.
When it comes to the workplace, many people are finding their companies falling short. 41% of respondents said the most significant reason behind this year’s mass job hunt is people seeking better culture or leadership.
From the comments section of the poll: “There is a real disconnection between leaders and employees…Employers think that what they’ve been offering for years is enough and that nothing needs to change.”
Another commenter added, “Employees join companies but leave managers,” and referenced a study from Gallup that showed 75% of voluntary employee turnover was due to factors within the control of managers.
Many People Are Seeking More Money
Want to hold onto your favorite workers? Take a second look at what you’re paying them.
Accounting for 37% of responses, the second most popular reason for the growth in job hunting was the search for higher compensation.
The greater economic climate is a factor: with inflation expected to push past 4% this year, many Americans are facing a decrease in purchasing power. Instead of staying at their current jobs in the hopes of a raise, workers are seeking out new positions.
Chance for a Promotion
17% of those who responded to the poll said that the search for advancement was the most significant factor in today’s busy job market.
Seeking a promotion isn’t just about a line on your resume. As one commenter put it, “I want to be an integral part of the community that I manage or the team that I oversee. Want to lead by example and to leave a great legacy for others to follow.”
Effects of COVID-19
And then there’s the factor that some consider the root of it all: COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic created a perfect storm of conditions that incentivized workers to hit the job market, including widespread layoffs, workplace health risks, nationwide closure of schools and childcare centers, and the rise of remote work opportunities.
As one commenter observed: “Most of the people I know who are job hunting right now are doing so because of pandemic-adjacent reasons. It’s more about survival and stability than it is about advancing.” It has yet to be determined how far-reaching the pandemic’s effects will be or how they will manifest in the years to come. What is certain is that employers will have to update their hiring and retention strategies to manage the effects.