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“The Great Resignation” is a new word/concept that has crept into my lexicon. I must admit, I haven’t seen much of this in my clients–at least not yet.

Some people are starting to speak about it. Many of my friends and coworkers appear to be seeing signs of a major resignation.

The mixed work environment, WFH, and other variables all have a role in fatigue and burnout, according to the news.

The epidemic may have accelerated the Great Resignation as a driving function, but we’ve been seeing indications of it for at least a decade. As a result, we shouldn’t be shocked. And it was made by us!

Employee engagement has been decreasing for years, according to poll after survey. Only 24% of CEOs felt their workers were highly engaged as recently as 2013.

Today, 85 percent of workers are disengaged, and 81 percent are considering quitting their employment. Other studies have shown that low employee engagement has a negative financial effect.

Profitability is considerably greater in businesses with high levels of involvement. Low employee engagement has a negative effect on revenue, resulting in more than $550 billion in lost revenue in the United States.

Employee engagement, we’ve known for a long time, is a leading predictor of customer happiness and engagement.

We find signs of employee disengagement in sales with shorter average tenures, approximately 12-16 months for both salespeople and managers.

We’ve been expecting this for years! It’s not due to work from home, a shifting workforce, or the changing nature of work—though all of these factors have a role.

For years, far too many have failed to build work environments that people want to be a part of. Whether it’s pay/compensation, food, fitness facilities, or Friday afternoon beer busts, we’ve replaced “cosmetic devices” to create an atmosphere of a wonderful workplace; they don’t generate purpose for individuals.

Plus, when everyone else is doing the same thing, it’s hard to stand apart.

Work is changing, as is the way it is done, and the workforce is changing, but there are certain things that stay consistent.

  • People seek significance in their lives and careers.
  • People want to be heard and feel that their opinions are respected.
  • People need to feel that they are valuable individuals rather than commodities that may be replaced by others.
  • People desire to grow, learn, and progress.
  • People want to be trusted by their managers and leaders, and they want to be trusted by their managers and leaders.
  • People want to be successful throughout their careers, not just this year. They also want to be a part of a successful company.
  • People want to know that their bosses and supervisors are concerned about them. Coaching, mentorship, and growth are all things they’re searching for.
  • People desire to be acknowledged for reasons other than money.
  • These all speak to the same things: purpose, culture, values, and leadership, all of which are essential to organizational and individual success.

Work evolves over time—it always has.

However, there are certain recurring themes.

The mass resignation is not unavoidable; it is the consequence of executives’ lack of attention and care. And the outcomes will obviously reflect this.

We must concentrate on how we build jobs and work environments that engage the individuals we want to be a part of them.

Thanks to Dave Brock at Business 2 Community whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.