In July 2021, around 4 million people quit their jobs, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. In fact, this period, some one and a half years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been called the Great Resignation, given the unprecedented rates of worker turnover across the globe.
What’s the reasoning behind the massive departures? In some cases, they’re not all that different from the usual ones — just taking place at a larger scale.
Going into a toxic workplace, whether your boss is demanding and harsh, your coworkers are catty or the atmosphere is just plain unpleasant, is taxing. It can take a toll on your mental and physical health, and it will inevitably make you dread each and every workday. Ultimately, it’s enough to drive even the most patient individual out of the workplace.
One Office Team study found that 66% of employees surveyed said they would resign if they didn’t feel appreciated in their jobs — and it’s not difficult to understand why.
When employees aren’t recognized for their efforts, it’s easy to feel dispensable and like you’re simply not being valued. Perhaps your boss takes credit for your work or otherwise isn’t appreciative of your efforts. Why stick around in a job where you feel ignored and undervalued?
Growth is a major goal for most workers. It’s frustrating to stay in a job where you’re not advancing in your career. There may not be opportunities available, in which case sticking around could be detrimental to your career. Or, maybe those opportunities are available, but for whatever reason, you’re unable to tap into them. Either way, feeling stuck is a definite sign that it’s time to move on.
When every day feels exactly the same, work gets boring. It’s repetitive and isn’t tenable. Most people need to be challenged in their jobs in order to stay interested and invested. That’s not to say there needs to be excitement every second of the day — all jobs have their dull moments — but if the work is monotonous most of the time, your investment in your role and the quality of your efforts are bound to slip.
A recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey found that 41% of US workers feel burned out from their work.
While burnout is nothing new, it has been particularly underscored during the pandemic, when the lines between work and life have been increasingly blurred. This sense of exhaustion is certainly a major reason why people are leaving their jobs.
It’s impossible to prevent all of these factors entirely, but as a manager, you can take strides to ensure your employees feel comfortable and valued. Doing so will help keep talented individuals loyal to you and your business.
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket and The Haven.
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