How to tackle root causes of the Great Resignation

I keep in mind as a child asking my grandma one of these benign questions that one way or the other shapes your perspective on life: “Why do adults have to work?” She responded, “as a result of it retains your palms busy, your thoughts sharp, and your coronary heart full.” I’ve by no means forgotten it. 

Most of us are fortunate if we get two out of three of these advantages from our work or profession. Even one. As creatures motivated by reward techniques, we’re continuously evaluating our choices in life and work. As reductive as it’d sound, every little thing in our life is predicated on an alternate of some sort: We obtain a wage for our work, we pay hire or mortgage for housing, and we make investments time and care into the lives of these we love. As people, we in the end search a state of equilibrium and achievement. 

At the moment, throughout industries and firms of all sizes, we’re witnessing extra job adjustments than ever earlier than. We may analyze the metrics and variables for days. What we do know is that we’re all coming by a time of isolation, loss of connectedness, burnout, and truthfully, we simply have extra job choices. One study suggests we’ll see an attrition charge improve of 58% between April 2020 and December 2021. That stat alone means the stakes have by no means been increased for firms to retain prime expertise.  


Folks don’t depart firms, they depart managers 

Research help this acquainted flip of phrase. Great management performs a vital position in sustaining and growing expertise. A study carried out by Florida State College discovered that of people who not too long ago modified jobs: “39% stated their leaders failed to comply with by on guarantees, 37% stated they didn’t get credit score for his or her arduous work, and 31% stated their leaders had been absent or not current.”  

So how do these issues rise to the degree of dissatisfaction that generates attrition in the ranges we’re seeing?    

Our present, extra remoted work environments have basically modified the manner we make choices, each massive and smallWith decreased entry to the social techniques of pre-pandemic instances, we’re filtering our priorities by a smaller group of trusted connections—with fewer factors of enter.

As a change administration practitioner on this unusual time, I feel of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. When our fundamental human wants should not being met for any of the following: psychological security, bodily safety, love and belonging, and status and accomplishment we have a tendency to comply with fairly predictable patterns. We develop a singular focus and we prioritize our primal wants above all else.   

With that as a backdrop, how do we all know if our inside choices and administration approaches are actually goal or doubtlessly compromised? How can we ensure we’re not inadvertently motivating or managing others in a manner that makes it too straightforward for them to depart? 


Pausing for self-evaluation by no means goes out of model. In case you are significantly taking a look at quitting your job, which can be precisely what you must do, contemplate taking an introspective interlude. Should you’re a frontrunner or supervisor of folks, it could also be time to replicate on the way you’re offering an distinctive work atmosphere and rising belief along with your workforce.   


From my vantage, each events are smart proper now to resist being set off joyful with out first performing some useful self-appraisal.  

Consider your self by a belief lens  

Years in the past, Charles Feltman revealed The Thin Book of Trust: An Essential Primer for Building Trust at Workone of the most concise, impactful sources on the worth of belief and the way to develop it in the office. The writer holds {that a} willingness to domesticate two-way belief is important to particular person, workforce, and company success. If we take into consideration work environments devoid of belief, we’d determine a scarcity of creativity, productiveness, innovation, and constancy. In different phrases, a scarcity of success. 

Conversely, the behavioral markers for at-risk work environments are fairly recognizable. For instance, have you ever witnessed any of these behaviors in your self or another person in the previous few months? 

  • Worry 
  • Anger 
  • Resentment 
  • Resistance 
  • Anticipating the worst 
  • Blaming 
  • Judging 

Should you answered sure to any of these, it’s good to determine potential root causes. The next are Feltman’s 4 attributes that engender the most belief—actionable for any of us.   

Be Dependable: Comply with by on commitments.  

Don’t: Behave inconsistently, reminiscent of overpromise, sugar coat, or not comply with up on recognized subsequent steps.  

Do: Be direct however sincere and honest, maintain scheduled conferences as a lot as potential.   

Be Honest: Say what you imply, and imply what you say.  

Don’t: Use superlatives (at all times, by no means, fully).    

Do: Be sure you perceive the state of affairs, observe energetic listening, and use particular and related info to justify your conclusions.   

Reveal Competence: Proactively present your data, abilities, and skills.  


Don’t: Overpromise or keep away from asking for clarification for those who’re uncertain about how to proceed otherwise you don’t have a definition of clear requirements for the work to be achieved.  

Do: Be clear, expose areas that lack readability, search info, and ask for suggestions.  

Apply Care: Present folks you might have their again. 

Don’t: Miss vital life occasions, keep away from small speak, not perceive areas of ardour and frustration, or not share the decision-making course of.   

Do: Apply radical transparency, display advocacy, rejoice vital life occasions, and be current throughout conferences.  

All of us have our personal particular person life priorities. If a core, elementary want shouldn’t be being met, we should discover a manner to resolve it. However understanding what shapes and drives these life priorities might help us make wiser choices.   

I’m considering of my grandma’s endearing and memorable trifecta of work advantages: It retains our palms busy, minds sharp, and hearts full. Let’s all correctly pause to higher perceive what might be stopping us from actualizing these life-enriching beliefs.  

Rachel Crocker is the folks and alter observe director at Propeller Consulting.