If they could, 64% of employees would quit or switch jobs right now. But there are specific steps employers can take to change their minds.
The pandemic continues to reshape how many of us think about our jobs and how we work. For many, it’s been an opportunity to rethink their priorities and what matters most to them in life. That’s one reason why we’ve seen trends like “Quiet Quitting,” which I’m a fan of, emerge.
But a new survey released by The Workforce Institute at UKG reveals more sobering news. Of some 2,200 employees, as well as 600 C-suite leaders and 600 HR executives, from 10 countries, nearly half of workers (46%) wouldn’t recommend their company or their profession to their children or any young person they care about. Perhaps more chillingly, 45% of American employees said they wouldn’t wish their job on their worst enemy.
At the same time, nearly two-thirds of employees (64%) would switch jobs right now if they could, while 45% simply “don’t want to work anymore.”
What conclusions can we draw from this data?
Chris Mullen, Executive Director at The Workforce Institute at UKG, admits that some of the stats are shocking. “Most people have a transactional relationship with work, as 61% admit they go to work to collect a paycheck, ‘clock out’ and go home,” he says.
Along similar lines, only about a quarter (28%) of employees say they are in a career with specific goals and ambitions that they wish to grow in time. Only 11% of workers feel that their job is their “calling.”
No wonder people are ready to quit.
But Mullen also believes people do inherently want to work. “But it's up to companies and leaders to help connect jobs with meaning and purpose,” he says, pointing to another survey result that found that 84% of people would still work if they won the lottery, and 28% would still work the same number of hours at the same job.
In other words, people might not want to quit quite so much—if their employer treats them the way they want to be treated.
I asked Mullen to share his insights on how employers can rethink what it means to become an employer of choice in 2023—rather than a place that employees just want to escape. What follows are his six strategies that employers can use to engage their employees and keep them from wanting to quit.
The world has changed, and it’s not done. All of us have dealt with a lot of stress over the past few years—and the uncertainty looks likely to continue in 2023. If we want people to engage with and get fulfillment from their work, we need to embrace more than ever what it means to be human in the workplace.
The employers who embrace this ethic most deeply will not only gain an edge in the ongoing war for talent, they’ll also better the lives of their employees at the same time. As a leader, what higher goal can you strive for than that in 2023?