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Is the office space getting more and more empty? Or are you one of the people who have said no to your boss, and now, are looking for your next workplace?

The great resignation is now a global phenomenon. New anti-work movements don’t want to live to work anymore, while others simply are getting tired of poor culture and stress at the workplaces. Someone also speaks about covid clarity. They have got the time to reflect on their career and, now, want to do more meaningful work. 

The reasons for quitting are plenty, and just in the last months, a record-breaking number of Americans have quit their jobs. More than millions, in fact. And we can see the same trend in the Nordic countries, where in Denmark, for example, the employers are struggling to recruit the right people, because employees today have so many choices.

Furthermore, a recent report from LinkedIn shows that employees are more unhappy than ever before. 

But what can companies and organizations actually do to keep us, the employees, and prevent us from pursuing other, maybe even more rewarding possibilities?  

In the podcast WORK 3.0, we talked to Ben Zweig, CEO at Revelio Labs and Adjunct Professor at NYU Stern School of Business, about the most recent data about The Great Resignation, why people resign, and what employers can do both short term and long term to retain their employees. 

 

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Why Is The Great Resignation Happening? 

Ben Zweig has analyzed more than 34 million online profiles in the US in Fortune 500 Companies to identify who left their employer for any reason from April 2021 to September 2021. He and his company Revelio Labs did the analysis in collaboration with CultureX. 

"Attrition rates are very different across industries. Sometimes it could be compositional effects, that some industries attract younger workers who typically leave at faster rates. They are more mobile in their career. So, industries like tech will always have higher attrition rates," Ben Zweig says in the podcast. 

Furthermore, Ben Zweig explains that industries like Management Consulting, IT companies, and SaaS companies have a higher employee churn because they have a higher component of R&D (Research & Development). 

"In companies where they try to be innovative, they are trying to find people with different opinions, perspectives, and takes on some element of research and part of that is just going through lots of people. So, having the same group of people work on a new problem is very difficult, because they might not see perspectives that a new person sees right away. You get more diversity of thought when you have a higher turnover of employees," Ben Zweig says in the podcast.  

Listen to the full podcast to get even more pointers for why the great resignation is happening, where he, for example, talks about the global supply and demand mismatch between workers and employers, a declining hustle culture, a new work mindset, and how attrition rates also differ within industries. 

 

 

How Can Employers Retain Employees? 

One of the major reasons for people leaving their jobs is what's called 'toxic work culture'. 

"Toxic work culture is about people feeling disrespected at work. It contains some elements of abuse. So, when workers feel abused, they have taken it for a while, and when workers have low market power, they don't have much of a choice. But now in this paradigm workers do have a choice. And now any form of abuse doesn't have to be taken. Workers realize that they have a lot of power to move, so those are the positions they leave at the fastest rates," Ben Zweig explains in the podcast. 

Examples of abuse can be long working hours for no particular reason, criticizing employees in front of the rest of the organization, lack of diversity and inclusion

"There's not an obvious action item to the toxic work culture. You know: Be less toxic, that's an obvious one. But there are some takeaways: If managers contribute to that sort of environment, companies should be less tolerant of that. Too often we see abusive managers basically being apologized for by their directors, and that's really unacceptable. So that's low-hanging fruit," Ben Zweig says in the podcast. 

Furthermore, Ben Zweig explains that lateral career movement is great to look into if employers want to retain employees. Here, learning and development are key components to its success. 

Listen to the full podcast to get all the tips to retain employees, for example, remote work, and focus on specialized culture and values to attract and retain the right people. 

Explore even more episodes about, for example, the hybrid workplace, diversity and inclusion, and the sustainable workplace at WORK 3.0s podcast page or wherever you listen to your podcasts.