Planning to Quit?

quitRecently, the business headline in our local newspaper read: Good news: People are quitting jobs. Yep! For real!

In the AP story, Christopher Rugaber reported: “Quitting your job – all but unheard of during and after the Great Recession – is becoming more common again. That could mean pay raises are coming for more Americans….Workers who quit typically do so to take higher-paying jobs.”

While this may be news to some, it isn’t shocking. Since the Great Recession, those employees fortunate enough to keep their jobs have been hanging on to them for dear life. Working conditions and employee morale have been at record lows. Those blessed with jobs have accepted, (with little complaint) larger workloads created by the mass of employees who were let go. Thankful for income and benefits, current employees have been towing the line and keeping their noses clean until things got better.

Well, better has arrived and employees are taking flight. I know this because my phone is ringing with calls from businesses attempting to address turnover and morale issues and from employees calling to say ‘I just can’t take it anymore.’ Business and industry took a beating in the economic downturn. So too did USA workers. Everyone, employees and employers have been in survival mode. Does Your Culture Brew Toxic Leadership?quit2

The Labor Department reports that in the last 12 months the number of people quitting jobs rose 17%. Wage increases (not yet felt locally) are fueling the excitement as companies are now competing for GREAT employees again. Of note, the decline in employment lawsuits and EEOC claims is turning around and beginning to rise again. The EEOC has just reported that charges alleging retaliation have reached their highest number ever at 42.8%.

But wait! There’s more! More Gen Y/Millennials (born 1980’s – 2000) are taking leadership positions and predicted to become the largest percentage of the workforce in 2015. Due to factors beyond their control these millennials are not trained or equipped for leadership roles. Hello! More workplace issues.

To make matters more challenging, the movement toward more transparency is being fueled by Gen Y and Gen Z (born mid-2000 – present) who expect total honesty in leadership all while social media facilitates instant reporting (fact and falsehood). What to do?

Is it too much to ask that employers and employees take a pregnant pause here for a reality check and to evaluate the lay of the land? It isn’t early enough to be examining company culture and the state of morale. Nor is it unreasonable to realize that longevity and loyalty to a company isn’t a bad thing.

greenThe grass isn’t totally green again – anywhere. Like couples who have been married a long while, you’ve got to keep it fresh! Change things up. Approach the working relationship in a different way. Develop new ways of doing things. Every Little Quit Hurts. Considering a divorce on the basis of a few lean years could be a BIG mistake.

Think about it!

~ From the desk of Becky Morlok ~

 

Related: The Usefulness of Discomfort

 

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