Workers Are Quitting Their Jobs In More Ways Than One

By Whitney White | 4 months ago

small businesses manage money workers quitting

Workers quitting jobs has become a major concern throughout the pandemic. Employees quit for a number of reasons, but many don’t pass up on job advancements that result in a $100,000 raise in annual income. However, it does happen, particularly among those who are already comfortable with a mid-level executive position at a Fortune 1000 business and earn around $300,000 per year. Even with financial flexibility, there’s a lot to think about when considering whether to take or reject an offer. After thinking about it, some may find  “it just wasn’t worth it” to take the promotion because it required more travel and time away from family.

It’s not the possibility of failure that keeps a lot of people from taking risks and entering into higher-level positions. Many workers quitting jobs consider the potential dangers of wasted time and money to be unworth taking a risk. However, dedicating even more attention to their salaried employment holds less appeal when a firm doesn’t value a healthy work-life balance. And this is why there are a lot of American workers quitting jobs who go on to start their own side hustles. 

In November, there were 4.5 million workers quitting jobs, shattering the previous record.  As these people resigned, executives all around the world scurried to figure out why their employees no longer wanted to work for them. What these executives didn’t realize is the turnover problem extends beyond people seeking new jobs. Companies are intentionally displacing white-collar workers by assuming that people still believe, as they did before the pandemic, that their jobs are the most important things in their lives.

workers quit

In the face of new obstacles brought on by the epidemic, such as workers quitting and the shift to remote work, many workers began to doubt the value of their job as a source of identity. Though most people don’t look to completely leave their profession — even though quitting does have benefits and supporters — people are mainly looking to explore choices that provide them with the purpose and autonomy they lack in their current employment situations.

The pandemic’s drastic upheaval of people’s lives has many employees doubting the long-held belief, at least in the United States, that a life centered on devotion to the job is a life worth living. This revelation has occurred in many situations as a result of employers’ inadequate responses to the pandemic’s shifts. Workers quitting are often those who were more or less satisfied with their jobs before COVID but have now watched their companies’ shortcomings cast into clear perspective for more than a year.

Thanks to a new perspective on work and a desire to reorganize their life, a lot of workers quitting have also found themselves working for new bosses. Bosses that give them the ultimate form of autonomy and flexibility; this kind of boss is the one that comes in the form of you being your own boss. The fear or actualization of being laid off as a result of the pandemic prompted many bright people to launch side businesses. 

In 2021 and according to Census Bureau data, many of the workers quitting were part of the reason paperwork filed to develop 5.4 million businesses. Compared to the previous high of 4.4 million in 2020, this made it clear that people have a strong desire to obtain a more personalized work-life balance. Even though a lot of would-be entrepreneurs do finally quit their day jobs, the vast majority do not. Instead, many redirect their attention, time, and creative power away from their normal paying jobs.

great resignation

To catch the attention of workers quitting and to draw workers back in and help them feel more content and satisfied with their jobs, businesses can adopt a few tactics to develop a sense of embeddedness. For starters, employers must assist employees in finding mentors and forming personal relationships with coworkers. When possible, bosses should promote from within the company itself and place a healthy focus on professional growth, which younger employees highly value. 

Wegmans Food Markets, for example, offers job-specific training, such as trips to French and Italian vineyards for wine merchandisers. To further help avoid workers quitting, the company also provides financial aid to staff who pursue a formal degree through an approved college. It is because of efforts like these that Wegmans rated fourth on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work in 2021. Since it was founded, it has made the list every year.

Leaders play a large role in helping businesses avoid workers quitting. To showcase their personal commitment to creating corporate cultures that highlight empathy and purpose-driven goals, leaders should never assume they already fully understand their employees’ issues, concerns, and priorities. This is why it’s so important to ask for feedback and then take steps to reduce work and life stressors for employees. For 40 years, Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear company, has given access to on-site childcare to employees. As a result of this policy, the firm announced in 2019 that it was able to maintain nearly 100% of its new mothers during the prior six years.

Workers quitting, as well as those still employed, want to feel a sense of belonging at work. They want to be respected by their employers in ways that go beyond monetary compensation. So, ultimately, it all boils down to today’s workers wanting bosses who encourage them to strike a better balance between their professional and personal life, rather than those trying to persuade them to forsake the latter for a higher salary. 

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