- A recent Deloitte study has shown that around 70% of high-level executives are considering quitting their jobs, which is attributed mainly to their emotional well-being.
- In a Q&A with Allwork.Space, CEO of Motion Infusion Laura Putnam, who is a workforce wellbeing expert and published author, explains steps organizations can take to retain their leaders/executives.
- Having a best friend at work is key to thriving, and those people who are thriving at work are 81% less likely to leave, according to Gallup.
A recent Deloitte study has shown that around 70% of high-level executives are considering quitting their jobs, which is attributed mainly to their emotional well-being. 76% of these executives said the pandemic had a negative impact on their overall health.
A different study by Visier shows that managers are also leaving their jobs at higher rates; resignation rates among managers went from 3.8% in the first half of 2021 to 5% in the first half of 2022.
This year, LinkedIn found that the number of people who are leaving their jobs at the director level has been growing much faster than those at the entry level. ZipRecruiter also reflects this trend; job postings for managerial positions are growing at a faster rate than other job listings — and currently make up 12% of job postings, compared to 10% in June of 2021.
In a Q&A with Laura Putnam, who is a workforce wellbeing expert, published author, and CEO of Motion Infusion, she explained whether organizations should be concerned over retaining their leaders/executives.
Allwork.Space: Why should companies be worried that their CEOs and managers are considering quitting their jobs?
Laura Putnam: With quit rates at record levels for months on end, companies are understandably worried about losing employees. Up until now, they have not been paying enough attention to their leaders. As it turns out, the discontent that’s fueling the Great Resignation extends also to CEOs and managers.
The Great Resignation, or what we might characterize as the “Great Reset,” has been a moment in which all of us have stepped back to examine what matters most — and safeguarding our mental and emotional sanity is at the top of the list. A study out of Boston University found that rates of depression have tripled for Americans since the start of the pandemic. Moreover, a Harvard study indicates that email time has gone up and our workday has increased during the pandemic. We are zoomed out and burned out. Upshot: people, including CEOs and managers, are saying “I quit!”
Allwork.Space: What can companies do now to make sure their managers (and employees) don’t quit?
Laura Putnam: Now’s the time that companies need to step up to meet the moment, safeguarding the well-being of their people — including managers and leaders. One way that they can is by fostering real friendships at work. Do you have a best friend at work? This is a question I often ask managers, leaders and employees to consider. If you do, you’re a whopping seven times more likely to be highly engaged in your work. Having a best friend at work is also key to thriving, and those people who are thriving at work are 81% less likely to leave, according to Gallup.
So, what can companies do to foster real friendships at work? Foster real conversation. Swap out the lame team building events or strained happy hours, and instead offer opportunities for authentic connection. Consider, for example, one manager who participated in our Managers on the Move program. Afterwards, he began asking his team members more “real” questions, such as, “What are you thankful for? What motivates you? If you could go anywhere, where would it be?” Real questions like these foster real connections at work — something we’re all craving right now.
Allwork.Space: Why do employers need to examine their workplace culture more closely?
Laura Putnam: Too often, companies provide the wellness bells and whistles, but they fail to examine and address the larger company culture. The truth is that no yoga class or mindfulness app can make up for a toxic company culture or one that drives people to have to do the work of three. Moreover, many of our old-school notions of “what work should look like” no longer hold.
For example, the old adage “check your emotions at the door” doesn’t work for most, especially for today’s younger workers and leaders. A recent Monster Intelligence survey found that 91% of Gen Z workers want to be able to talk about their mental health with their boss. Or, the old-school ranking systems, designed to “motivate” people to work harder, often result in exactly the opposite effect. People, for the most part, are less motivated to put in the added effort, according to a study out of Wharton.
Ultimately, better well-being at work starts with the culture itself, one in which individuals (including managers and leaders) are not left to fend for themselves or admonished to practice more “self-care.” Rising issues like burnout, research shows, has much less to do with a lack of individual resilience and more about the workplace itself — things like toxicity tolerated, work overload or hard-driving culture. Companies need to seek out systemic solutions, like four-day work weeks or family caregiver family leave, to make well-being a way of life and a way of doing business.