With so many people leaving, don't overlook those who stay (2023)


The talent market has changed. You need to think of your employees as customers and pay close attention to retaining them. This is the first step in slowing down burnout and getting your growth curve back on track. And that doesn't happen when they feel ignored in the rush to hire new people or underappreciated for the effort they put into keeping the business going. They need to be seen for who they are and what they are contributing, and leadership needs to make sure this happens. The authors offer four steps for leaders to follow.

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For those who doubted, the data is there. The Great Relinquishment is real and it is happening. EITHERUS Department of Labor reportsthat during the months of April, May and June 2021, a total of 11.5 million workers left their jobs. And it's not over yet. In accordance withGallup poll, 48% of employees are actively looking to make a change, and according topersonal investigations,almost 1:4 will do so in the next six months. Those looking for new opportunities will find ripe opportunities; in June, the US reached an all-time high of10.1 million jobsopenings

(Video) Tuesdays with Gordon: With So Many People Quitting, Don’t Overlook Those Who Stay

What does all this mean for your organization? You're probably juggling two pressing needs: hiring to replace people who have left, and hiring new people to support business growth. The shortage is real: too few people for too many jobs. The imbalance between supply and demand highlights more than ever that productivity is about people.

The best way to stabilize your business is to stop the tsunami of attrition and increase your retention. In the frantic need to hire more people, the group we often forget to cater to are the people who stay, the ones who show up day after day taking on the work that needs to be done. Think about what these people, the ones who are here, working for you and with you, need at this time. The short answer is that they need to be seen for who they are and what they are contributing. It's your job as a leader to make sure they get the recognition they deserve.

And we get it: As employers, leaders, managers, and HR professionals, you've been dealing with a lot of uncertainty and change. You have a lot on your plate. Not having the right people in the right numbers in the right places to get the job done creates a hamster wheel effect: You keep running, faster and faster, exhausted with forces beyond your control. So let's control what you can control, and that's you. If you want to contain the turnover rate in your organization or team, you have to look inside and decide what is possible. So let's stick our finger in that proverbial hamster wheel and make it stop for a minute. Let's take a break and see what's possible, what you can do to make a difference.

Here are four steps leaders can take right now to better navigate the Great Resignation:

1. Be aware of your impact.

As leaders, people are watching you all the time, whether you realize it or not. So, pause and consider how you are showing yourself in your words and actions. Let's say your company is experiencing record 25% revenue for the year and hiring is falling 60% below target (real world scenarios at many companies). Your people are worried and stressed. How do you convey the reality of these pain points to your people? Are you aware of how others experience your own worries and frustrations? Are you involuntarily increasing your fear and uncertainty? When you realize its impact, you can control it and guide it in the right direction.

2. Focus on potential and possibility.

On the other hand, let's say your organization has 75% retention and has attracted and welcomed a large number of new people to the organization. Consider what outcome you want to create from this uniquely disturbing moment. This is a time to root yourself in pragmatism combined with possibility, gratitude, and recognition of what your people, old and new, are going through. Be curious and ask:

  • What do you envision as the best possible outcome for this situation?
  • What excites you about it?
  • What does this give you/the team/the organization?

When you communicate with your people in this way, the impact is one of potential and possibility rather than fear and uncertainty.

3. Make sure to sign out.

Speaking of communication, let's take a look at another area where you could have an unintended impact: how you and others in the organization treat people when they leave.

In many companies, when an employee catches your eye, the reaction is similar to an emotional breakdown: you've been dumped and you feel rejected. This triggers not-so-good behavior, such as a tendency for the person to come off as "wrong" and doubt their trustworthiness or integrity, even if that wasn't the case before the warning. There is a tendency to dismiss his presence and devalue his contribution. Think deeply about what this type of behavior signals to the leaving employee and remember, those who are staying and watching.


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Who is leading the great resignation?

An alternative is to approach these transitions with gratitude. It's helpful to realize that the era of lifetime employment is over and, with rare exceptions, your employees are at your organization as a pit stop on their career journey. They contributed and hopefully learned some new things. You are not the same person you were when you joined, and the same is true of you and the organization. What would it be like to take a break when a layoff happens and express those things on both sides of the relationship? What would be created if you took the time to acknowledge how both sides of the relationship have grown and evolved? Instead of seeing the firing as a rejection of the relationship, what would be possible if you started to see it as a turning point in your evolution?

The talent pool is small and the careers are long. End this phase of your time together with appreciation.

4. Give your employees the respect and attention they deserve

The talent market has changed. You need to think of your employees as customers and pay close attention to retaining them. This is the first step in slowing down burnout and getting your growth curve back on track. And that doesn't happen when they feel ignored in the rush to hire new people or underappreciated for the effort they put into keeping the business going. You can't underestimate your people and expect them to stick around – healthy relationships don't work that way. Here are three steps:

Recruit them.

Consider what the conversations would be like if you were recruiting them for your company.

  • Take time to understand your motivations and ambitions. With so many new hires, identify where opportunities might exist within the organization (even outside of your team) to help them realize unrealized dreams and ambitions.
  • Help them see and claim the positive impact they are having on the organization. Acknowledge not only what they are doing, but also why it is important. Let them know what you appreciate about how they show up in tough times. People want to know that they are making a difference.
  • Do not stop. These are not one-time conversations. You can't just walk in and chat and think everything is fine. This should be the main focus of every manager and leader in your company.
(Video) Ricky Van Shelton ~ "Don't OverLook Salvation"

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reward them.

This can trigger the need for a systemic view of how and what is recognized and rewarded in your organization. Now may be the time to challenge the status quo if what you're seeing from your people and hearing from the talent market isn't in line with the current reality of your business. It's not just about paying people more,seektells us that the motivational effect of salary increases is short-lived. Equally important is how you recognize and value the contributions and impact of your people.

  • Think about the DNA of your organization. If the old ways of doing things no longer work for the organization and its people, find out what works.
  • Be willing to let go of the past... it's gone.
  • Play the long game here. Make sure your company's compensation philosophy is clear and understandable to everyone. (It starts with you). Make sure there is accountability so current employees are not disadvantaged when new people are hired.

Equity starts with how you value the contribution. You may not be the only one in your organization solving the myriad problems around recognizing and rewarding your people, but you can lead. You can express problems and defend responsibility.

Involve them.

Businesses are hurting and the root of that pain for many today is a lack of people to get the job done. Your current people feel this pain when they reach out to take extra shifts to provide cover, hear customer complaints when they can't solve the real problem, or witness another colleague say they "gave up" when their tip hits the breaking point. . So be bold and involve your people in helping you solve problems.

  • Ask for their help. This takes courage because admitting you don't know all the answers is vulnerable work. It takes strength and confidence to realize that results are better when more ideas are included, a fuller representation is presented, and diverse perspectives are heard.
  • Give them agency to help mitigate the daily worries they face. Create a space for them to come forward, participate and inform the way forward. This sends the crucial message that they are trusted and valued.
  • Focus on the desired result. Actively seek input from diverse voices and viewpoints on what will help you get there, especially perceptions and ideas that differ from your own. Stay open to being surprised and delighted.

The audacity to be vulnerable and not know it all paves the way for creating greater buy-in and loyalty from all stakeholders: teammates, peers, colleagues, and direct reports. You show the way by opening the door.


How many people are quiet quitting? ›

Twenty-one percent of workers are 'quiet quitting,' choosing to put in only the bare minimum and just doing what they are paid to do. Additionally, 5% say they actually do less than what's required of them.

Why do people keep quitting? ›

Burnout is a big problem for many workers, causing them to quit in record numbers. Limeade surveyed 1,000 full-time employees who started a new job in 2021, and 40% left their previous jobs due to burnout. And 28% of employees left their jobs without securing another position due to burnout.

Why do people quiet quit? ›

Pew Research found that the main reasons for quitting in 2021 included: low pay, lack of opportunities for advancement, feeling disrespected at work, childcare issues, lack of flexible hours and not having good benefits.

What to do about quiet quitting? ›

Here's how I counsel my clients to prevent quiet quitting:
  1. Allow your workers to have autonomy. Give employees the freedom to make decisions, and don't micromanage them. ...
  2. Create a sense of purpose. ...
  3. Foster employee engagement. ...
  4. Listen, learn and implement.
Nov 23, 2022

What are the signs of quiet quitting? ›

Signs your team might be quiet quitting
  • They are cynical about everything. ...
  • They seem disengaged or checked out. ...
  • They don't finish projects on time or with unusually low quality. ...
  • It's unclear what your expectations are. ...
  • There is a lack of clear communication. ...
  • They are overworked. ...
  • They are being micromanaged.

Can you get fired for quiet quitting? ›

But can employers fire employees for quiet quitting? Generally, yes, if they are “at-will" employees.

Why are Americans quitting? ›

About four-in-ten adults who quit a job last year (39%) say a reason was that they were working too many hours, while three-in-ten cite working too few hours. About a third (35%) cite wanting to relocate to a different area, while relatively few (18%) cite their employer requiring a COVID-19 vaccine as a reason.

Is it better to quit or be fired? ›

The advantages of quitting instead of being fired include the possibility of negotiating severance and a positive recommendation. Disadvantages of quitting include forfeiting the right to claim unemployment. Any time you think your job is in danger, it's a good idea to start looking for a new job just in case.

What are the two most crucial reasons for your quitting? ›

Here are 10 good reasons for leaving a job and trying something new.
  • Company downturn. ...
  • Acquisition or merger. ...
  • Company restructuring. ...
  • Career advancement. ...
  • Career change to a new industry. ...
  • Professional development. ...
  • Different work environment. ...
  • Better compensation.

Why Being quiet is powerful? ›

Being silent allows us to channel our energies. It gives us the clarity we need to calmly face challenges and uncertainty. The hour of silence I practice each morning, and encourage you to practice as well, can be a time for collecting our thoughts, training our minds, and deciding how we want to enter into the day.

What causes a quiet person? ›

Introverts are self-sufficient, and it's why they're so quiet. A quiet person's personality is inward, which means they naturally search themselves for comfort. Since they keep a small circle, they develop the habit of self-reliance by finding ways to cater to their needs.

Does staying silent help? ›

When you practice solitude and silence, you allow your brain to process your emotions, rather than suppressing them and remaining on autopilot. You may feel some uncomfortable emotions through this process, but the sooner you recognize and address your feelings, the sooner you can move forward in health and freedom.

What is the nicest way to quit? ›

Here's how to quit a job gracefully:
  • Keep quiet. Don't tell coworkers you plan to quit before you tell your boss.
  • Quit in person. Don't quit by email or by phone. ...
  • Give two weeks' notice. More is better. ...
  • Write a letter of resignation. Turn it in after you quit in person.
Dec 8, 2022

Do employers get mad when you quit? ›

Depending on their emotional state at the time of your conversation, your manager may become immediately upset, or even furious that you are resigning. They may feel a sense of betrayal, as well as anxiety about how they will manage the workload without you.

How do you quit the nicest way? ›

The best way to do this is through a conversation with your human manager. In some cases, a human resources (HR) representative may schedule an exit interview to ask you about your experience with the company and what prompted your decision to leave, as well as feedback on company policies, culture, and benefits.

How do bosses react when you quit? ›

The best-case scenario—and honestly, the most common reaction—is that your boss will accept your resignation with understanding and sincere congratulations. Your manager will be happy to see that you're advancing your career and moving on to something bigger and better.

What are the signs of a quitter? ›

10 Signs of a Quiet Quitter + Questions Every Leader Must Ask
  • They're unhappy.
  • They don't encourage teammates.
  • They avoid feedback.
  • They're caught in the comparison game.
  • They're takers, not givers.
  • They're not connected to purpose.
  • They undermine others behind their backs.
  • They can become cancerous.
Oct 10, 2022

How do you know when someone is about to quit? ›

They have exhibited less focus on job related matters than usual. They have expressed dissatisfaction with their current job more frequently than usual. They have expressed dissatisfaction with their supervisor more frequently than usual. They have left early from work more frequently than usual.

What defines a quiet quitter? ›

Key Takeaways. The term “quiet quitting” refers to employees who put no more effort into their jobs than absolutely necessary. A 2022 Gallup survey suggested that at least half of the U.S. workforce consists of quiet quitters.

Can a boss tell you you can't quit? ›

An employer can't make you stay. Frankly, they can't even force you to give notice. If you signed a contract, however, you're no longer an at-will employee. You may still be able to quit, but your options all depend on the terms you agreed to in that contract.

What comes after quiet quitting? ›

But if we're going to accuse workers of quiet quitting, we should also acknowledge the phenomenon of “quiet firing,” in which employers avoid providing all but the bare legal minimum, possibly with the aim of getting unwanted employees to quit.

Why are Millennials leaving jobs? ›

Burnout is a major problem for millennials in the workforce. In fact, it's one of the leading reasons why millennials are quitting their six-figure jobs. According to Deloitte, in comparison to 77% of all respondents, 84% of millennials claim they have experienced burnout at their present employment.

What age is the Great Resignation? ›

Who is impacted by the Great Resignation? Workers and employers have been impacted by the Great Resignation. First and foremost, the employee demographics most affected by the Great Resignation are those between 18-29 (37% quit their jobs in 2021) and those with lower incomes (24% quit their jobs).

Which percent of Americans choose to go back to work after retiring? ›

These famous people all retired and thought better of it. And they're not alone in “unretiring.” According to a recent AARP study, 1.7 million Americans who retired a year earlier have returned to the workforce. That's more than 3% of retirees.

How common is it to get fired? ›

40% of people are fired from a job in their lifetime.

40% of Americans have been fired from a job. Firing an employee that will be replaced costs between 16.1% and 20.4% of their annual salary, rising as high as 213% for senior executives.

Can employers see if you've been fired? ›

You are right to be aware that your prospective employer may check on the reasons you left your job. Most employers conduct background or reference checks during the interview process. If you've been terminated for cause, it may well come up during their investigation.

Does being fired go on your record? ›

It's possible that a job candidate's previous employers will reveal if he or she was fired from their previous job and the reason for the dismissal. However, in most cases, don't expect to receive this information.

What triggers great resignation? ›

The fear of being hopelessly unemployed again is one of the reasons behind the Great Resignation. Other reasons that led to the Great Resignation are: Work-related stress like job burnout. The desire for a more stable income source.

Why do the best employees quit? ›

So why do good people leave? Good employees leave when they feel stifled, and they think they've plateaued at their current place of work. A short temper and an impatient attitude are a bad combination—especially in a leader.

What is your desired salary? ›

What Is Desired Salary? Desired salary is simply the amount of money you'd like to make at your new job. It's also the realistic amount of money you expect to make at your new job based on your level of skill and experience.

Why is silence the best revenge? ›

Silence speaks volumes

Believe it, the silence and zero reaction really bothers your ex, and they consider it as the best served revenge. Nothing creates more curiosity than silence. Your ex would expect a vent or an angry rant from you, but don't give in. If you do, you are meeting their expectations.

Why is quiet confidence attractive? ›

Why is Quiet Confidence so Attractive? Being quiet doesn't mean that you are shy or insecure. Quiet confident people exude an energy of self-assurance and strength, which is very attractive to other people. It might be quiet, but it's powerful!

Are quiet people highly intelligent? ›

Intelligent people tend to appear quiet because they are natural observers. They are listening and watching what's going on around them. They tend to analyze the situation, breaking it down into parts like a social puzzle, and ask themselves questions to figure it out.

What kind of personality do quiet people have? ›

An introvert is a person with qualities of a personality type known as introversion, which means that they feel more comfortable focusing on their inner thoughts and ideas, rather than what's happening externally. They enjoy spending time with just one or two people, rather than large groups or crowds.

What does being quiet say about a person? ›

Quiet people are either anxious or rude:

Shyness/Social Anxiety (you want to join the conversation but you fear making yourself a social outcast by saying something stupid) Intimidation (you're intimidated by the people around you, and shrink back because you don't feel worthy)

What kind of person is a quiet person? ›

Quiet people are more likely to be introverts than extroverts and tend to be more creative and sensitive than the average person. They also tend to be private people who don't like being in large crowds or socializing much at all unless it's necessary for work or school.

What kind of person uses the silent treatment? ›

The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse typically employed by people with narcissistic tendencies.

Why are more people seeking silence? ›

As our environments become louder, more people are seeking silence, whether its through meditating or going to a multiple day silent retreat. Research has shown that noise can have a pronounced negative physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones.

What does psychology say about silence? ›

Silence has been found to stimulate brain growth: In 2013, a study into brain structure and function found that a minimum of two hours of silence could result in the creation of new brain cells in the area of our brains linked to learning and recall. Noise affects our stress levels by raising cortisol and adrenaline.

What is the most quit job? ›

2022 was a year of high quit rates, not to mention "quiet quitting" and "acting your wage." A new report from Payscale shows the 20 jobs people seem most likely to leave now or in the near future. In the No. 1 spot is senior customer service representative.

How do I resign with dignity? ›

How to Leave Your Job with Dignity
  1. 1) Give your notice – early and professionally: When quitting from a position, handing your notice in can be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences. ...
  2. 2) Be positive: ...
  3. 3) Work your notice period properly: ...
  4. 4) Say thank you: ...
  5. 5) Celebrate in style:

How do I train myself not to quit? ›

Tips to Boost Your Motivation
  1. Make a List of Goals. Write down your goals and visualize how you will feel when you hit each one. ...
  2. Work Out Every Day. ...
  3. Make a Schedule and Stick to It. ...
  4. Find Your "Whys" ...
  5. Find Some Mentors. ...
  6. Stop Comparing Yourself With Other People. ...
  7. Take Care of Yourself and Think Positively.
Oct 18, 2018

Is it weak to quit a job? ›

But, don't be fool yourself into thinking that quitting a job you hate means you're weak. Although many internet memes will tell you that you should never quit, mentally strong people know when to walk away. They recognize when a situation isn't productive and they're willing to move on.

Is Quitting job a failure? ›

Just because you quit something doesn't mean you've failed.

Whether it's a short-term quit or a long-term quit, it's time to take control. It's time for you to take the necessary steps to get yourself out of situations that aren't bringing you value.

Is Quitting your job scary? ›

The negative feelings the brain can cycle through after quitting can be significant, with shame, guilt, fear and a sense of failure all common reactions. Two common responses are spiralling anxiety over whether quitting is the right decision, or freezing with fear at the thought of moving forward into an unknown future ...

Who should I tell I'm quitting? ›

Pro tip: Tell your boss that you're quitting your job before you tell your co-workers. If you tell peers first and your boss hears that you're leaving from someone else, “your boss is going to feel sidelined and disrespected, which could undermine your ability to get a good reference,” says Yeager.

How do I quit a toxic job without burning bridges? ›

5 steps to resigning without burning bridges
  1. Resign face-to-face where possible. “Generally, people find it more respectful for you to resign in person,” she says. ...
  2. Show you're thankful. ...
  3. Follow up in writing. ...
  4. Work hard during your notice period. ...
  5. Continue to support the business after you've left.

What to say when you quit and your boss wants you to stay? ›

Provide a basic explanation for your decision

Be sure to avoid negativity regarding your current company and instead focus on the potential for the future. For example, rather than saying "I felt like I couldn't grow here," say "I've decided to pursue a role in which I feel I can flourish," instead.

Are people still quiet quitting? ›

Between 13% and 20% of Americans have reported being actively disengaged at work since Gallup started conducting employee engagement surveys in 2000. To some, quiet quitting is just working – do your job, go home and forget about it.

Is quiet quitting increasing? ›

A new Gallup survey claims to support the idea that employee disengagement really is on the rise, calling the quiet quitting trend a “crisis.” But whether it's actually a problem is a matter of perspective.

Is quiet quitting a thing? ›

Quiet quitting is the new norm

Quiet quitting isn't just appearing in the working environment, it's also showing up in relationships. People can quietly check out of any kind of relationship, whether personal or business. And to put this trend fully into context, quiet firing is also occurring.

Is quiet quitting fake? ›

Perhaps you've heard of “quiet quitting.” It's telling that the phrase has taken off on social media — but this is the fakest of fake “workplace trends.” Think of it as the third iteration of dubious pandemic work-related fads.

Is it better to quit or get fired? ›

The advantages of quitting instead of being fired include the possibility of negotiating severance and a positive recommendation. Disadvantages of quitting include forfeiting the right to claim unemployment. Any time you think your job is in danger, it's a good idea to start looking for a new job just in case.

Do workers regret quitting? ›

80% of workers who quit in the 'great resignation' have regrets, according to a new survey. The “Great Regret” is the latest workplace trend to sweep the nation, with the majority of professionals who quit their jobs last year wishing they could get a do-over, according to a new survey.

What time of year do most people quit? ›

Well, according to our research: Throughout 2021, an average of 3.98 million people quit their jobs every single month. The month with the most resignations was November, with 4.5 million people leaving their jobs, while January had the least number of resignations at 3.3 million.

Why good employees suddenly quit? ›

It may seem like a simple thing, but one reason why good employees quit is that they don't feel like they're respected or trusted at work. Whether they feel like they're not respected by their boss or by their coworkers, these negative feelings can build up, eventually causing them to decide to leave.

When your most passionate people go quiet? ›

According to Tim McClure, when passionate employees become quiet, it usually signals that the work environment has become very dysfunctional. Suspicion and insecurity clouds the culture, and employees retreat into self-protection behavior patterns to protect themselves from the forces within the company.

Is it selfish to quit? ›

Let me be clear: No, it is NOT selfish to quit your job for any reason. You are a free agent. You get to make the decisions that make the most sense for your career and your life, regardless of how that impacts others.

Do I tell HR or my boss I'm quitting? ›

While no two employers are exactly the same, in most cases you'll provide a resignation letter to your boss, then work with HR to finish out your time at the company.

What is soft quitting? ›

Key Takeaways. The term “quiet quitting” refers to employees who put no more effort into their jobs than absolutely necessary. A 2022 Gallup survey suggested that at least half of the U.S. workforce consists of quiet quitters. 1.

What are the pros and cons of quiet quitting? ›

A new trend known as “quiet quitting” encourages employees to do the bare minimum at work. Quiet quitting may lead to better work/life balance and improved boundary setting. However, it could negatively impact career advancement opportunities and relationships with your colleagues.

Should I tell my boss I'm burnt out? ›

Talking to your boss about burnout can benefit your well-being. It is a way to open the door to constructive conversations that can help get you back on track and feel better about work. With support, this may improve your job gratification and overall performance.


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