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The Hidden Resignation: Employees are checking out on the job

Wall Street Journal
Census Bureau
Dollar Sprout
Brooks C. Holtom
Georgetown University's
McDonough School of Business
Wegmans Food Markets
the University of Birmingham
The shoe company Toms

Alessandra Cavalluzzi



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Positivity     37.00%   
   Negativity   63.00%
The New York Times
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Workers aren't just quitting their jobs — many employees, disillusioned with the way their companies are mishandling the new realities of work, no longer feel able or motivated to devote themselves to their jobs the way they did before the pandemic. Companies are actively driving their white-collar workers away by presuming that employees are still thinking the way they did before the pandemic: that their jobs are the most important things in their lives.But in the face of novel challenges stemming from the pandemic — everything from the shift to remote work to closures of schools and daycare centers — many workers began to question the validity of their career as an identity. A survey from Dollar Sprout, a platform for people looking to start side hustles, asked people who indicated they had a side hustle how much time they spent on them; it found that the average time spent on those second gigs trended upward in 2021 and that the percentage of people surveyed who said they were spending over 15 hours a week on their side hustle had more than doubled from 2020, to 27% from 12%.As a former tech CEO, I believe that while fair pay and good benefits are the backbone of ensuring employees remain at a company, employers who want their employees to stay engaged need to focus more on listening and responding to workers' evolving needs. Holtom and his colleagues at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business has found that "embeddedness" — the combination of an employee's feelings of belonging at work, their positive workplace relationships, and the sense that they would lose many valuable things if they resigned — is key for retention.There are a few strategies that businesses can employ to foster a sense of embeddedness and make employees feel better about their jobs.Employers need to help employees find mentors and build personal connections with other people at the company. The outdoor clothing and gear company Patagonia has provided on-site childcare for workers for nearly 40 years — because of this policy, in 2019 it said it had retained almost 100% of its new mothers over the previous six years.Employees are moving away from "living to work" as their guiding ethos and embracing "working to live." They want to feel connected at work and valued by their organizations in ways that transcend salary.

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