More than 15 million employees have quit their jobs since April 2021—and employers are scrambling to fix the wrong problem. Instead of prioritizing relational factors like meaningful human interactions, they focus on financial incentives. A recent McKinsey study tells us that 40% of surveyed employees across the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Singapore are at least somewhat likely to quit in the next three to six months. Why? Not feeling a sense of belonging at work, and not feeling valued by their organization or by their manager were top reasons cited by employees. Offering a raise or other perks ignores the real issue, putting businesses at risk.
But there’s good news: Organizations have a unique opportunity to attract, develop, and retain talent by listening to employees and taking meaningful action. This is where empathetic leaders truly shine. When we stop making faulty assumptions and commit to understanding the actual problem–then involve employees in developing a solution–the great attrition could turn into a great attraction. This simple mind shift, coupled with resources and training, can create a more people-centric culture where employees thrive (and don’t want to leave!).