By Perry Rearick, Chief Editor, Follow Your Buyer
Hold it, last year’s great resignation may not be over, and it may not be temporary either!
A recent CNBC article stated that 44% of current workers are job seeking, citing Willis Towers Watson’s (WTW) 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey.1
Citing a study done by human resources consultancy, Mercer, LinkedIn news recently reported that 1/3 of workers in the US are considering leaving their jobs in the next 12 months. In their Global Talent Trends 2022 Survey, Mercer cautions employers that the transition to a post-pandemic period is on-going and that the recovery remains “fragile” at best.2
According to Marketing Week’s 2022 Career and Salary Survey, 56.9% of marketers surveyed stated they are considering changing jobs in the next twelve months.3 The biggest reasons cited are better pay, seeking new challenges, better workplace culture, and opportunities for growth in their current company.
If you’re counting, that is a trifecta of research that is rather gloomy for employers.
You’re not alone if your think this adds up to another year of work force instability. If you are a marketing or sales leader, take heed, marketing and sales roles notoriously have high turnover rates. But this turbulence will be disruptive only if it takes you by surprise.
Employee Health & Welfare Check
We’re almost six months through the year which is when business leaders commonly check on how the business is performing to their goals. You’ll likely be doing some detailed analysis of financials, both revenue already generated and projections for the remainder of the year. If you’re in marketing and on your game, you’ll assess the results of campaigns and other marketing operations to determine if they are delivering a return on investment.
It is also a good time to check in on the health and welfare of your team. Are they fulfilled by the work they do? Do their contributions match their potential? Do they feel valued and recognized for their work? Being valued is tied to compensation, but much more too, according to the Mercer study.
This is not a routine meeting with your team members and should not be tagged on to the end of one. Make it a stand-alone, private meeting. Be transparent about why you’re having it and include each team member. Don’t skip over your most loyal, long-serving employees nor the ones you’d be happy to see leave. If you’re new to this kind of meeting, get some advice and take time to prepare.
What I’m Hearing
I am reluctant to offer my own observations, but in this case, they mirror what the WTW, Mercer, and Marketing Week reports are saying, with one exception.
About half of the B2B marketers and salespeople I speak with are considering a new employment opportunity. The reasons they state are generally about a poor work environment or culture in their current organization. In some cases, their experience has been so bad that they no longer find the profession meaningful.
Rarely does someone mention pay, however, if inflation continues to grow or even be sustained for a while, stagnant pay will become an issue. I’m not saying that the Marketing Week survey is incorrect, but it is a career and salary survey. Respondents are asked to provide feedback on pay and when asked, most people will say they would like to be paid more.
What concerns me most is the consistent mention of poor work environments. Marketers describe chaotic operations, strategic priorities that change weekly, and dysfunctional relationships with sales. Salespeople describe having to use outdated methods for prospecting, shut up and dial management styles, and the lack of opportunities for more junior members of the team. The worst is when both marketing and sales describe friction and disagreement among their leaders.
What to do!
I’ve already mentioned a health and welfare check with your team. That’s a great place to start and will put most organizations on the path to solutions, if needed.
You may discover that you need a more comprehensive solution. There is a ton of good material on creating better workplace environments in which everyone feels valued, and their work is meaningful. But we must do more than read the book! I’ve wasted a lot of time in my life reading about great leadership principles, only to throw it aside and move on to another attractive title. Find a single system that will help you, put a plan in place, and hold yourself accountable to it.
The Mercer study is excellent! While the research states that our post-pandemic journey back to normal, or whatever comes next, is tenuous, it offers a hopeful model. The title of Mercer’s study is “the rise of the relatable organization” in which companies prioritize values, organizational adaptability, and the total well-being of their employees.
According to Mercer, here are ten things that help employees thrive. Consider how you are doing at creating an environment that delivers on these ten. If you’re not sure, ask your employees.
- Feeling valued for my contributions.
- Work that fulfills me.
- Having fun at work.
- Sense of belonging.
- Manager that advocates for me.
- Empowered to make decisions.
- Opportunities to learn new skills.
- Ability to integrate life and work.
- Organizational purpose I am proud of.
- Leaders who set a clear direction.
Perhaps the great resignation is not yet over or maybe it will never be over. There is a sense that we may be going through a significant transformation in how we all view work and how we assess employment and employers.
The best employers have always delivered on the needs and wants of their employees in exchange for their time and work. But it seems like employees are redefining their needs and wants.
- Global Benefits Attitudes Survey 2022 - WTW (wtwco.com)
- Rise of the relatable organization (mercer.com)
- More than half of marketers want to quit their job (marketingweek.com)