Is it time for leaders to talk about the “Working Dead”?

The “Working Dead” are the Unhappy, Unmotivated, Demoralised workers who remained in their roles and who didn’t quit in the so called ‘Great Resignation’.

The ‘Great Resignation’ refers to the millions of workers who, in the last 12 months, have been abruptly quitting their jobs not only in the UK but also in the US and all over the world.

The ‘quitters’ say that the main reason for their departure is they are sick and tired of being mistreated.

Now many of those who remained, whilst being heralded as heroes during the early dark days of the pandemic, are feeling they’re being underpaid, underappreciated, treated shabbily, cajoled into returning to the workplace, forced to deal with angry customers and pushed into doing other people’s jobs / tasks who’ve decided to leave the organisation.

There was a collective change in attitudes towards work caused by Covid-19.  The overwhelming amount of cases and deaths forced many people to re-evaluate what they do for a living, the way they work and spend their time.

However there appears to be an absence of discussion around what happens to the ones who remain, those who stay with the business after their more proactive peers leave in droves.  The ones who remain are larger in numbers compared to the ones who leave and leaders and managers must listen to their story and take positive action to win their hearts and minds to fully reengage them.

Recent research * polled over 3,500 workers in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA revealed some priceless insights on their connection with their jobs and the companies they work for.

Here are some of the key findings:-

What a difference a couple of years make.
In the December 2019 survey, 92% of workers responded that they expected to be in their role for a least a year, and 59% said they planned to be in their role for five or more years. Now 38% of workers plan to look for a job in the next 12 months.

Flexibility seems to be a solution.
The pandemic has shifted the employer / employee relationship and crystallised what matters most to workers.  Of the workers planning to look for a new job, 30% cited ‘more flexibility’ as the primary reason for doing so.

Working parents are the greatest flight risks.
According to the research, 64% of respondents have experienced burnout in their career and 41% said it happened in the past few months.  That stress has been amplified for parents who are more likely to report feeling stressed than non-parents.  Of all respondents looking for a new job, 65% are working parents seeking ways to better manage family and work responsibilities

These numbers are worrying on both sides of the Atlantic.
The search for a new job is more pronounced in Europe vs. North America. 46% of workers in the UK and 42% of workers in Ireland are looking for new jobs compared to 36% in both the US and Canada.

* sources: Workhuman®,   Perceptyx

Two of the most sobering and stark findings were that only 18% of those surveyed felt a strong sense of personal accomplishment at work, and 33% said, “hopeless, aimless and dispirited” is how they feel when getting through the working day.

After nearly two years of uncertainty, stress, isolation – and, in some cases, burnout – taking positive action on the findings could be the key to the future success of any company. We’ve extrapolated 4 tips from the survey findings – click here to download them.

Please don’t be one of the business leaders who ignores these trends hoping they will go away.  You’ll lose in the long run.  The best and brightest of your workforce will be gone.

If you need any help or advice on keeping your people you’re in safe hands with Sewells. Just watch any one of the videocasts in our Sherpa Series – our new monthly video content exploring insights, experiences, and expertise with our customers – and find out how exactly we’ll be able to help you if you need it.

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