how to find more everyday purpose
aka why everyone is leaving their jobs
As part of my work, I regularly speak to groups of business owners and CEOs. Whenever I ask them about their most pressing workplace issues, I’m finding that currently, the same issue is coming up over and over again. Not just for one or two workplaces, but for the vast majority.
People. Either they are leaving, and/or they can’t recruit the people that they need.
I wonder if you’ve come across one of the latest phenomena to come out of the pandemic? It’s called the Great Resignation.
Let’s look at some stats. Here in the UK: almost a quarter of workers are actively planning to change employers in the next few months. A survey of 6,000 employees by the recruitment firm Randstad UK found that 69% of them were feeling confident about moving to a new role in the next few months, with 24% planning a change within three to six months. The company said that it would normally expect up to 11% of workers to move jobs every year. In the US, according to Gallup, a job change is on the horizon for about half of all staff.
These figures are much higher than the usual level of churn and discontent.
In a word, it’s all about disengagement. It seems that the more disengaged you are, the more likely you are to be ready to move on. You may think that this is great, let’s get rid of the disengaged staff, but, the cost of replacement can be so high for an organisation that the better tactic would be, wherever possible, to get that employee to a place of engagement instead.
Let’s split this into two sections. What I would say to the business leaders who are reading, and what I would say to the employees that are reading (especially those who are considering a move).
It’s all about engagement, engagement, engagement, and in this post-pandemic, heading towards burnout world, I would be inclined to say that you ignore engagement at your peril. According to the Gallup data, 75% of actively disengaged employees are looking for a new job, as opposed to the 30% of engaged employees. So, there seems to be a need to look in the mirror, leaders, and consider what we can do.
This is a huge topic, but Gallup have centred their work around the topic of engagement and have suggested twelve suggested measures of engagement (they call this Q12 — I administer this process for several of my clients). Their data shows that if these strategies are effectively used in a workplace, the team is actively engaged, and therefore more loyal, more productive and more innovative. How do you think your team is doing on the following measures of engagement? Why don’t you take these 12 pointers, and score how well you think you’re doing to provide this for your team.
1. Do you know what is expected of you at work?
2. Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?
3. At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
4. In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
5. Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
6. Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
7. At work, do your opinions seem to count?
8. Does the mission/ purpose of your company make you feel that your job is important?
9. Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
10. Do you have a best friend at work?
11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
12. In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?
If you’re on the lookout for new work, then there could be really valid reasons for you to be part of this growing movement.
Perhaps the pandemic has got you reassessing your priorities. You are ready for a new direction, perhaps a new vocation, you’re even thinking about starting out on your own. I know from my coaching work that the concept of purpose and meaning has taken on a whole new level of priority since the pandemic. This is a good thing!
Maybe you’ve reached the point where you can’t grow at your current workplace anymore and it’s legitimately time for a new challenge. I left my last workplace for a whole host of reasons. I was unhappy, towards the end. I felt like I had done my bit, and that my contribution was no longer a good fit for the overall culture that I found myself in. In fact, I remember a light-bulb moment when I just knew that it was no longer the right place for me. Good things can come out of tough spots.
There’s a couple of things I would encourage you to do, however, if you’re thinking that it might be time to move on.
Firstly, get to know yourself better. The more that you understand yourself, the better your decision making will be around work. You can choose a career path that gives you meaning, enjoyment and fulfilment. Not necessarily overnight, but get yourself headed in the right direction. If you’d like some help with that, then I would love to do just that.
Come along to my free masterclass —The Can-Do Formula.
We will discover:
✅ The Diary Hack tells you what one thing reveals your purpose (hint: you’re looking at it right now…)
✅ The only thing you need to focus on that actually makes a difference in your life
✅The 5 Strategies that uncover your unique strengths and set you up for a life of purpose
You’ll also get the chance to hear all about my signature coaching course aimed at answering this question in full, The Purpose Pursuit (new cohort begins on Monday!). Sometimes we just need a little guidance when making some big decisions. If that’s what you need, then I am here to give it!
Secondly, take a look at the questions above from the Q12 assessment. How would you score each of these for your current workplace (out of 5)? This will help you identify more clearly what the points of pain are for you. You need to know what these are, so that you don’t find yourself in a similar scenario at your next place of work.
So, let’s see the Great Resignation for what it is. A reset. A revolution where many staff are no longer willing to stay working in roles that just aren’t right for them, with too much cost to their wellbeing and life. As business leaders, let’s reflect and see what needs some priority in our workplaces, and try to cultivate places of work where people would be hard-pressed to find reasons to leave, other than good ones!