As US quits reach record highs, Gartner study shows demand for hybrid work fuels attrition

Dive Brief: Annual voluntary turnover for U.S. employees is expected to increase by nearly 20% in […]

Dive Brief:

  • Annual voluntary turnover for U.S. employees is expected to increase by nearly 20% in 2022, according to a recent analysis by consulting firm Gartner. That figure translates to approximately 37.4 million workers quitting their jobs in 2022, compared to the pre-pandemic annual average of 31.9 million workers per year.
  • Workers who seek hybrid work arrangements are fueling the trend, Piers Hudson, senior director in Gartner’s HR practice, said in a statement. But workers seeking hybrid arrangements may be misaligned with leaders with respect to hybrid work, and they may have difficulty achieving desired levels of flexibility, Gartner noted.
  • Employees and organizational leaders actually experience a misalignment on remote work, Gartner said it found in a November 2021 survey. Sixty-eight percent of workers in that survey whose work could be done remotely said that their leaders required them to return to the workplace in some capacity. HR leaders can address this issue, the firm continued, by helping executives and managers understand the value of hybrid work and leading efforts to shift organizational culture to recognize hybrid work as an essential part of the employee experience.
Dive Insight:

A record number of U.S. workers, more than 4.5 million, quit their jobs in March 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Jobs Openings and Labor Turnover Survey published this week. That figure tops the record-breaking levels BLS recorded last November.

That trend may support Gartner’s projections for the remainder of the year, but there are other signs that the Great Resignation is not yet finished affecting employers’ plans. More than half of respondents to a recent Lattice report who said they had worked for three months or fewer in their new roles said they were actively trying to leave, and 59% of those with three to six months on the job said the same.

Not even HR leaders are immune from the trend. Workplace communication app Workvivo found in a survey of HR professionals that 79% were open to leaving their jobs, and an even greater share, 98%, said they felt burned out at work within the past six months.

Gartner also is not alone in identifying hybrid work as a cause for turnover, and not always because workers favor it. Employees in a 2021 TinyPulse survey said that hybrid work was nearly twice as emotionally exhausting as remote work. HR managers in another 2021 survey by GoodFirms said that flexibility was among the top causes of resignations.

The prevalence of hybrid work has created other questions for employers to consider. For example, employees may struggle to complete their work and instead opt to work outside normal working hours. HR can work with managers to ensure that employees have sufficient balance in their schedules while also ensuring that employees are able to work when they are most productive, sources previously told HR Dive.

However, attrition can involve many factors, and several have been cited in the context of the Great Resignation. Last month, Perceptyx found in a report that acting on employee feedback could improve retention. Another report by Willis Towers Watson found that pay, bonuses and health benefits all outweighed flexible work arrangements in terms of what workers would consider when deciding whether to take a new job.

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The original article can be found at: HR Dive