In recent years, the dynamic of the employment market has dramatically shifted.
With continuing changes to workplace mentality and employee values, we’ve explored how these different trends continue to impact employees, and polled our users to discover what matters most to them in 2023.
While many have chosen to stay in their current roles, a cocktail of different employment trends, such as The Great Resignation (mass resigning), quiet quitting (doing only the minimum requirements of a job), and more recently, career cushioning (looking for a new job while still employed), has emanated from this.
The Great Resignation
The Great Resignation, also referred to as the “Big Quit” or the “Great Reshuffle”, has been an ongoing employment and economic trend for the past couple of years, despite losing steam in the media.
A strong wave of people continue to leave their jobs to explore more supportive employers with favorable work conditions like remote work, training, opportunities for career progression, etc.
A recent report by Statista shows that, for 21 consecutive months, more people were quitting their jobs every month than at any other time before the pandemic. Last December, 4.1 million Americans quit their jobs, bringing the tally for 2022 to just 50.7 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Quiet Quitting and Career Cushioning
In 2023, people are no longer as committed, or as loyal, to their jobs as they used to be. Last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that job tenure over the past 10 years has seen a slight decline across most industries and sectors.
And if employees are not formally handing in their resignation letters, trends in the media paint a picture of a large population of people who are simply Quiet Quitting, or, choosing to only do the bare minimum required of their roles.
We’ve also seen a recent rise in “career cushioning” — people upskilling to prepare for career pivots, or assuming side-hustles that can supplement their income. This recent workplace trend is one of the more recession-proofing techniques that employees are adopting to help them navigate the unstable economy, while they also seek jobs that are more in line with their ideal career paths.
However, those who can find satisfaction in their jobs are usually the most productive, and the most likely to stay. According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report, internal mobility can greatly increase the chances of employee retention.
In fact, the likelihood of employee retention after one year of tenure is 87% with an internal move, through either promotion or lateral movements, but just 75% without an internal move.
By year two, this figure reduces to 75% (with an internal move) and 56% (without a role change).
After three years, employees who haven’t had a move are just 45% likely to stay with their current employers vs the 64% who will if they have moved within their company.
What Challenges are Currently Shaping People’s Behavior in the Workplace?
Today’s workplace trends are directly in response to the workplace challenges people are facing. Along with salary and benefits (naturally), feeling underappreciated, having a poor manager, or low promotion prospects all can have a significant impact on why people choose to leave their jobs.
Our research shows that a fifth of people we surveyed state their current working situation isn’t what they want it to be; admitting they feel stuck, don’t have a clear career path, want to find their dream role, or want to pivot out of their current role/industry.
The most common challenges that people encounter in their careers include:
No sense of belonging
People struggle with motivation and commitment when they don’t feel a strong sense of value and purpose as an employee. Those feeling this way are more likely to quiet quit when they believe no one really cares about what they think or how they feel. LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning report found that employees who feel their skills aren’t being put to “good” use in their current role are 10x more likely to be looking for a new job.
Our survey also highlights this challenge, revealing almost two fifths (16%) of respondents don’t feel confident to speak up, share ideas, say “no” or ask for what they want.
People are also quiet-quitting or resigning because they feel disenchanted, with our survey revealing almost a quarter (23%) of people want to change their careers, and 1 in 10 yearning for their dream role.
Another common reason people lose interest in a job is that they feel increasingly disconnected from their personal life. In a survey conducted by Lending Tree, 57% of the more than 300 quitters polled say their work-life balance improved after they quit their job.
Important Career Advancement Trends
But it’s not all bad news. Examining the popular options that people explore when reconsidering their job, we have found that there are several noteworthy trends in career advancement:
These days, people are becoming more self-aware, realizing there is no “one path” that works for everyone. Even when it comes to training, there isn’t a single clear approach that best suits everybody.
Today, organizations need to inspire a stronger sense of personalization, purpose, and belonging in employees through professional development programs, and an increased focus on learning and development (L&D). Programs and training sessions should be tailored to goals (at a personal employee level, as well as for the organization), and also factor in whether employees require a more hands-on training style like mentorship, coaching, peer learning, etc.
Push for More Autonomy and Control
A good proportion of those handing in their resignation letters these days aren’t just quitting a role, they’re quitting a work style. People are leaving their jobs to gain more autonomy, freedom, and control over their careers. Today’s trends show that people are continuing to switch jobs so they can work from home, seek variety in work by freelancing for multiple companies, or start their own business or private practice to be their own bosses.
This means, to attract top talent, companies now need to create more flexible workplace structures that provide a high level of autonomy or support the freelance mode of work, while also focusing on areas that can help workers thrive and stay motivated.
Tips to Help People Navigate Their Careers
If you’re currently having issues with workplace engagement and employee turnover, perhaps it’s time to turn a new leaf. Business growth is intertwined with the professional and personal growth of your employees, and you need to treat it as such.
Here are some effective tips to help you make your employees feel more secure and excited about their careers:
Create a Supportive Workplace Culture
According to LinkedIn, the top 5 drivers of great work culture are:
- Opportunities to learn and grow (which previously ranked #9 in 2019 — a significant change in only two years)
- A sense of belonging/li>
- Organizational values
- Support for well-being
Encourage Learning and Innovation
Inspire your employees to step out of their comfort zone, experiment, learn new things, and gain new experiences. Our survey found that 1 in 5 people want a promotion, and almost a third (31%) want to be a better leader.
Prioritize Goal Setting
Setting clear and specific career goals not only helps align everyone with overarching business needs and objectives, but also helps push employees to succeed and improve in their roles and careers. Using a clear, unified framework with your team can help to standardize, motivate, and monitor progress on an individual and org-wide level.
Have Regular Career Conversations
Instill a culture of self-appraisal, where everyone takes time to step back and reexamine their current situation, how it compares to their overall expectations, and where they want it to go. Feelings can change more than once a year, so encourage members of your team to consciously think about what they want within their roles. We put together tips on how best to guide these discussions here.
Encourage (and Demonstrate) Effective Time Management
Even in busy working environments, feeling overwhelmed can result in demotivation. Advocate for time management techniques like better scheduling and prioritizing tasks based on urgency and dependency, and set an example for your team by modeling bandwidth constraint and meaningful task delegation. These simple behaviors can help to ameliorate the risk of overwork and burnout.
Today’s workforce is increasingly seeking more value, purpose, and drive in their work. The factors that previously may have been substantial in the decision to take on, and stay in, a role have slowly transitioned into being more about balance and future-proofing happiness.
To attract the best talent, businesses need to create structures and have processes in place to support these needs, and nurture talent with tailored enterprise training and development programs.