Last year stop giving upwhere most of the young employees are quietly checking out of the job they no longer enjoy but are financially necessary, en mode.
Today, workers are doing the exact opposite—they are “consciously quitting”.
Instead of giving up on their work, workers who can’t see their employer’s company values are voting with their feet.
According to the results of Net Positive Employee Barometer, which surveyed more than 4,000 workers across the US and UK, the majority of employees are currently dissatisfied with corporate efforts to improve social welfare and the environment. Almost half would consider quitting if an employer’s values don’t align with their own and a third of employees have already resigned for this reason, with these numbers rising among Gen Z and millennial workers.
former Unilever Chief executive Paul Polman, who commissioned the research, concluded that, “An era of conscious resignation is at hand.”
The findings of the Net Positive Employee Barometer are similar to recent KPMG data, which revealed that 20% of UK office workers would turn down a job if ESG factors were lacking. Meanwhile, Glassdoor also found that 1 in 5 job hunters are actively looking for an employer with values that align with their own.
Why employees are ‘thinking about quitting’ in 2023
Like many career buzzwords that have taken off over the past three years, from career cushioning on kinkeepingJeremy Campbell, CEO of the performance improvement consultancy Black Isle Group, says that the pandemic has given way to conscious resignation.
“It made a lot of people think differently about work,” he said. “Combine that shift with the realization that we’re killing the planet and you’ve combined two powerful forces that are reprogramming people’s thinking about the way they work and what they expect from the companies they work for.”
In addition, the ongoing labor shortage in the wake of COVID-19 has tipped the power balance in favor of employees, so they no longer have to remain silent on disagreements with their employer.
Couple this with the reduced stigma of job hopping, says Jill Cotton, Glassdoor’s career trends expert, and “employees are more confident to look elsewhere if they feel their employer isn’t moving forward on promises.” done or the company’s mission no longer aligns with their personal values.”
In addition, he thinks that this power transfer gives workers “the ability to demand and change the workplace” and therefore “pay lip service to key issues, such as diversity and inclusion, and responsibility in corporate social, employees will no longer be allowed.”
And unlike the ever-evolving career trends we see come and go, mindful quitting isn’t likely to leave our vocabulary anytime soon.
Employees are often concerned about a company’s culture and values. “The difference now is that talent has more opportunity to switch employers if they feel their values no longer align with their employer’s,” Cotton pointed out.
Employers hoping for a turnaround amid global economic woes will be bitterly disappointed.
Despite the fact that hiring is slowing around the world and that power is returning (slightly) back to the hands of employers, tight labor markets are expected to continue until 2023 and beyond.
How businesses can get away with being proactive
In a tight labor market, businesses can’t afford to lose talent because they don’t live up to the values that today’s workforce holds.
“Companies that don’t take the time to meet these expectations will see their people leave. They’ll fail to maximize the performance of the people who stay and they’ll be market losers,” Campbell warned.
As a first port of call, he says that there are three areas that every modern company’s values must include: “They must be seen leading the charge to net zero; they must be flexible in their approach to how people work; and they must have leaders who lead with empathy. “
And while most organizations today claim to be sustainable and inclusive, they need to “walk their talk”.
“They have to really put the planet before profit,” Campbell said while declaring that this meant “no greenwashing and no hogwashing”.
“Transparency is critical to stopping the spread of conscientious objectors and should be embedded in every part of the business, from hiring,” Cotton said.
“In a transparent workplace, employees clearly understand the company’s mission and can make informed decisions about their careers with the employer,” he added.
Businesses that publicly push their people-first culture and forward-thinking ESG policies are not only more likely to retain their employees who want to work for a company that aligns with their personal values. values—but they can also attract those who think they might quit. other companies for the same reason.
But be warned, “this talent will leave quickly if the values they signed up for are not truly embedded in the culture”, says Cotton.
“The company’s culture and values must be fed throughout the company, from leadership to the bottom, and clearly understood by everyone who touches them.”