Great Resignation: Top 3 reasons people are leaving their jobs, according to Gallup

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Nearly half of the American workforce is looking to change jobs, Gallup research found. (Photo: Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – The pandemic has clearly thrown the global economy for a loop. While some have been pushed out of work by layoffs, others are quitting of their own volition – so many of them, the trend has been dubbed the “Great Resignation.”

Gallup research from earlier this year found 48% of the American workforce was actively looking to change jobs.

What’s motivating people to call it quits? The problem isn’t really salary or even COVID-19 fallout, according to Jon Clifton, global managing partner at Gallup. In a conversation with Axios Thursday, Clifton said Gallup data shows the real problem is employee disengagement.

The three most common reasons Gallup found employees to be disengaged at work were:

  1. Not seeing opportunities for development
  2. Not feeling connected to the company’s purpose
  3. Not having strong relationships at work

Companies and managers need to ensure those three things for employees if they’re trying to increase retention, the research found.

The majority of American workers surveyed – 64% – reported they didn’t feel engaged at work. That being said, the proportion of engaged workers is growing over time, according to Clifton. “One reason is because management strategies are changing,” he said. Companies aren’t just promoting people into management roles because they’re good at their job. Rather, they’re looking at management as a skill in and of itself, and making sure people are good at managing others before giving them more direct reports. Good managers mean more engaged employees and less turnover, Clifton said.

Employees that are engaged at work are far less likely to leave. Gallup found they’d need to be offered a 20% pay increase to even consider leaving.

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