The Great Resignation Is Hitting the Boardroom
It was only a matter of time.
As the Great Resignation shows no signs of abating, even with the growing threat of a recession, the scope of the workers who are looking to walk away from their current jobs in search of something better has crept into the C-suite. And it’s spreading faster and wider than you might think.
A new report from Deloitte and market research firm Workplace Intelligence found that 69% of C-level executives are seriously considering resigning for a position that better supports their well-being. That’s trickling down the corporate ladder too. Among lower-level employees, 57% said they are thinking about leaving for a job that won’t make them feel so burned out.
Executives pointed to the mental health tolls of running a company in the current environment, with 40% saying they felt overwhelmed, 30% noting they felt lonely and 26% saying they were depressed. Leaders also reported significant levels of exhaustion and stress, but in those areas, company employees reported higher percentages of those conditions.
Well-being, whether physical, mental, social or financial, is an area of concern for both workers and executives—and could be at an all time low. More than three-quarters of the business leaders Deloitte surveyed said the pandemic has negatively affected their well-being. And 68% of employees and 81% of the C-suite say that improving their well-being is more important than advancing their career.
“Both employees and the C-suite are struggling to prioritize their well-being—and for most people, work is to blame,” the report reads. “However, executives are significantly overestimating how well their employees are doing and how supported they feel by their leaders. And there are other disconnects as well, indicating that the C-suite should be doing much more to understand the needs of their workers and demonstrate that they truly care about their holistic well-being.”
The chasm between how CEOs feel their employees are doing from a mental health perspective and how workers see it is indeed significant.
Among C-suite executives, 84% believed their workers were thriving from a mental health perspective. However, when asked for a self-evaluation, just 59% of employees rated their own mental health as "excellent" or "good." And while 96% of leaders saw themselves as caring, only 56% of employees felt their companies cared about their well-being.
That disconnect could be leading to some changes. Some 83% of executives said they plan to expand their company's well-being benefits over the next one or two years—and 95% say people in their role are responsible for employees’ well-being.
“The health-savvy executive appreciates that decisions relating to well-being can have a significant impact on the culture of the organization, the way in which work gets done, and the people and places beyond the organization’s four walls,” the report reads. “These executives are finding ways to lead their organizations through extreme complexity and uncertainty, protect and support their workers’ and stakeholders’ well-being, and bolster strategic outcomes in the process.”
The movement of workers searching out jobs that are more fulfilling doesn’t seem to slowing down, which makes the focus on well-being more important than ever. A recent PwC survey found that one-in-five workers saying they're likely to switch to a new employer in the next 12 months.
And the Deloitte survey isn’t the only one showing restlessness among leaders. Visier, a people analytics provider, found that resignation rates among managers went from 3.8% in the first half of 2021 to 5% in the first half of 2022. And a Qualtrics survey of nearly 14,000 participants released in November 2021 found intent to stay fell by 11 points for managers, compared to 7% for individual contributors.
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