Married to the Job No More: Craving Flexibility, Parents Are Quitting to Get It | McKinsey

Workforce Trends

The challenges faced by working parents throughout the pandemic have been well-documented. Simultaneously, much has been written about how workers are leaving (or considering leaving) their jobs for new opportunities. According to this new McKinsey & Company article, parents were more likely to have left their jobs over the past several months than their nonparent counterparts, with non-White parents planning to leave at even higher rates. The article points to three areas where organizations can be more bold and creative in their thinking about how to retain working parents:  1) Embrace radical flexibility, 2) Get more creative with childcare support, and 3) Let them go—and make a concerted effort to get them back (e.g., implement ramp up programs to gradually bring them back). Exhibit 3 prioritizes the top 20 factors (reasons) why non-parents and parents have left their jobs in the past six months. Among the findings: a) parents cited caring for family as a top five reason, while nonparents cited family near the bottom of the list, at number 18. b) workload and the ability to work remotely were among the top 10 reasons that parents left their job but were toward the bottom of the list for nonparents. Given that “parents also tend to belong to a crucial category of mid-tenure employees who play key managerial and individual-contributor roles, are leaders or are on the leadership track, and have institutional knowledge,” losing these employees, at scale, will impact firms ability to execute business strategy. Firms can use the ideas and data presented in this article as a reference when crafting workforce strategies.

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