Voluntary Turnover Returns as COVID Recedes | Work Institute

Workforce Trends

Despite being in a pandemic, recession, and faced with high unemployment, the latest voluntary quit (turnover) rate report shows nearly twice the amount of US employees quit their jobs in July 2020 than those who quit in April 2020. This short article points out that almost 3.4 million workers voluntarily left their jobs. What is unknown, however, is the reason why these workers voluntarily left. In some cases, it could be due to having to attend childcare or eldercare. Or, it could be that the pandemic made some workers realize that they wanted to pursue opportunities in which they found greater purpose and fulfillment. Regardless of the myriad possible reasons, it is an important reminder that organizations should strive to understand the sentiments of their workforce and how these perceptions can lead to actual turnover. Whenever I think of voluntary turnover, I am reminded of a quote from Leigh Branham’s book, The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave: “Employee turnover is not an event — it is a process of disengagement that can take days, weeks, months or even years until the actual decision to leave occurs.” In the context of the pandemic, each day workers evaluate different aspects of their employment, organizational culture, and how they are treated by their organization, to name a few. These factors will eventually culminate in a worker’s decision to stay with or leave an organization. Organizations should prioritize understanding the sentiments of their workforce and how these sentiments impact critical organizational outcomes, including employee retention.

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