Mass exodus of employees: What's going on?

Post-pandemic: So many people are considering leaving their current jobs. 

resolve conflict

Why are people so unhappy with their current work situation?

I read an article recently that said that post-pandemic, over 40% of the workforce is thinking about seeking new employment. I had trouble accepting that estimate so I did what we all do, I googled it. What I discovered was that this estimate of 40% is at the low end. Some very reputable research groups were suggesting even higher numbers. 

What's going on? This mass reshuffling of our workforce, if true, will have a devastating effect on organizational effectiveness. The answer to this question is bound to be complex but I can't help but wonder if, while working from home, the opportunity to address minor irritations, misunderstandings, and disagreements was limited or simply not available. 

When working from home, we don't have incidental conversations on our way to the copy machine, or to get a cup of coffee. Small talk is BIG talk because it is in the small talk we strengthen our connectedness to each other and we share incidental information that can make all the difference in our understanding of a situation. 

A simple thing like a colleague asking about your son's broken arm reminds you that your colleague cares about you as a person. Then, when issues surface, it's easier to give your colleague the benefit of the doubt. More importantly, you might feel more comfortable to address the small irritations or misunderstandings with this colleague because there is a better foundation of trust exists between you. 

Small issues that are not addressed, rarely go away. More often, they mushroom into big issues that destroy trust. It isn't long before you are seeing more and more reasons to leave. Small talk is certainly not the complete answer to this complex problem, but it helps. Even if you are working from home, you can create opportunities for small talk by beginning each contact with your colleagues with a brief check-in. Just asking how things are going can warm up the conversation. Again, it won't solve the problem, but it will help. 

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