In the wake of troubling workplace trends like “quiet quitting” and “quiet firing,” managers may be relieved to know that workers are now skipping the “quiet” and are outright quitting their positions – although sometimes faster than they’d like.
American workers are more confident in quitting a position as soon as they know it’s not the ideal role for them, rather than endure a drawn-out resignation, a vast contrast to previous concerning trends. The short tenure rate, or STR, which measures the percentage of positions that end after being held for less than a year, has increased across multiple trades over the past few years.
Quick Quitting Contagion Reaches Executives
Startling facts from LinkedIn’s Workforce Report has revealed data that identifies an alarming spike in the number of managers, and even vice presidents, walking off the job within one year in comparison to non-management workers, which has remained fairly stable at 0%-5% since mid-2021. These trends beg the question: What is happening to make executive-level managers, commonly thought of for loyalty and longevity in a role, perform an increasing number of career shifts over shorter periods of time?
Shift in Short Tenure
What economists refer to as “short tenure” is being identified as new workplace trend and re-named “quick quitting” in the latest workplace hashtag employers loathe to see. Short tenure refers to employees who have spent less than a year in a role before moving on to their next opportunity.
The alarming part about this trend is that while it remains to be performed by predominantly entry-level workers, statistics about executive turn-over have risen to 13% year-over-year in August 2022 from 8% the previous year but have been as high as 20% in the interim.
Short-tenure stints remain most prevalent among entry-level workers and those in the Gen Z category, often thought of as those who are lower on the pay scale and much earlier into their careers. However, the increasing predisposition of managers and executives making quick exits from newly attained positions is concerning, both to executives and employees who view quick-exiting managers as a red-flag for the organization and may rethink their own roles as a result.
Quicker to Call it Quits, But Why?
The workforce, during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, has been turbulent to say the least. As if handling rapid adjustments with existing staff wasn’t enough, hiring and onboarding processes for new employees were essentially revolutionized overnight. Even after Covid-19 protocols were relaxed many professionals opted to stay home, and video calls and virtual interviews transitioned from “the new-norm” to just…the norm.
With such disruptions to the standard hiring process, new managerial hires may have entered into environments that fell short of sales pitches and expectations. Without the ability to meet employers and organizations in-person, interface with teams, or walk a worksite, managers who encounter unexpected shortcomings are quick to abandon their role in lieu of alternate opportunities or returning to previous positions.
In addition to unexpected complications, like non-management employees, frontline managers are experiencing elevated levels of burnout, caused by stress and dissatisfaction. Managers are in a unique position of balancing leadership demands while supporting their teams, and that can pose a challenge for a new-to-the-company manager, or even a first-time manager, causing them to resign from the position rather than wait to see if they can adapt to increasing pressures.
Provide Support to Management Teams
Short tenure, like many recent workplace trends, is a result of workers’ increased confidence and bargaining power post-pandemic. Exercising their desire to uphold new priorities in a post-pandemic workforce, employees, including managers and VP/C-level executives, are more willing to walk away within months of joining an organization if the company fails to meet the ever-growing list of employee expectations.
Experts agree that order to curb the growing trend of managerial role abandonment, executives and organizations must provide additional support and resources to their mid-level managers and upper-management workers. Research from Gallup reports one in three managers are engaged at work.
Senior leadership needs to reskill and upskill their managers to develop the capabilities to overcome challenges in the new and ever-changing workplace ecosystem. Schedule weekly check-ins and utilize that time to help reduce employee disengagement and burnout by creating accountability for individual performance, team collaboration and by fostering a culture in which people are engaged and feel they belong.
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