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The Great Attrition: The power of adaptability

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that there is no “stop” button for change. Take the Great Attrition, for example. Employees are quitting at record rates and cite a lack of connection to the organization as a primary reason. Many feel increased burnout, grief, and exhaustion. Employees also report wanting to feel valued and treated as an individual, yet organizations are relying on transactional strategies to retain them.   Organizations must address this ...

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Why inclusion matters—and how to foster it

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) have rightfully risen to the top of organizational priorities. Many organizations recognize that focusing on DE&I is simply the right thing to do, but research also finds that prioritizing it is good for business. In fact, DE&I is a strategic imperative to win the battle for talent amid the Great Attrition, better service clients and customers, and stay ahead of fierce competition. However, all three aspects of DE&I are critical to ...

Unleashing sustainability success starts with your team

Companies are increasingly recognizing sustainability as a strategic priority. With stakeholders at every level demanding that organizations take a real stand, companies that merely pay lip service cannot compete. Sustainability today must become more than a public relations, investor relations, or corporate social responsibility endeavor. The modern sustainability organization must be set up to reshape a company’s fundamental approach to business, set specific goals, and accomplish real ...

The Great Attrition: Same turnover, but the “why” differs by industry

Organizations are reporting unprecedented levels of turnover. Forty percent of employees report that they are likely to leave their job within the next 3-6 months. Our research shows that employees across industries are leaving because they do not feel valued and have poor work-life balance. However, in certain industries, the following specific drivers are pushing people to leave: Unmanageable workload. Employees in leisure and hospitality as well as healthcare and social assistance ...

Battle for frontline talent: Five strategies to win

Employees are quitting or considering doing so at record rates across industries, creating unprecedented movement in talent. This trend—coined the “Great Attrition”—is not expected to change any time soon. According to research published in September 2021, 40 percent of employees are considering leaving their current job within the next six months, and nearly two thirds of them would do so without a job in hand. Frontline-heavy organizations, where employees are less ...

The Great Attrition: Wanting the best, keeping the worst

The Great Attrition is happening. A record number of employees have or plan to quit. In the U.S., voluntary attrition increased by almost 800,000 in the past year, while involuntary attrition decreased by almost 400,000 during the same period according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Recently, a McKinsey survey found that nearly a quarter of employers believe they are holding on to more low-performing talent now compared to a year ago. What does this mean for a company’s talent ...

Your return-to-office announcements are missing the mark: Here’s how to get them right

Communication is the key to success as leaders navigate the unsteady return-to-office phase. We recommend that leaders have a thoughtful, open, and two-way dialogue with employees to help collectively shape the solution, but there’s more to it. While leaders are starting to have these conversations, we have also seen return-to-office announcements that entirely missed the mark. Many announcements to date have been rule based, inflexible, and have treated remote work as a perk, rather than ...

Being a good boss isn’t easy—here’s how to get better

Managers are more important than ever as employee satisfaction moves to the forefront in today’s race for talent. In fact, according to McKinsey research, one of the top factors that employees cited as a reason for quitting amid the Great Attrition was that they didn’t feel valued by their manager. In contrast, people at organizations with good employee-manager relations report significantly higher satisfaction with their jobs: Among those who say that management relations are ...

Getting skills transformations right: The nine-ingredient recipe for success

Companies are grappling with an urgent need for new skills to support significant changes in business priorities and in how work gets done. According to our recent McKinsey Global Survey on reskilling, most respondents say that skill building is the best way to close those gaps, ahead of hiring, contracting, or redeploying employees. Sixty-nine percent say they have doubled down on skilling efforts since the pandemic began and are reaping clear benefits. Among organizations that ...

Four ways that organizations can help tomorrow’s leaders

Employee stress, anxiety, and burnout are on the rise. The pandemic continues to exact a toll on workers, families, and students. For many, time spent working is increasing while that spent with other social groups, like family or church, is decreasing. This matters to organizations, because the well-being of humans is inextricably linked to employee satisfaction and also correlates with customer satisfaction, turnover, productivity, and profitability. Failure to pay attention to and ...

Operating model transformations: Not all elements are created equal

More leaders are asking questions about the future of their organization’s operating model due to the effects of the pandemic. However, successfully shifting to a new way of working requires more than redrawing boxes and lines. McKinsey research found transformations that touched seven or more of the 12 elements of an operating model (see Exhibit) were three times more likely to experience a successful redesign. But, with a dozen elements to focus on, where should an organization ...

Piecing together the talent puzzle: How to bring a redeployment or skilling program to life

In a recent McKinsey survey, 53 percent of leaders indicated that building skills was the best way to close their company’s capability gaps in the next year. In fact, they cited reskilling as the preferred strategy more than twice as often as hiring. It’s no secret organizations see the value of skill building and are acting quickly—over 33 percent of leaders indicated that investment in building capabilities has increased since 2020. While these statistics are compelling, ...

Unleashing the power of communication in agile transformations

More organizations are seeking to become “agile”—a term that began in software development but now encompasses many efforts to work faster and more effectively in teams built around customers rather than silos. Communications around agile transformations are different than in other transformations: Agile is a philosophy rather than an outcome. High-frequency, two-way communication is required to gather sufficient feedback and pivot principles and objectives as ...

Piecing together the talent puzzle: When to redeploy, upskill, or reskill

As organizations approach the rapidly changing, post-pandemic future, one key will be their ability to use existing talent in new and innovative ways and ensure that employees have the necessary skills to be successful. Within the next five years, up to 50 percent of all employees will require some level of reskilling to perform effectively in role, while nearly 100 million new roles are likely to emerge, according to the World Economic Forum. To build an enduring organization—one with the ...

Running on all five sources: Actions leaders can take to create more meaningful work

Research shows that when people view their work as meaningful, their performance and job attitudes improve significantly. Previously, we proposed a strategy that leaders can use to create meaningful work: making the connection to and highlighting the impact their work has on society, customers, the company, team, and individuals’ personal success—otherwise known as the five sources of meaning. Knowing about the five sources of meaning is a great start, but the real magic occurs ...