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Gartner’s human-centric work as we examine the state of play

Gartner’s research says only 29% of IT workers said they would stay with their current employers.  The researcher recommends shifting to a “human-centric” model and rethinking assumptions about work.

  • Working hours—Progressive enterprises are empowering people and teams to decide when they do their best work and pioneering new schedules such as the four-day week.
  • Office-centricity—The pandemic shattered the myth that employees can only get real work done in an office where managers can see them. Most organizations are now planning for a hybrid future that recognizes employees can be fully productive remotely for ‘heads-down’ work. At the same time, the office is best suited for specific work activities such as human connection and collaboration.
  • Meetings—The culture of meetings started in the 1950s when people had to come together physically to make decisions. Now, asynchronous and synchronous collaboration tools enable distributed decision-making, collaboration, and creativity. 

Other reasons why people quit, coming from new Pew research looking at 2021  Top reason – Pay was too low.     People also quit because they felt disrespected.  48% said child care pressures forced their hand, while 18% cited vaccine requirements.   78% of those who quit a job say they are still employed.

The Hustle has similar data.    Looking at why people quit, ~27% of respondents left because they found a job with better pay. That reason was followed by finding a more rewarding job (~17%), burnout (~17%), pursuing a new career path (10%), lack of flexible work atmosphere (8%), and starting a business (6%).  64% of respondents switched to a new job immediately, and 83% of them made more money at their new job.  

Think this is not IT? According to Gartner data released last week, it could be among the worst — IT workers have the lowest intent to stay in their jobs compared to all corporate functions.    Tech workers, who are in high demand across industry sectors, are 10.2% less likely to remain in their current positions when compared to non-IT employees. Globally, less than one in three tech workers say they have a high intent to stay with their current employer.  Intent to stay can vary by age. Just 20% of IT workers between 18 and 29 years old have a high likelihood of staying, compared to half of the workers between 50 and 70 years old. 

Nearly 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in January, according to Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, data published last week. That’s down from December’s revised sum of 4.4 million quits and marks the lowest monthly total since October.   The reading marks an eighth consecutive month with more than 4 million workers walking out of their jobs. 

In a new survey from Upwork, 9.3% of respondents — roughly the equivalent of 19 million Americans — said they are planning to move because they can work remotely. Since 2020, 2.4% had already moved because of remote work.  

In a survey from Blind, 64% of workers at employers including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google would rather work from home than receive a $30,000 raise. 

And in data by the Chicago Fed, People want to work fewer hours than they did before March 2020. And some of that is because the pay is better.    The findings suggest that the labor market is even tighter than many realize. Pay is better, especially for those at the bottom of the wage scale — and that means people aren’t as desperate for more hours or a second job.

Some data points about conditions out there — Apparel sales jumped 37.6% in February compared with a year earlier.   Both outpaced overall retail sales (excluding auto), which were up 8.7%. Indeed, some people are dressing to get out again.

And let’s note… Americans are sad.    A University of Michigan survey showed that overall consumer sentiment dropped for the fifth time in the last six months in March, falling to an almost 11-year low.

 Why do we care?

The beginning and the end there tell a lot… it’s essential not to ignore the context of the current mindset.  The world is continuing to be a rough place… we’re moving to endemic with COVID under the specter of war in Europe.    Don’t ignore that.

Gartner’s take is aligned with mine, too – disruptive new hours, disrupting the idea that the office is a must-have all the time, and breaking the idea of meetings.    Think about when that started – the 1950s when the physical meeting was the only option.    The only option.

There’s some blocking and tackling to care about here, too – people are looking for better pay, better hours, and less stress.    If you’re in the retention business – which we all are – think about how you’re retaining your current people intentionally.