The big resignation hits the boardroom

IIt was only a matter of time.

With the big quit showing no signs of abating, even with the growing threat of a recession, the range of workers looking to leave their current jobs in search of something better have slipped into the C-suite. And it’s spreading faster and wider than you might think.

A new report from Deloitte and market research firm Workplace Intelligence found that 69% of C-level executives are seriously considering quitting for a job that better supports their well-being. This also carries over to the scale of the business. Among lower-level employees, 57% said they were considering leaving for a job that wouldn’t exhaust them as much.

Leaders highlighted the negative mental health effects of running a business in today’s environment, with 40% saying they felt overwhelmed, 30% noting they felt lonely and 26% saying they were depressed. Leaders also reported significant levels of burnout and stress, but within these areas company employees reported higher percentages of these conditions.

Well-being, whether physical, mental, social or financial, is a concern for both workers and managers and could be at an all-time low. More than three-quarters of business leaders surveyed by Deloitte said the pandemic had negatively impacted their well-being. And 68% of employees and 81% of C-suites say improving their wellbeing is more important than advancing their careers.

“Employees and the C-suite struggle to prioritize their wellbeing — and for most people, work is to blame,” the report said. “However, leaders greatly overestimate the performance of their employees and the way they feel supported by their leaders. And there are other disconnects, too, indicating that the C-suite should do a lot more to understand the needs of its employees and demonstrate that it truly cares about their holistic well-being.

The chasm between how CEOs think their employees are faring from a mental health perspective and how workers perceive it is indeed significant.

Among C-suite executives, 84% believed their employees were thriving from a mental health perspective. However, when asked for a self-assessment, only 59% of employees rated their own mental health as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. And while 96% of leaders considered themselves caring, only 56% of employees felt their company cared about their well-being.

This disconnection could lead to certain changes. Some 83% of executives said they plan to expand their company’s wellness benefits over the next one to two years, and 95% say the people in their position are responsible for the well-being – be employees.

“The health-conscious executive appreciates that decisions about wellness can have a significant impact on the culture of the organization, the way work is done, and the people and places beyond the four organizational walls,” the report said. “These executives find ways to lead their organizations through extreme complexity and uncertainty, protect and support the well-being of their workers and stakeholders, and strengthen strategic outcomes in the process.”

The movement of workers in search of more fulfilling jobs doesn’t seem to be slowing down, making the focus on wellness more important than ever. A recent PwC survey found that one in five workers say they are likely to change employers in the next 12 months.

And the Deloitte survey is not the only one to show the agitation of the leaders. Visier, a people analytics provider, found quit rates among managers fell from 3.8% in the first half of 2021 to 5% in the first half of 2022. And a Qualtrics survey of nearly 14,000 participants published in November 2021 revealed that intention to stay had dropped. 11 points for managers, against 7% for individual contributors.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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