How to Avoid a Retention Crisis
The workplace is returning to normal, and it’s not great news
The workplace is returning to normal in one way, and it’s not exactly good news.
Last month, Gallup reported that employee engagement in the United States has returned to its pre-pandemic levels. According to a survey conducted in the late summer and early fall, the proportion of U.S. workers who are highly engaged—defined as “highly involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace”—stands at 36 percent, just a point above the pre-COVID-19 rate.
That follows a roller-coaster period for engagement—high at the start of the pandemic as many workplaces learned the ropes of remote work, then slackening during the advent of national social-justice crises. It’s hard to say whether the return to normal means things are settling. But we do know that a low proportion of highly engaged employees spells trouble when it comes to retention. And the survey’s finding implies that organizations are returning to some of their old habits—and some of their old leadership biases. So, if the trend holds, that means a lot of your best talent may be poised to leave when the pandemic finally begins to fade.
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