According to a recent McKinsey study, one of top reasons people are resigning has nothing to do with compensation, work–life balance, or mental health. One of the top reasons people have resigned is they didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work. And those employees from historically marginalized communities are more likely to say they left because they didn’t feel like they belonged in their organizations.
It’s not the Great Resignation; it’s the “Great Awakening.” Individuals are waking up to the realization that they deserve to be in organizations that respect and support them. Many leaders are busy chasing diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, and wanting to increase the diversity of representation on their teams. Yet those same leaders must be equally focused on ensuring all individuals feel like they have a place in their organizations.
These things actually do relate to mental health though because mental health relates to a sense of well-being which includes have a sense of meaning and purpose in one’s life. Thus if people don’t feel truly valued and connected to something larger than themselves that they’re working on and contributing to, their life is going to feel pretty meaningless and purposeless.
This is why I believe that organizations will have to adapt and become places not just for work but for learning and even play. And by play, I don’t mean something frivolous. I mean play at a higher conceptual level, whereby one is imagining possibilities far beyond the conventional and is given the freedom to explore those possibilities.
That’s what limiting our current world of work and our current possibilities. It’s outdated beliefs that are standing in the way of us, similar to the way most people feel like they spend most of their day having to work around their boss to actually get things done.