U.S. Employee Turnover Will Jump Nearly 20% from Pre-pandemic Annual Average

Office-centric work design is out. Human-centric work design is in.

Gartner reports that U.S. employee annual voluntary turnover is likely to jump nearly 20% this year, from a pre-pandemic annual average of 31.9 million employees quitting their jobs to 37.4 million quitting in 2022.

“New employee expectations, and the availability of hybrid arrangements, will continue to fuel the rise in attrition,” said Piers Hudson, senior director in the Gartner HR practice. “An individual organization with a turnover rate of 20% before the pandemic could face a turnover rate as high as 24% in 2022 and the years to come. For example, a workforce of 25,000 employees would need to prepare for an additional 1,000 voluntary departures.”

A November 2021 Gartner survey of more than 3,500 employees revealed the following:

  • Less than 50% of the respondents believe remote working is destigmatized at their organizations

  • 70% believe on-site workers are more likely to be promoted and paid more compared to remote workers

  • 94% of executives whose work can be done remotely want to work remotely at least one day per week and 24% of those executives want to be fully remote

  • 68% of employees whose work could be done remotely report their employers have required them to return to the workplace in some capacity

To bridge this gap, HR leaders must assist executives and managers in understanding the value of hybrid work for all employees. Second, HR leaders should lead the effort at shifting their organization’s culture to recognize hybrid work as an essential piece of the employee experience.

“If executive leaders continue to push for a workplace return, HR should provide guidelines around how to structure an effective hybrid environment that includes how to balance both synchronous, colocated time for teams at the office and asynchronous work done at home,” said Hudson.

More highlights from the report:

  • The pandemic has caused nearly 7 in 10 employees to rethink the role of work in their lives

  • 52% of employees report that flexible work policies will impact whether they stay at their organizations

  • 16% of employees are willing to quit their current job if required to work fully on-site and 8% said they would quit if required to work even partially on-site

“Leaders’ efforts to restore the organization’s ‘normal’ – pre-pandemic – ways of working are clashing with a workforce that has largely normalized working in a hybrid environment,” said Hudson. “Organizations must look forward, not backward, and design a post-pandemic employee experience that meets employees’ changing expectations and leverages the advantages of hybrid work.”

Source: Gartner