The number of people who voluntarily left their organizations during the months of April (4 million) and May (3.6 million) has been referred to as “The Great Resignation”. Reporting on this topic highlight surveys that suggest upwards of 40% of the workforce is considering resigning. Burnout and lack of growth are often cited as the biggest reasons people voluntarily leave their organizations. 

As reported in our book, businesses in the United States are losing a trillion dollars a year due to voluntary turnover. Past annual rates of voluntary turnover have been over 25%. The good news is that organizational meaning can have a big impact. In fact, when workers find meaning in the workplace they are three times more likely to stay. 

There are three things organizations can focus on to support employee growth, combat burnout, and build workplace meaning. 

  1. Build Team Trust: trust in the leader is essential, but building trusting teams is crucial to creating teams that share knowledge. The personal growth that employees crave is tied to trust in their teams. Organizational expertise is optimized for growth when teams trust one another and willingly share knowledge. 
  2. Research indicates that leaders must embrace disclosure and show a willingness to rely on their teams. These behaviors in tandem have been shown to have a significant positive effect on a team’s ability and willingness to share knowledge.
  3. Leaders must also seek to build knowledge building behaviors among their teams. By developing networks for knowledge building, bringing in outside expertise, providing feedback, especially as it relates to the quality of work completed, leaders can support the knowledge building skills that build trust and support knowledge sharing. 

By improving the trust among teams, while building knowledge sharing practices, leaders can help employees experience growth. The combination of trusting relationships and personal growth will help employees avoid two of the major causes of burnout and voluntary resignations. For more on leadership practices that build meaning and support the organizational commitment of your employees, check out our book: Meaning-Centered Leadership: Skills and Strategies for Increased Employee Well-Being and Organizational Success