A Slack study on Indian knowledge workers revealed that 50% of them are burnt out, two-thirds are considering job switch in the next year and 5% admit to ‘quiet quitting.’
Respondents said stability and good leadership are as important as salary when choosing the company they work for. They also said that leaders who demonstrate soft or ‘power’ skills and embrace the use of collaborative technology, engender a greater connection to a company.
The respondents attached importance to the trust factor. Over three-quarters of Indian knowledge workers said they wanted to be trusted to do their job regardless of location or the hours worked. A very high proportion of Indian knowledge workers (81%) also say they want more meaning from their job, or to feel like they’re having an impact.
A significant two-thirds said they considered job change in the coming year. A staggering 84% reported feeling their leaders communicated poorly.
On being asked about the ongoing return vs. redesign debate, particularly if he sees a consensus in the way that global leaders are designing the future of work for their organisations and what would a recession mean for return-to-office battle between workers and companies, Rahul Sharma, Country Manager, Slack India, said, “We believe that there is no playbook to address that question. Each business will have to create its unique way that applies to them. That said, the fundamental shift in working is from it being associated with a “location” so physical first to a Digital first.
“It’s not replacing each other but just the positioning is changed - from a “Physical first, digital supported work ways” to a “Digital first, Physical supported work ways”. Therein lies the need for businesses to re-imagine their “Digital HQ”. It is chaotic, and that is why the need for strong leadership, which can understand it’s impact and lead the organisation in that direction. It is much more important now.”
Poor leadership leads to burnout, quiet quitting
He added, “A digital HQ brings an entire organisation together to communicate, collaborate and solve problems, and it is also integral to employee engagement. Leaders must be finely attuned to their soft skills, which this study has revealed are now valued as highly by employees as salary, and how those skills are showing up in the organisation’s approach to flexibility, stability, wellbeing, and culture.”
The research sought to establish a link between poor leadership and a dip in employee morale and productivity. The study found that only half of the Indian knowledge workers viewed their leaders as competent, consistent, and inspiring, and a further third deemed their leaders to be stuck in their ways. Worryingly, only half of the respondents feel their leader is concerned for their psychological safety.
Almost a quarter of knowledge workers who said their leaders do not communicate well reported being dissatisfied with their jobs - four times the rate of knowledge workers who said their leaders are good at communicating. These respondents are more likely to feel burnt out, with 71% reporting feeling overwhelmed in the past 12 months, compared to 53% of workers who are positive about their leaders’ communication.
There was also a correlation between employee motivation and poor leadership communication, with 16% of Indian knowledge workers ‘quiet quitting’ - more than three times the overall proportion of workers who have ‘quiet quit’, and four times the rate of workers who said leaders communicate well.
Over four-fifths of respondents said they saw collaborative technology as enabling them to be productive and freeing up time by helping to automate work.
The survey showed that Gen Zers are the most concerned with well-being. The group said they are ready to switch jobs if dissatisfied with leaders. Millennials also spoke of their preferences for transparent and trustworthy leadership.
Respondents from the tech sector gave the highest scores to their managers for communication skills. The share of India’s banking and finance workers who rate a business’ financial success as important (52%) is higher than any other industry in the survey.
A significant 69% of retail workers said they’re likely to be looking for a new job next year, putting them among India’s most likely new job hunters in 2023. A very high proportion of retail workers (92%) say communication from leadership is transparent, an important result given teamwork and trustworthy leadership both outweigh financial results in terms of what retail workers perceive makes a business successful.
Civil servants and government workers are more likely than most to have felt burnt out in the past year, with 58% saying they’ve felt overloaded. Thirteen per cent of government workers said they have ‘quite quit’ in the same period - a rate double that of most other sectors in India.
The study, ‘ Leadership and the war for talent,’ was based on a survey of over 2,000 Indian knowledge workers.