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The Herman Trend Alert -- Trauma Jumping
Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP --  The Herman Group Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP -- The Herman Group
Austin, TX
Wednesday, January 12, 2022


The Herman Trend Alert

January 12, 2022

Trauma Jumping

In November 2021, record numbers of people quit their jobs; in the United States alone, the figure was 4.9 million. The Great Resignation has given people permission to leave their jobs to start again with (hopefully) better working conditions, advanced positions, and perhaps even higher salaries. I have been forecasting that this day would come for years, and it is finally here.

Why Trauma Jumping is Happening

Sadly, some job-hoppers are jumping for other reasons: they are leaving rapidly to escape toxic workplaces, unconsciously biased bosses, and abusive environments they did not expect when they took their new jobs.

Trauma Jumping Defined

One of the reasons for these departures is what we call "Trauma Jumping." "Trauma jumping" occurs when an employee quits due to workplace trauma, and thereafter, s/he is easily prompted to continue switching jobs.

Workplace Trauma Comes in Many Forms

It is not unusual for people to be traumatized after exposure to crises or painful interactions at work. Examples of these experiences include repeated microaggressions or bullying, interpersonal conflicts, life- or job-threatening events, high stress due to overwork, and the perception of a physically or emotionally unsafe work environment.

Signs of Workplace Trauma

After experiencing these events, an employee may begin to feel emotional, physical, and psychological reactions like (PTSD) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This PTSD may manifest itself in ongoing fatigue or exhaustion, being easily irritated, decreased attention to physical appearance, lack of focus, lower productivity, or even in severe cases, substance abuse and isolation. In the US, COVID levels of PTSD are 83 percent higher compared to pre-pandemic. That is a significant change and has everything to do with the additional stress that most of us have experienced from COVID Fatigue. (See Part 1 of my 2022 Workforce-Workplace Forecast for more information.)

How Employers May Support these Employees in Need

Employers have an important role to play in preventing this unfortunate situation. Especially under the current circumstances, you do not want to lose one additional employee who can be salvaged.

1. Get employees to acknowledge that there is a problem. If you have employees exhibiting the previous list of problems and/or reactions, schedule opportunities to talk one-on-one. If you do not think you can do it yourself, get professional help. Without finding out the specifics, you will never be able to address the issues.

2. Determine if your workplace is the problem. Take a hard look at your workplace and culture. Is yours a toxic environment, and if so, what do you need to do---right away---to begin to address it? That may be much more difficult that it would seem on the surface. As I discussed last week in Part 2 of my 2022 Workforce-Workplace Forecast, part of the problem with unconscious bias is that "leaders do not know what they do not know." Assess your employee population for their values and attitudes towards your workplace. And finally, get an objective person, perhaps an independent consultant like me to help you be as unbiased as possible.

3. Establish a zero-tolerance policy for offensive behaviors. According to Employee Experience Advocate and Coach, Chelsea Jay, common signs of a toxic workplace include name-calling, microaggressions, public humiliation, rumors and gossiping, unequal treatment, gaslighting, belittling or dismissing ideas, and even possibly intimidation. In a healthy workplace, none of these behaviors should be tolerated.

Addressing these Critical Issues is Not Optional

Employers will either choose to address these issues or not. Those who do not will find themselves unable to recruit and retain the young people they need to be successful in the short-and long-term futures. Those employers who do not successfully address these issues may find themselves out of business---or at least operating at lower profit levels. Employee turnover is very expensive; many top executives, particularly those that believe that people are expendable, do not have any idea of the magnitude of the costs. They ignore this issue at their own peril.

Special thanks to FairyGodBoss.com and its staff writer Zoe Kaplan, for. Her article on Trauma Jumping from the employee's point of view prompted this Alert.

Next Week's Herman Trend Alert: Longevity, Anti-Aging, and How to Attain It

For those of you who have been reading this Alert for a long time (it has been published for more than 20 years) know that Longevity is one of my personal favorite topics. In this Alert, I will talk about the latest insights regarding this fascinating topic.



My podcast host Al Wynant and I are busy working on our new and improved podcast---coming in 1 week. We will feature thought-leaders and authors who, through writing, publishing, and speaking, are making a difference in the lives of corporate leaders. We sincerely appreciate your loyalty throughout last year and look forward to serving you in the future. Be sure to watch for next week's Herman Trend Alert where we will announce the topic and our featured guests for our inaugural podcast of Series 2. To subscribe to the #bemore with Ingomu Podcast: The Future of Life, Work, and Wellness, sign up for the Ingomu Newsletter. When you subscribe to the newsletter, you will receive the #bemore with Ingomu Podcast via email. For more information about signing up your employees, visit Ingomu.com.


News Media Interview Contact
Name: Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP
Title: Certified Speaking Professional and Management Consultant
Group: The Herman Group
Dateline: Austin, TX United States
Direct Phone: 336-210-3548
Main Phone: 800-227-3566
Cell Phone: 336-210-3548
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