Quality of Days at Work and Great Resignation. The world's largest mass resignation must stimulate deep reflection.

01/06/2022
Yumi Family

Team Yumi. Thanks to Clelia Carvelli

What is happening, exactly at this moment, is the world's largest mass resignation phenomenon, the Great Resignation, which in Italy alone has seen 800,000 workers employees resign in 2021.

So we asked ourselves some concrete questions: who is most likely to leave an organization? How does each individual live their workday? Are there differences in gender, seniority, generation?

Yumi has come up with her own idea about this. Thanks to data collected in 2021.

For 14,000 days we asked people how their day had gone.

The data behind the Energy at Work 2021 report produced by Yumi

are based on the app experience of about 1,800 people in 9 different Corporate companies, all active in Italy from January to December 2021. Different sectors of origin: Energy, Banking, Manufacturing, Consulting, Advertising, Pharma.

For about 14,000 days, our sample attributed a mood and related reasons to work days.

What emerged?

What is Yumi?

Yumi is a engagement platform aimed at growth of individuals and teams within a business context. It allows data to be generated from daily work experiences (meetings, feedback, rewarding, suggestions) and aggregates them together to provide individuals, teams, and management with insights useful for growth.

In this article we focus on the evaluation of the daily work experience, which Yumi records with the feature called "Review your day." Every day Yumi asks its users, "How was your day?" With just a few clicks, the application guides them in a reflection on the experience they just had, the factors that characterized it, and the colleagues with whom they can share their "daily diary."

All this information-aggregated according to the network with which each person collaborates-is fed back to people individually (Team Energy, Mood-factors most relevant to consider) so that they can adjust their behavior, stimulating empathy and collaboration.

This is not data collected from a survey or a business climate survey in which the user provides information to the organization in an extractive logic.

In contrast, using Yumi it is the individual who is the real protagonist of the data, as well as the first to be able to take advantage of it: they have access to immediate elaboration and comparison of their own mood and that of their team and business community.

Users can mark their day not only by reporting the mood, but also the motivation by using qualitative stickers. The stickers are based on a conceptual model that spans the various domains of work experience: relational, emotional, environmental/organizational and achievement. All of these make it possible to identify the energy level of different days and the most determining factors that define it.

Results and insights generated

The results generated are surprising: 79% of our users' days were marked positively, while 21% were marked negatively. This figure is in contrast to some climate surveys on engagement in Italy (Gallup, 2020), which stands at 5%.

How can this data be interpreted?

First, it could be assumed that the results would change depending on the way the data are surveyed and collected. In the climate survey, in fact, there is no benefit or exchange of value to the worker who fills it out, and this could be the cause of a level of frustration that would inevitably impact the data collected.

Yumi, for his part, adopts a diametrically opposite method: the "gentle push" is toward personal reflection to be shared with one's co-workers, with the purpose of improving one's work environment and team.

Zero impositions. Just a reflective act of self-awareness.

Second, one might consider the moment of detection as relevant: if a space for reflection always followed after an experience, what might be the impact? Assessing an experience in immediacy allows one to consider different variables more accurately. If one were encouraged each day to reflect on how the day went and, therefore, build a space of awareness, one could have more informed and calibrated evaluations of the work experience.

Given the relevance of daily experience, how can it be used to assess engagement? Yumi enables exactly this process, creating a habit and a daily awareness space. Consider the impact of such an action, repeated over time, on negative days (found in 21% of cases). This would lead to reflection on the aspects of the day that actually hinder the success of one's work and result in frustration and low levels of energy and engagement.

Segmentation of results: gender differences and generational comparison

If the daily experience is mostly positive, can we consider the loss of engagement as a loss of meaning dimension involving deeper value aspects? The investment of companies in recent years has been directed toward consistent and balanced task attribution. However, the deeper dimension of sense attribution may drive engagement more significantly.

It emerges from the Yumi sample that it is the Baby Boomer and the GenZ to have more positive days and, overall, how it is men who have a higher level of engagement than women (+21%). In contrast, it is the Millennial in the company for more than four years, particularly if they are women, to experience more negative days. A fact that should not come as a surprise: Millennials are in a generational bracket for which they begin a cycle of disillusionment, with fewer opportunities for fast advancement than those promised when they joined the company. They struggle more.

The importance of autonomy for Millennials and direction for Baby Boomers.

What are the motivations attributed by Yumi users with respect to the performance of the days? It seems that working in an autonomy-granting environment, with clear direction and as a team with others, impacts positive days the most. On the topic, the data show an interesting distinction between two different generations: having a clear goal is of particular importance to Baby Boomers, while for Millennials, autonomy is paramount.

This phenomenon is not surprising given the increasing complexity of organizations: the Baby Boomers joined when levels of complexity were lower, goals were clearer, and structures mostly siloed. Millennials, on the other hand, live autonomously, have dexterity with agile, and are more flexible. Stress and tension, hiccups, discouragement, in a confusing environment with high workloads, are the main reasons chosen on bad days. If Baby Boomers are much more task-focused and choose hiccups as the impactful cause in times of difficulty, Millennials pay more attention to the quality of the energy of the environment in which they live and report stress and tension as the main causes of discomfort.

In this context, what can leaders do?

They should increase energy capacity and, more importantly, the quality of that energy. High levels of intensity, not accompanied by as much quality, risk producing a corrosive energy, often suffered by Millennials, as confirmed by Yumi's data.

Gallup (2020) highlights how 70% of engagement depends on managers. A figure that underscores the centrality of leaders in organizations. However, some of Yumi's data seem to only partially confirm this centrality: in fact, thanks to the network analysis, Yumi also manages to reconstruct the social networks underlying the exchanges that take place in the app, especially in cases where colleagues quote each other.

These analyses show that nodes of negative energy are not always attributable to Team Leaders. Conditions of low levels of engagement appear to occur locally and to be released among surrounding contacts. Again, Yumi makes it possible to observe energy in the work context and encourages an individual process of self-regulation and adaptation.

Toward a daily survey that overcomes survey bias

In conclusion, will it be possible to move from a survey-based control model to a model that enables everyday understanding of relational and social phenomena endogenous to organizations?

This would enable not only increased engagement, but also more relevant interventions to be planned and implemented. It is evident how necessary it is to generate data that starts with the individual, data that the individual records for himself or herself with awareness. The reliability of the instrument can be far greater than surveys, and as a result, reasoning about possible actions will be based on more reliable data. In addition, soliciting reflection on the experience, during or immediately after the experience itself, may reduce the bias dictated by the long-term evaluations imposed by surveys.


Yumi is a continuous nudging platform that improves measuring, engagement and development of teams at work

It helps people to share nudges about their behaviours with a spontaneous approach. 

It allows the company to put the change strategy in action..
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Yumi is a trademark of Feedback Loop srl | Corso Sempione 15/A - 20145 Milan (Italy) 
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Beneficiary of the subsidy provided for by the decree of 24/09/2014 "Smart & Start Italia" - INVITALIA
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