This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Super-Agers Part 2

  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 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.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 1.336.210.3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

This week, our own author, Joyce delivered the second episode of her own show on (and now as well) It's Your Future with Joyce Gioia debuted last month in various timeslots---due to time zones. The second episode featured Joyce talking about The Future of Living Spaces. Of course, Joyce will continue to deliver the futures commentary segment of INGOMU's podcast, The Future of Life, Work, and Wellness which also appears on the Futures Television channel on Each podcast closes with a special commentary from our author Joyce about what the interview insights mean for the future. Eventually, will offer the listings for the showings of both programs.

The War for Talent is back. How can you compete? By having an Employee Retention Specialist on your staff. If you were ever interested in taking the Employee Retention Certification Program, now is the time for you to speak up. Joyce is putting together another class featuring the latest research for the end of September. Call Carol at 336.210.3548 or email to express your interest.

Hosted by the Dubai Futures Foundation, the event will convene 400 of the world's top futurists to anticipate challenges, imagine opportunities, share foresight, and shape the future. For more information, visit

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