LinkedIn conducted a survey in January 2021 to better understand the sense of job retention or overall motivation for employees to stay at their current job. What came as a surprise was that an overwhelming number of participants stayed at their current job for reasons linked to stability and risk aversion. In fact, 74% of participants stated reasons like “steady paycheck,” “job-market uncertainty,” and “no time/energy for a job search right now.”

It is official! A new term has been coined among workforce experts. “Sheltering-in-job.”

So, where does this leave our workforce now? Is this a temporary defense mechanism that professionals are deploying from lingering pandemic nervousness, or has 2020 indeed reshaped how our professional society will evaluate current and new job opportunities moving forward?
Possessing this knowledge should empower every leader through the connection and investment of their employees. After all, any good leader shouldn’t be satisfied by hearing that three out of every four people on their team is staying because they are “sheltering-in-place” and not for reasons related to liking their job!
Team’s/organizations that suffer from low morale tend to have lower productivity and higher absenteeism, eventually leading to those employees deciding to leave.
So, leaders… LISTEN UP! Don’t take this knowledge lightly. Don’t be the leader that reads the stats and thinks… “This doesn’t apply to my team because everybody loves me.”
To follow are three things that leaders should immediately make sure they are doing to help transform “Sheltering-in-job” employees to “Happy Employees.”


It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear about employee uncertainty after 2020 and many of the difficult decisions that had to be made. It is expected that employees have just as much (if not more) uncertainty happening outside of work that can affect their overall attitude. Provide your employees with a culture and environment that gives them the freedom to feel comfortable discussing their job satisfaction, career path, and professional desires with you. Then most importantly, follow through and show that you are an advocate for them.


Laughter is contagious, and optimism is uplifting! A leader’s attitude can undoubtedly influence the rest of the team’s attitude as well. It’s important to note that this is not a suggestion to pretend everything is fine if it isn’t. Remember, open communication goes both ways and often needs to start from the leader’s side; what is essential is staying positive in your reaction and purpose. If an employee is invested in the goal, then challenges will be easier to overcome throughout the journey.


Employee morale is crucial, and celebrating small victories or achievements can be motivating and fun! When life is moving fast, and employees are juggling many tasks to reach a goal(s), we can lose sight of the immediate victories. Celebrate throughout the journey and not just the big wins. Tying employees into their own impact, giving them a sense of accomplishment and value in the bigger picture, is a great way to provide them with a reason to celebrate their work.

The outcome? They’ll be happier in their job.
“Sheltering-in-job” might just be the blessing-in-disguise that allows leaders the time to reconnect with their employees and reestablish pride in their current job.