I’ve seen both “Quiet Quitting” and “The Great Resignation” referred to as “trends in the talent crisis.”

This is not true. They aren’t new trends, only the same patterns that have always been there and are now exacerbated by nearly three years of continually operating in crisis. Seeing them as trends, something that will pass as new trends evolve, will result in our missing out on one of the greatest opportunities imaginable to build the most powerful and productive human teams we’ve ever had.

You see, underneath the trend we’ve been calling “The Great Resignation”, people leaving employers for new opportunities, and what we’ve called “Quiet Quitting” or the withdrawal of emotional engagement and striving, is a “trend” that has been around forever. That is the tendency of humans to behave predictably based on their basic and universal need to strive and thrive.

The pandemic set off a chain of events that resulted in the current outbreak of human behavior, but this behavior will continue even if it shows up in new ways or “trends.” If we, as business leaders, fool ourselves into believing the crisis is past just because this behavior isn’t showing up the way it is now it will be like believing a bone is mended just because the patient is no longer screaming in pain.

This is because of something I call “Business Astronomy.” I use this analogy to explain the natural human response to not feeling considered or valued in the workplace and it aligns perfectly with these so-called trends. Let’s dive into how this happens, and what is likely to happen if we don’t embrace this opportunity, learn from what we’re seeing now, and transform our work culture and our teams to create what is possible for the future.

In The Human Team® I wrote about Business Astronomy in the context of one of The 6 Facets of Human Needs™; consideration. But of course, none of these six facets are independent of the other so the shifts we’re seeing in employee behavior are also related to the other facets – clarity, connection, contribution, challenge, and confidence.

In a workplace where one or more of these needs is not being met, it’s inevitable that there will be some dysfunction, disengagement, and turnover even in the best of times. But in a global crisis, one which had a direct and dramatic impact on business activities and opportunities, the natural outcome of unmet human needs combined with heightened uncertainty, emotional exhaustion, and overextended personal resources caused already weakened support structures to go critical.

The resulting chain of events looked like this; star players who were confident in their value but didn’t feel they were considered valuable in their current position simply quit. They said loud and clear, “I believe I have more value somewhere else.”

That created a void in many organizations. So others, who were maybe less confident in their value but who also felt unconsidered in their current role and who craved that feeling of being considered as valuable just as much, quickly jumped up to fill those voids. A game of musical chairs ensued in which some players opted out of the workplace entirely and chose to create companies, turn freelance, or go back to school.

Many of those people who went to new opportunities soon realized that they’d simply traded one place of feeling unconsidered for a new place of feeling pretty much the same. This feeling of disillusionment was also reflected in those people who weren’t feeling valued but who didn’t quit out loud, and naturally they distanced themselves from the emotional brunt of that discontent by limiting their investment in their work. We called that “quiet quitting.”

This is the phenomenon I call Business Astronomy. You can see the Shooting Stars (leaving for new horizons) and Dimming Stars (just dialing down the energy and light) in these two patterns. But it gets worse. Because the other kind of star you’ll see showing up is even quieter, but more destructive, and this third pattern will only become more prevalent if leaders just try to survive until these “trends” pass them by.

The third kind of star is what I call the “Falling Star.” These people have become so disillusioned they despair of anything ever changing and intentionally or not, their behavior makes it very difficult for change to take place. They become the constant cynics and complainers, the naysayers and Negative Nellies, the toxic influences that are always down on the company and can easily take everyone in the company down with them.

The good news is that, as business leaders, we can be the exception. We can fully embrace these “trends” as welcome warning signs that we aren’t meeting the needs of the humans we refer to as our “teams.” And we can take this time of turmoil and nothing being the way it was before to create cultures that are different from before, and different from the norm around us. Cultures that provide not only consideration and appreciation, but all six of the needs all of us have for being part of a self-actualized, healthy, and fulfilled team of human beings.

If we take steps to rise to the challenge now we can reverse the current trends and create a new, upward-swinging trend of building up even more star players and seeing them shine more brightly than ever before.

Originally posted on Forbes.com