I’ve been reading or hearing something about the Great Resignation just about every day lately. Last month CNBC reported that as many as 55% of American workers are likely to be looking for a new job over the next year.
Forbes reports that “pandemic burnouts, changing personal priorities, a review of work-life balance, and employee experience expectations” are the main contributors to the recent trend. The magazine goes on to remind us that during this looming talent crisis it is organization leaders who can make or break top talent retention.
Leaders are the difference makers as the war for talent heats up.
Gallup makes the case that the cause of our current situation is really no different from causes of dissatisfaction in the pre-COVID workplace: droves of workers are disengaged, and disengagement leads to resignations. The three most common reasons Gallup found employees to be disengaged at work were:
- Not seeing opportunities for development
- Not feeling connected to the company’s purpose
- Not having strong relationships at work
And while a recent Fast Company article argued that considering leaving is not the same as actually giving notice, it is important for leaders in organizations to understand why their workers are considering a change.
Our Everything DiSC content partner, Wiley, just released an intriguing e-book called Keep Your People. Backed by July 2021 survey data from 4,500 working professionals from a variety of industries, they make the case that the best way navigate the Great Resignation is by becoming a people-centered culture so that employees want to stay.
And how does your organization become a people-centered culture? The Wiley data points to five policies or benefits that make the biggest impact:
- Additional PTO & Mental Health Days
- Greater Flexibility
- Non-Work Time to Connect with Colleagues
- Listening Sessions with Leaders
- Training Opportunities
A few weeks ago, I recorded a Project HR podcast. The host, Jennifer Orechwa of Projections, an IRI Company, wanted to know my thoughts on the Great Resignation and what leaders can do to counter the potential loss of their best employees and attract new talent. One key message I shared is that flexibility is the new currency when it comes to retaining talent—a currency more valuable than ping-pong tables or pay. To create a culture of flexibility, leaders must be open to really listening and treating people as individuals with uniquely different needs. We are not going to “policy our way out of the problem.” Research shows that managers are critical in creating work-life alignment. And I think it is crucial for us to remember that important adage—employees quit managers, not organizations.
I hope you enjoy the podcast and the additional insights offered beyond what we’ve shared in this short blog post. I welcome your feedback, and please reach out if you’d like to discuss your organization’s approach to leadership development and leadership coaching or other talent retention strategies.