The Great Resignation
It’s here. It’s impacting some industries more than others. It’s something you CAN do something about.
- NOW is the time to prove to your employees that work is an essential part of their life for the meaning and connection it brings, not just the paycheque.
- NOW is the time to show how much you value and appreciate your people, so they know that if they come back tomorrow matters to you.
- NOW is the time you can fix the cultural leaks that you didn’t know were there (or perhaps knew, but now it’s the top of the priority list. (Like the drippy faucet that’s suddenly gushing water all over the basement floor!)
Give people what they want and they will like you for now. Give people what they need and they will value you forever.” Simon Sinek
We used to think giving people want they needed was pay. But guess what? Everyone can give that. What do you have that people can’t get elsewhere?
– hang out with cool people at work and in the community
– have fun and laugh
– do interesting things in a stimulating environment
– heal and help people
– innovate and create magical creations
– solve complex problems that create lasting change
What can they get at work that they can’t get at home? As a volunteer? In another industry?
It’s Always Been a Risk (Work Just Had a Better PR Agent Before)
People have always been able to “vote with their feet” by not coming back tomorrow. #COVID has given people the vivid reality of what that would look like. Some could never picture it before – what it would be like working from home, going down to part-time, moving to another city, having more time with family than at work… Once you know something, you cannot unknow it. And once you know something’s possible, you cannot ignore it.
Many of you are used to trying to retain people in your industry, so perhaps you have some infrastructure, ideas, and tolerance for this. However, I have spoken or a number of amazing organizations and business owners who may be used to this, however, they’re not going down without fighting a good fight. They are fighting for their people. They are fighting to give great people a reason to stay. They are fighting to make a mark amongst disheartened workers and middle managers that they _can have faith in them.
Keep going. Don’t let apathy settle in. It’s like dry rot. Hard to shift and a nightmare to get on top of once it’s settled in.
So what to do about it?
Slowing The Great Resignation
There are five things to understand and prioritize right now:
Study your industry. Dig into how your numbers fair within your industry and related industries. How deeply is your industry experiencing The Great Resignation?
Scope out the competition. What are they doing to keep their people? What can you learn from the best in your industry and outside of it?
Sus out satisfaction. Take it to the streets, the zoom room, anywhere your people are. Ask them, really ask them, what is working and what isn’t. Do the fastest thing they tell you to give them a reason to come back tomorrow.
Amp up Recognition. If you’re relying on pay and perks alone, you may soon wind up alone. Appreciate people how they want to be appreciated. Give them the reason and belief that they matter so much that you cannot imagine them not coming back tomorrow.
As Mary Kay Ash said,
“The two things that people want more than sex or money are recognition and praise.”
I think The Great Resignation is proving just that.
What We Can All Do, Regardless of Role
If you aren’t the one who studies these numbers and takes action on these trends, use your voice! What have you got to lose if you’re halfway out the door?
– Share what policies, practices and systems deflate versus elevate
– Highlight what’s working (or once worked) that would benefit from being amplified
– Share concerns about what you think the future might look like based on what you’re hearing and seeing
– Do what you can to make your work-life satisfying for you so you want to stay
– Find “your people” that makes the connection and collaboration worth staying for
Remember, we all have recognition within our grasp. If nothing else, no matter if it’s your first day on the job or you’re the 30-year tenured CEO, we all can recognize those closest around us and create a ripple effect of appreciation. At the very least, it will allow us to enjoy this moment, this shift, this workday, this moment in our career more as a result.
Recognition may not win the battle, but it will win the war.
For more ideas about resurrecting your recognition check out these resources: