Managing After a Crisis

Take a proactive approach against the Great Resignation

Great ResignationHave you caught the recent headlines about the Great Resignation, a post-Covid phenomenon that has caused millions to question work’s role in their lives? Reportedly, a record number of people are calling it quits or deciding to try something new. Workers cite many reasons, including long commutes, wanting more time with family, burnout, desire for remote work options, and sometimes a dawning awareness that they aren’t fulfilled in their present job.

Personally, I have heard people share all these reasons and more. Whether you are part of the great resignation or not, my guess is that you have engaged in what I call the great re-evaluation.

Our work in organizations gives insight into employers combating turnover, the great resignation, and employees who are re-evaluating their roles. Here are a few observations of how employers can take a proactive approach to retain their top employees, motivate managers and help teams re-set their group dynamics.

1. If you are a leader in a historically high turnover sector, hopefully, you’ve had retention on your radar for some time now. If not, you need to accelerate the efforts before competitors sweep up your best employees. The remote work experiment spawned by the pandemic has likely led your organization to institute a work-from-home policy. If part of the employee role requires sitting in front of a computer or attending meetings, hybrid work must be an option, or people will walk. If you are unsure what your organization’s retention risks are, seek real-time intel through focus groups and engagement surveys.

2. Whether remote or not, we see employees leaving because of what they describe as unreasonable work demands. We have had a perfect storm of conditions in the last year that have likely doubled or tripled the usual cases of job burnout. One manager reported losing 80% of his team in the previous nine months because of the perpetual grind of long hours and short-staffed.

3. From entry-level to the C-suite, we know that each employee needs to understand how their role connects to the organization’s mission and purpose. But what keeps your employees connected to the team and each other? The pandemic has nixed opportunities for water cooler conversations, happy hours, football pools, and appreciation dinners. Social engagement is essential and part of the reason why employees stay. I think that remote work makes the supervisory relationship more pivotal. In addition to all their other responsibilities, mid-level managers now have a more significant role in fostering connections and may need support.

4. What does a high-performing team look like post-pandemic? We want to work on teams where people work hard, have high trust, healthy debate, and produce excellent results. How do we replicate this when many team members are on-boarded virtually and are spread out geographically. Team building is more important than ever. What can accelerate the speed of trust? Or give you a shortcut language to understand one another? How can you reduce the inefficiency created when people don’t work well together? We love helping teams re-set their group dynamics with a series of Clifton Strengths workshops. Reach out if we can help your team!

As we head into the fall, we wish you all the best. Be good to yourselves and each other!

Thank you!

Sara

Sara Regan

President, Strengths NOW, Inc.