I have been hearing, listening about and reading about this term “The Great Resignation – the millions of workers who are quitting their jobs – for months now and it is causing me great frustration because it is describing an outcome and ignoring the root cause. What is really happening is “The Great Reevaluation”, which is then leading to resignations.
It is no surprise and has been talked about ad nauseum how much the past 18-24 months has impacted us individually and collectively. We would be living under the proverbial rock if we have not been impacted in some way. And when we are impacted by something or someone, we naturally begin to evaluate and re-evaluate what really matters.
What is happening in the world of work and talent is a massive reevaluation of what really matters to us. When what matters to us is missing, THAT is when resignation from our current state occurs and we actively seek out a future state that supports what is most important to us. As leaders, we cannot address the issues resulting from resignations UNTIL we begin to engage with our people in their reevaluation process. What is causing them to reevaluate? How can we support them in their process, versus judging or talking them out of their process?
Look for telltale signs that team members may be struggling or wrestling with something. Are they less engaged? Are they less tolerant/patient? Do they appear to be “going through the motions”?
Check In and Really Listen:
Regularly check in with your team members individually – not about their work but about themselves. What are they feeling good about? What is challenging them right now? What needs and values are being met? Not being met?
How can you create deep trust with your teams to be a sounding board? To meet them where they are in their process of reevaluation?
Be willing to brainstorm meaningful solutions with your teams. How can you instill more flexibility into your systems and organizations? After all, flexibility is the new currency.
Most people leave organizations for lack of development/opportunity, feelings of invisibility, misalignment with core values, rigidity, etc. Rarely is money the number one issue people leave. It is incumbent upon us all to remember that teams are human first and resources second. Meet them where they are. How might we begin to address discrepancies? What is possible?
When we engage with our teams in their own reevaluation processes, we have an amazing platform for deepening trust, providing environments that support their needs and ultimately for winning the talent war and marketshare.
Unless we willingly and actively address “The Great Reevaluation”, we will absolutely be on the receiving end of “The Great Resignation.”