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The Antidote to the Great Resignation is You

For anyone who doubted, the data is in. The “Great Resignation” is real and it’s happening.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that during the months of April, May and June 2021 a total of 11.5 million workers quit their jobs. What does this mean for leaders who have to hire to backfill people who have left and hire new people to support business growth? If you want to stem the rate of turnover in your organization or team, you must look inside yourself and decide what is possible, what you can do to make a difference.

It starts with You

First of all, be aware of your impact. As leaders, people are watching you all the time whether you realize it or not. So, pause and consider how you are showing up in both your words and your actions.  If you are having high turnover, how do you message the realities of these pain points? How are your concerns and frustration about these issues experienced by others? This is outcome creating work as you act with the intention of creating the results you want and communicate:

  • What you envision as the best possible outcome for this situation.
  • What excites you about that.
  • What that gives you/the team/the organization.

When you communicate to your people in this way, the impact is one of potential and possibility.

Next, be courageous in creating the outcome you want. The marketplace for talent has shifted. You need to think of your employees like customers and put thoughtful attention into retaining them. This first step is to slow attrition and regain your growth curve.  A few tips:

  • Re-recruit them. Spend time to understand their motivations and ambitions, identify where opportunities might exist inside the organization (even if it is outside of your team) to help them fulfill unrealized dreams and ambitions.
  • Reward them. Challenge the status quo if what you are hearing from the talent marketplace is misaligned to your company’s current reality.  This is not just about paying people more, it is about how you recognize and value the contributions and impact of your people.
  • Engage them.  Businesses are hurting and at the root of that pain for most is a shortage of people to do the work. Your existing people feel that pain as they extend themselves to pick-up extra shifts to provide coverage or witness one more colleague call it “quits” when their tipping point is reached. So, be bold and ask for their help. This requires courage because admitting that you do not know everything is vulnerable work. Then give them agency to help mitigate the day-today concerns they are faced with. This sends a message that they are trusted and valued.

Change happens all the time. And in the midst of change, you lead the way and choose the right path forward. The only thing you can control, is you.