Leaders & the Great Resignation


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Why is it that no one seems to want to work anymore? Leaders across the board are puzzled by this phenomenon. They are offering higher wages, benefits and signing bonuses than what we could have imagined a year ago. Yet businesses are still adjusting their hours and offerings according to their staff shortages.

As leaders struggle to hire qualified staff, it’s also imperative for them to focus on their current workers who show up to faithfully do their jobs each day. Are they fulfilled? Or are they approaching burnout? Are they in it for the long haul with you or are they considering a change? What do leaders need to know about each member of their teams now before it’s too late?

Leaders, you must pay attention to your people now. While each member of your team has differing needs, each of them craves to be seen, heard, valued and appreciated. They need to grow and feel validated that their efforts count. Their needs have changed over the past 19 months and will continue to change. It’s vital that you stay on top of these shifts.

A recent study by Bankrate published by CNBC on August 28, 2021, showed that 55 percent of American workers, those currently working, are actively looking for employment elsewhere.

Another survey by Ally Bank in August had similar results in that nearly 40 percent of those surveyed said they are considering changing jobs in the next six months. Why is this culture of ‘Great Resignation’ happening?

The answer is that changing work environments these past 19 months have provided time to all workers, including leaders, to ask important questions. Questions they were too busy in their previous 24×7 ‘hustle culture’ workdays to consider.

Questions such as “Am I happy?” “Am I growing?” “Is this how I want to spend the remainder of my career?” “What are my options?” “What’s most important to me?” “Is it time to follow my passions?”

Working women considering a job change are more likely than men to cite feeling burned out, with 42 percent of women contemplating quitting because of burnout versus 27 percent of men. The main source of burnout was the lack of work-life balance experienced during the work-at-home phase of the pandemic. Those who thrived on chaos before the pandemic found a new satisfaction in having more home, family, exercise and quiet ‘me’ time. Time to breathe and reflect on their life.

So, I ask you as a leader, to look at the individuals who show up each day. Who are the 40-55 percent who may be looking for a change? What change might they be looking for? What changes in their work atmosphere might you be considering?

In this new business environment, I ask my clients to look into ways to switch things up. Some switches are simple, while some are more complicated. Some are doable, and some are not. The important thing is to be creative. Look at new approaches rather than beating your head against the wall hoping that things will turn around on their own.

It will be the brilliance of you as their leader and of your team collectively to create a future that is more profitable, enjoyable and rewarding for all. An environment where people want to come to work and be a part of your growing success. They choose and take pride in being a part of your dynamic team.

How do you do this? Begin by strengthening communication. Ask your team what they want. What work hours, setting and atmosphere are best for each of them? Some thrive in the peaceful setting of their home; others work best in a professional office setting. Some are more diligent in the morning, others evening. Ask and experiment with changes until you get it right.

Next, focus on your business as a whole. How can we as a business stop doing what no longer works for us in this constantly changing business environment? We won’t completely go back to the way things were. What worked before simply may no longer be relevant.

What can we change? What can we enhance? What can we eliminate? What business practices proved successful in the past that we can let go by the wayside as we grew? Go back to your business roots. What initially made you successful? Many times, we let go of those practices that worked best as we grow. What, if anything, do you want to bring back?

What new products, services, marketing or outreach can we bring into play? Listen to your team who may be more in touch with your customers than you are. Make the necessary changes.

Leaders, you have a powerful role not only in the success of your business but in the success of each individual on your team. How they are treated and feel about their work affects their whole life. It affects their self-esteem, confidence, relationships and health.

So much has been placed upon you leaders over the past 19 months, and you’ve thrived. Now it’s time to thrive again with your current as well as future workforce. There has never been a time where your focus and attention on your people has been more important. They need you more than they even know. And I know you’re up to the challenge.

Executive & Leadership Coach Ann Golden Eglé, MCC, has steered highly successful individuals to greater levels of success since 1998. Ann is President of Golden Visions & Associates, LLC, can be reached at 541-385-8887, ann@gvasuccess.com or GVAsuccess.com.


About Author

Ann Golden Eglé, MCC

Master Executive & Leadership Coach Ann Golden Eglé, MCC, has steered highly-successful individuals to greater results since 1998. President of Golden Visions & Associates, LLC, Ann can be reached at 541-385-8887 or subscribe to her newsletter at www.GVAsuccess.com.

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