Leading Through The Great Resignation

At one time or another, we’ve all felt the frustration any position may afford us; and we can ascertain that we’ve also wondered if our worth was being met in our current role. While these last two years taught us a bit about resiliency – we’ve forged through and learned how to cope and work in an ever-changing environment, it also brought about a lot of personal change in the workforce. And this change is being referred to as “The Great Resignation.”

frustrated employee

The Great Resignation

By definition, The Great Resignation is exactly what it sounds like; resignation en masse. While some of these losses were due to the current state of our environment, many of these losses were due to voluntary resignations. 

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that “the nation’s ‘quit rate’ reached a 20-year high last November.” The reasoning behind this? Low pay, no advancement opportunities and a feeling of disrespect in their current employment role. Of those who found themselves a part of The Great Resignation, the majority are now employed elsewhere and find that their new work environment has improved.

Workforce Demands

According to Harvard Business Review, understanding the recent surge in resignations starts with understanding the cause behind them. Two key trends that appeared in their research shows that:

  1. Resignation rates are highest among mid-career employees
  2. Resignations are highest in the tech and healthcare industries

When a higher demand is placed on any role, with potentially less reward, the situation may warrant an employee to look at external options. Those employees working from home may have found the increase in responsibilities with no assistance to be overwhelming; thus, the Great Resignation.

Leading and Retaining Your Workforce

So what can be done to lead and retain your current workforce? To start, talk to your team and keep an open mind when discussing their needs and concerns.

stacked hands

According to Forbes, leaders need to help their employees get what they want out of their current roles within the organization. How? Forbes suggests four ways in retaining your current workforce. 

  1. An Increase In Flexibility – employees want more flexibility in their roles. Whether it’s scheduling flexibility or more work-life balance, flexibility is one of the main factors employees consider when making decisions about their career. As a leader, when offering an increase in employee flexibility, be sure to set some boundaries that everyone, including management, can respect and benefit from. 
  2. A Fun and Supportive Environment – it’s fairly simple, happy employees are employees that stay in their role longer. As a leader, you have some input over this. Having some fun at work can foster a competitive advantage and even help retain employees. And, be sure to show support equally to employees working in an office and those working from home.
  3. Providing Good Feedback – employees can not grow in their role without feedback on how they are doing. It’s also a good way to acknowledge your employees and to make them feel good about the work they are doing. Providing feedback also helps to develop your employees and prepare them for career growth. 
  4. Encouraging Job Crafting – when career-related interests change, wouldn’t it be ideal if employee roles were able to adapt to that change? According to Forbes, job crafting is the ability to tweak an employee’s role to provide new challenges and to better meet their needs. As a leader, help your employees find ways to get more out of their current role.

Fostering Motivation

Fostering motivation is not an easy task, but it is something every leader needs to provide to their team. Consider a career coach to help keep your employees motivated. Mentorship programs, wellness check-ins and continuous communication can also keep your team feeling motivated and appreciated.