If you’ve been following the business media, you’ll have noticed “The Great Resignation” is getting a lot of coverage – and with good reason. Publications including Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur, amongst others, have all covered it in the past month, along with Harvard Business School, the BBC and others.
Granted, the research on this trend has been primarily conducted in the United States, where job vacancies have reached a 20-year high as a result. Research conducted early this year showed some 41% of 31,000 workers around the globe were considering quitting, it’s not inconceivable that other countries will encounter a similar problem.
The pandemic with its lockdowns and other changes have encouraged people around the world to re-evaluate their lives and workplaces. Much of what’s driving this resignation trend is simply a lack of willingness to return to “the old 9-5” workplace for reasons of work-life flexibility, commuting and office politics.
Have you and your board considered this possible threat to your business?
Do you have succession plans in place for all key staff?
Are there ways in which you can minimise the loss of staff by being proactive?
If you can’t answer yes to at least the first two of these questions, and preferably all three, your business is at risk. Remember, the costs of replacing somebody can run as high as 4x their annual salary package, not to mention the possible loss of customers and business as a result of key staff leaving.
I’ve written before about the need to have regular board meetings which, amongst other things, discuss business risk areas, and also to ensure succession plans are in place for board members and the executive team, while having oversight of succession plans for other members of staff.
There are, however, a number of areas you can look at which could considerably reduce the likelihood of staff loss – areas around the ‘soft’ ones of leadership, management and culture, rather than money. These include:
Management Training – given the majority of staff leaving their jobs do so due to issues with management, this is an area that cannot be ignored. Managers need to understand the best ways to lead and manage their teams. Training will give them these skills while helping to identify, and start to prepare, those well suited to greater leadership responsibility and promotion.
Transparency – the old management approach of rule by diktat simply does not work today. People expect to have a clear understanding of the business and its performance, what is expected of them, and the ability to take responsibility for their actions and to be able give input on issues, too. Two-way communication is key.
Engagement – many staff are feeling isolated at home, especially those under 35. However, they equally don’t want to flock back to the old office environment for the reasons given. Find ways to encourage engagement and interaction: check in with your team members personally on a regular basis (a virtual MBWA, if you will). Encourage a virtual open-door policy for you, too, so they can reach out as they would have done in the office. Find ways to bring teams together in a place that’s convenient to them, and have company days, too – perhaps a couple of days a month where they come to the office for team meetings, updates and so on.
Culture – this is really the overarching area. Examine your corporate culture closely and ask your team for input (anonymously if appropriate as it might get more honest answers). Look at how you might change this for the better in this new working environment. A strong corporate culture has been shown to have a huge impact on company revenue and income as this study shows. Tracked over an 11-year period, companies with strong corporate cultures averaged more than 4x the revenue growth, a staggering 700% the net income growth and over 12 times the stock price growth of those without.
The Great Resignation should rather be viewed as The Great Opportunity. An opportunity to improve your culture overall and thereby improve overall productivity, revenue, profitability, and the value of your business. By getting ahead of the curve you diminish the chance of disruption to your business through staff loss and can gain advantage over your competitors.
It just makes good business sense.
I work with successful owner-led businesses to enhance their growth, profitability and business value.
If you’d like to have a conversation about your business objectives and concerns, book a free 30-minute call with me here. I’d be delighted to talk with you.
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Other short articles around this topic that might be of interest include:
- Reduce Costs by Defining Your Ideal Employee
- “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln
- Leadership in Times of Crisis – 5 Cornerstones of Effective Action
- 3 Things You Must Do to Keep Your Top Performers and Your Company in Great Shape for the New World of Work
- Just 15% of Employees Work at Their Full Potential – Are Yours?
- Are Staff Leaving Because of Bad Management?
- Leading a Business in the “New Normal” Working From Home Age