Author: David B. Savage
“In April, the number of workers who quit their job in a single month broke an all-time U.S. record.
Economists called it the “Great Resignation.” But America’s quittin’ spirit was just getting started. In July, even more people left their job. In August, quitters set yet another record. That Great Resignation? It just keeps getting greater.” Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, October 15, 2021
The Great Resignation is a very serious threat to businesses of all sizes and locations. Many employees are not coming back or resigning. Those staff and management that do stay are under huge stress, burnout, and loss of control over their lives. Many businesses can either not function or function with significantly reduced products, services and hours. Entrepreneurs, small businesses, especially in the service sectors, simply are forced to close.
New gaps in staff and management are now common. The quality and sequence of communication have fallen. Loyalty falls. Many feel disrespected and trapped. Businesses that have relied on the leadership style of command and control and business that focus on making money as the highest priority are failing. Management and staff in these organizations are feeling crushed by the weight of their responsibilities, scarcer resources, and top-down management.
The Great Resignation has a theme song. The Who, Tommy Album and the song;
“We’re not gonna take it
Never did and never will
We’re not gonna take it
Gonna break it
Gonna shake it
Let’s forget it better still
Now you can’t hear me
Your ears are truly sealed
You can’t speak either
Your mouth is filled
You can’t see nothing.”
Billions of $ internationally of business and community value destruction are happening now.
To compete for and attract staff, business owners and managers are;
▪ actively lowering standards and qualifications, ▪ raising pay, and ▪ providing additional benefits.
There is a far more effective way than focussing on the money alone. During my forty-six-year career as a negotiator and business leader, the way to failure is to keep throwing money at problems. The way to success is to truly engage, listen, explore values, collaborate, innovate, and focus on creating shared value.
When people and organizations focus on the real substance and leave the money part of the negotiation at the end of the negotiation, we create alignment, vision, purpose, loyalty and commitment. When we show we value people, our community, and our environment, we come together. When people feel alignment and their purposeful role, they value their employer. We are then proud of our work.
Yes, employers may give staff a 7% raise. This is 1% more than inflation. A raise doesn’t make them a better, more committed, and productive member of your team. That is a Band-Aid on the real flaws of the employment relations. Consider the root causes of the Great Resignation.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed workers to rethink their careers, work conditions, and long-term goals. As many workplaces attempted to bring their employees in-person, workers desired the freedom to work from home given during the pandemic. With telecommuting also came schedule flexibility, which was the primary reason to look for a new job of the majority of those studied by Bankrate in August 2021. Additionally, many workers, particularly in younger cohorts, are seeking to gain a better work-life balance. “Wikipedia
People are not lazy and living on social assistance. People want far more from their work. The movement is termed The Great Resignation. This is a fear-based, scarcity perspective. Let’s instead call it The Great Opportunity.
My colleague, Scott Meakin and I are helping organizations and leaders navigate through these very challenging times.
“Business With Purpose means being deliberate in how you operate your business with a clear focus on profit, people, and the environment. For not for profit’s, it means a clear focus on fundraising, stakeholders, and the environment in the delivery of your services. Really the same things using different words.
What is important to understand is there are numerous ever-changing forces in the market today. To be successful, regardless of your definition of success, organizations need to account for these forces when making business decisions. Employees, customers, and external stakeholders are demanding businesses focus their services or products on them as well as the bottom line. There continues to be a drive for accountability in how organizations deliver their services or products. In fact, this drive is growing.”
Business with Purpose focuses away from the fears and towards the great opportunities. Think about how you and your business will pay more attention to how we;
1. work together,
2. make decisions,
3. how we meet the needs of our families,
4. protect our environment,
5. mentor our future leaders,
8. hire diverse skills and demographics,
9. include diverse perspectives,
10. align with our values and ethics,
11. are flexible to the needs of our people, and
12. create and strategize to achieve our vision for our better future.
Actively performing this strategy is a powerful force for change, profitability, and employee attraction and retention. Becoming a Business with Purpose is not a short-term strategy. Doing it well must become your organizational culture that evolves as we learn together. The stronger you get the greater attraction for customers, staff, clients, and stakeholders. You are creating a fresh path for your business. Build your tribe from the great pool of people and talents now available, those who want far more than a small pay raise.
Turn the Great Resignation into a Great Opportunity.
David B. Savage
I coach leaders through complex challenges to turn them into significant opportunities!