We at Acumen have had a front-row seat in witnessing the Great Resignation: people are leaving their jobs, pivoting in their careers, starting their own companies or consulting firms, or are opting for retirement. We are witnessing this phenomenon with our multi-million-dollar and Fortune 500 company clients, our family-owned and operated clients, and even our startup clients.
4.5 million people quit or changed their job in November 2021!
It is happening across nearly all demographic groups. Employees are asking themselves, “why am I staying in a job that does not meet my essential needs for a fulfilling life”. If COVID taught us anything – it is that people are prioritizing what is important to them. We have moved workers from offices to home; forced people to restructure how and when they work; to have those workers re-evaluate what is important to them (overwhelmingly a sense of fulfillment and family). All the data and research have supported the need to pivot, to be flexible, nimble, and the need for putting more intentionality into an organization’s mission, vision, values, and overall culture.
COVID has challenged workers’ beliefs that they had to sacrifice some aspects of life for others. We learned that we don’t always have to commute to work or spend a day traveling back and forth to a meeting to be effective (now we can use virtual meetings) – Zoom is in every person’s vocabulary. We learned that we have 12-18 hours during the day that we can work AND spend time with our friends, family, and other loved ones. People are asking themselves, “why return to the old way of sacrificing my own fundamental needs for the job?”.
Acumen conducts searches across the organizational chart and with every size of organization. We talk about “intentionality” with our 9-step recruiting process and with everything we do here at Acumen. For all levels of employees, they too are questioning what is important to them and how do they lead an “intentional life”?
People are looking for “GROWTHH”1 – Goal Re-orientation with Time for Health and Happiness. As a leader, if you are not asking the same questions of your employees and are prepared to listen and act, you will continue to bleed employees. Our clients who are embracing GROWTHH are not experiencing as many recruiting challenges and are not suffering as much from the Great Resignation. Even business owners are seeking GROWTHH for themselves, noted by a spike in data around succession planning and successor recruitment/identification.
All business owners should have an Advancement Plan™, written in tandem with their business plan. The Advancement Plan™ should map out the growth of your employees and address how your people are growing as your business grows. The new trend is to support your employees for a win/win outcome.
Those leaders and organizations who implement strategies to support GROWTHH will enjoy a competitive advantage in the market.
Actionable steps to reduce the Great Resignation impact:
- Remember the paradigm has changed – it is no longer “what I do” but “who I am holistically” and a shift of priorities
- Continue the use of technology to advance your efficiencies and bottom line
- Demonstrate to employees that as a leader, you can pivot, be flexible, and nimble – re-evaluating processes and understanding the who, what, where, & when
- Be Intentional about what is needed to make your business goals vs what you want as a leader
- GROWTHH (Goal Re-orientation with Time for Health & Happiness) minded decision making process
- Align your business strategy with an Employee Advancement Plan™
By Suzanne Hanifin
1. “Can the “Great Resignation” Become the “Great Elevation”? It’s Up to You! “ – Jerry Cahn, Vistage