If the findings from recent workplace studies and trends are anything to go by, business leaders and owners need to sit up and pay attention, because the “Great Resignation” is on its way, if it hasn’t hit you already.
For instance, 15 million US employees have quit their job since April in this year alone and it’s still predicted to continue. (Source: US Department of Labour)
A study by Microsoft found that 40% of the global workforce are considering leaving their employer this year. (Source)
And a study in Ireland and the UK found similar – 38% of employees are considering a career change as life moves on after COVID. (Source)
In Australia, my home base, 636,000 employees also intend to change their jobs in the next 12 months. (Source)
As you know, finding and keeping high-performing people is one of the biggest challenges of any business, so leaders need to be forming real workplace strategies right now to combat these growing and concerning trends. The rubber truly has hit the road.
What can you do about it?
In a word, care. Care about your people. It’s now not a “nice to have one day when we achieve X” or a lofty goal that you humour the HR department with…. If you don’t show true care to your employees, someone else will, and from recent trends and research seen around the world, your people will leave you for those who do.
For example, the American Psychological Association found that 90% of employees who feel valued at work say they’re more motivated to do their best, compared to 33% of employees who don’t feel valued and cared for by their employers. They also found that 50% of employees who feel like they don’t really matter to their employer intend to search for a new job within the year. 50%!
Also and interestingly, a recent study by Gallup found that only 40% of people thought their employers truly cared about them (down from 50% at the start of the pandemic) but – if you care for your people, they’re 4.1 times more engaged in the business and their role than those employees who don’t feel the love.
Employee engagement should be the number one priority of anyone who leads teams as this drives not only their performance for you, but it also fuels your ability to keep them as a high-performing team member, saving countless resources on recruitment. Double bonus.
And yes, while remote work has afforded people greater flexibility, no commute times and a very liberal and at times, interesting dress code, a study by Nordpvn Teams found that people are generally working 2.5 hours longer each day…. that’s 12.5 hours per week or a staggering 50 hours per month and not surprisingly, people are burnt out. The lines between professional and personal lives are blurring and people are feeling like they never switch off, which should be a major concern to those in leadership roles. You need your people fresh, engaged and ready to go each day, remote or otherwise.
Heck, you need to be fresh and passionate about your working day, every day.
How’s your work/life balance going right now?
How’s the work/life balance of your people?
Add to this, the impact that the pandemic has had on the mental health of the global workforce. The Future of the Industry Report, 2021, found that 1 in 3 people might quit their job “for the sake of my mental health”. 1 in 3!
How is the mental health of your people right now?
Do you feel equipped to care for your people this way? Does your leadership team?
The Report also found 50% of managers said they felt ill-equipped to do this.
How can you care?
Here are a couple of really powerful ways you can care for your people.
1. Spend one on one time with each member of your team – either personally or online.
Ask them how they’re really going – personally and professionally. Ask if there’s anything you can do to support them in their role. Ask if they’re clear on what you’re expecting them to do. Make sure you really listen to their responses and ask questions to ensure you’re 100% clear as to what they’re saying and that they really do feel heard.
Do this regularly and make it a priority. The frequency will depend on each person and the role they’re in, but the more you do this, the more trust will build and the more they’ll feel cared for and be engaged in their role.
2. Acknowledge and thank each team member for what they bring to the team or business.
Let them know how much you value them and why. I’ve had a client personally write 150 letters to each of his people to do this. I’ve also had professional sporting coaches do this for their players right before an NRL Grand Final and a Women’s Football World Cup Quarter Final, all to great effect, but they’re stories for another day soon.
If a video message is more your style, you can certainly do this for each of your team members instead of a letter.
These two strategies are just the tip of a very large iceberg in caring for your people to build a thriving culture that produces outstanding results – not only for the business but for your people too. There’s a great deal that goes into that as I’m sure you can appreciate, but I just wanted to get you truly thinking about it, just in case you’ve unknowingly taken your finger off the pulse.
Your people don’t just want a coffee machine in the kitchen or token lip service paid to them – they want to feel truly valued, supported and appreciated for what they do for you. And why shouldn’t they? The business is where it is due to your combined efforts. Remember, you can’t build anything great on your own, and you won’t build anything great if those you surround yourself with don’t feel some love coming their way.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
President Theodore Roosevelt said these famous words years ago, but they still ring true more than ever today.
How are you caring for your people?
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
I truly hope this helps you build your leadership strength to live a better life.
Take care and keep climbing,