Hitting the Brakes on Employee Turnover During the “Great Resignation”
Molly McGrath | October 12, 2021
Throughout history, older generations have called those younger than them lazy, selfish, shallow, and even entitled. The narrative is so entrenched that it has become a cliché and yet unlike most tired ideas, this one is not losing, but gaining steam. Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995) are commonly referred to as the “Me Generation” and those that follow the even more demeaning “Me Me Me Generation.” While all the data does show that youngsters are lazy and entitled, what it does not specify is that these traits aren’t necessarily negative. Yes, entitled but entitled to live their best lives (instead of wasting them on soul-sucking jobs).
Millennials (and their younger peers) are quitting in record numbers—hence, the so-called “Great Resignation”—but this does not mean they don’t want to work. Rather, it means they don’t want to work in ways that rob them of living. Grasping this crucial caveat means the difference between an anxiety-riddled fourth quarter and landing so much top talent that your biggest problem will be keeping pace with your all-star team. If your firm can capture the energy of this momentous shift, not only will you profit but you will spring so far ahead of the competition that you will be playing in another league.
How to Not Only Retain but Gain Top Talent Amidst a Wave of Resignations
Every individual looking at the exit will have their reasons for doing so, but a common theme will be a concern for well-being. After nearly two years of enduring pandemic paralysis and just as long working from home, folks have learned that life is short and is ill-spent (no pun intended) grinding day in and day out. If you can figure out how to improve the quality of your team’s working life, you can not only convince reticent workers to stay but can attract those that have left competing firms due to well-being-related concerns. Achieving this means asking the following key questions.
- What does recognition mean to you? How do you hope to be appreciated for your work?
- What unique skills do you bring and how can these nurture professional growth?
- How can our office facilitate the formation and growth of authentic relationships?
- If you were to remake your job with meaning as a top priority, what would it look like?
You won’t necessarily have the resources to meet all of the needs identified by your survey but even just starting the conversation will be appreciated. This means that more often than not you will be able to make improvements based on employee responses, and doing so will have a dramatic impact on talent retention.
An additional benefit that comes from opening channels of communication that allow your team to shape their own office experience is the eager arrival of new top performers. Workers in all sectors are submitting their notice but this doesn’t mean they’re retiring early. Work isn’t dead, it’s just changing and if you change your working environment in tune with new trends, your firm will quickly leap up folks’ list of desirable places to build a career.
The Great Resignation may be upon us but this doesn’t mean you need to go grey(er) worrying about losing your best and brightest—at least not if you work to meet the youngsters where they want to be met. And who knows, maybe you’ll learn a thing or two while doing so and your quality of life and joie de vivre will improve, too?