I have been talking about what has now been coined the #greatresignation for over a year now.
I felt it mid last year, a shift from the adrenal RUSH toward the top, re-focussing to the navel-gazed murmur of ‘why am I bothering?”
It was the echo of thousands in my network, and as evidenced by the trending hashtag, millions across the world!
I’m thrilled and excited that so many people are pushing back on the “bigger, faster & more” narrative we have been fed as the recipe to success for so long! But it finally seems we are waking up to a more holistic approach to life!
I can’t help but feel a little sorry for the corporations who are clearly out of touch
Those corporations are about to lose their greatest asset – their talent!
They were the ones with the CEOs we could hear collectively hand-wringing with excitement at a rise in productivity and decrease in churn when Covid hit.
Word pushed down from the top…
“They will all be grateful just to have a job!”
That attitude, I can only assume, is what led to truly short-sighted actions like that of the NSW Council that informed their working parents they were NOT to home-school while they were on the clock, despite them being in mandated lockdown (nice one Bayside Council!)
No wonder 50% of the workforce is looking to quit, and are now being counted in, what I’d like to introduce as a new metric “the Unfulfillment rate”!
The Unfulfillment Rate
In the past month alone there have been over 13 articles addressing what Anthony Klotz, a psychologist and professor at Texas A&M, coined as ‘the Great Resignation’.
As it turns out, it’s not just that we had time to think about what more there was to life, or what our unique contribution was going to be. It was a perfect storm of discontent that was already brewing…Covid just accelerated it.
According to McKinsey’s “COVID-19 and the employee experience: How leaders can seize the moment” article of last year, one of the areas for greatest potential improvement was an organization strongly connecting their actions to purpose. Two thirds of McKinsey’s survey respondents said their organisation does not do this well.
With all that navel-gazing time over the past few years, and the reported mass ‘spiritual awakening’, people are searching for more…or at least ‘different’.
To be clear, there are a few factors at play here. The stats quoted everywhere show a huge 40-50% resignation rate, but in fact only 3% of them are actually retiring. Many may be starting a business, but certainly not all!
So that means all is not lost for every corporation, because the rest of them are looking for more fulfilling work in line with their values. And that job could very well be in YOUR corporation – as long as you address what is important to them!
Talent want Purpose
Now more than ever, employers have the opportunity to help their talent ‘live their purpose’ through their employment. And it will pay off for everyone, according to McKinsey, because when employees find their work purposeful, (and the company values purposeful) they are much more likely to “sustain or improve their levels of work effectiveness, and they have four times higher engagement and five times higher well-being.” (McKinsey June 29, 2020 )
Yet for so many people, what their purpose actually is, can be an elusive concept! And C-suite executives steering the ship are certainly not immune to their own personal purpose calamity! So with everyone searching for more, and a good percentage not really sure what “more” actually is, how do we create alignment between the corporation’s values and the talent’s purpose?
… it can’t be just a feeling or idea
It starts with everyone not just FEELING inside them what their purpose and values are, but being sure of them. And then being able to articulate them, and market them in every interaction. That’s what creates opportunities to be noticed or make change. (We did it as babies – articulating our needs – there was no such thing as silent, resentful crying back then!)
As it turns out there are MANY corporations out there who really do care about their people, their purpose and doing good. (And of course, then there are the ‘Bayside Councils’ of the world!!)
It’s all too easy to blame our dissatisfaction on the corporate culture, but if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is to take responsibility for ourselves and our needs!
…you need to articulate your Unique Contribution
As an employee, if you cannot explain what drives you, and how your unique contribution will positively impact the organisation, then you are likely to be bound as a cog in a wheel – or if the stats are anything to go by, you might just quit with no plan!
And corporations, if you can’t articulate your values and purpose to attract aligned talent, then you have a colossal problem on your hands… Because employees have had enough!
…welcome to the #greatalignment!
@A_WittenbergCox, @csreinicke, @andrea_c_hsu, @SteveAndriole, @kendraguidolin, @tylerakern, @ShawnDBaldwin, @shalailah, @JimenaZubiria, @jmmoran12, @MeredithMetsker, @ranimolla, @WIRED