Like you, I’ve been hearing and reading about the Great Resignation and the wave of empowered employees who are ready to make a move or change gears and start something new. As a person who left a long career in the government to follow my passion 17 years ago, I completely support this. If there is something you’ve been dreaming of doing and you are ready to step into it, go for it!
However, for organizations, it’s not such an exciting time.
The Great Resignation threatens the loss of valuable institutional history as your best and brightest leave, taking with them vital knowledge and relationship and intellectual capital.
If you are an executive or senior leader in your organization, you have a huge opportunity.
I call it The Grand Invitation.
There has never been a better time than now to face the source: People leave because of poor leadership. It’s that simple.
They may say it’s about money, flexible hours or where the work gets done, but these are all symptoms of a deeper dis-ease:
Leadership that is ineffective and uninspiring at best. Leadership that creates a toxic and damaging culture at worst.
I worked in the provincial government bureaucracy for about 15 years before I started Anjali Leadership. While I spent that time climbing the ladder of management hierarchy, better titles and higher salaries were ultimately not enough. It was an entirely joyless experience for me and for so many of my colleagues.
Wonderful, talented people were hired with the promise that their expertise and energy would be put to good use, ultimately, for the benefit of the people of our province. Yet daily we were treated by the leaders as if we were children who knew nothing.
Our good ideas were squashed without regard. We’d work endlessly on their multiple priorities only to have the direction change just as the projects were nearing completion. They demanded our time, our loyalty and our labor but took all the credit for any results that they allowed us to produce.
People stayed and put up with it because of the golden handcuffs of job security, benefits and pensions. We didn’t dare offer authentic feedback to our managers, nor would we speak about our mental health (which was suffering, big time); we just kept our heads down and plugged along until we cracked, crashed or were too sick to work.
Today it’s different. The pandemic has offered us a new narrative.
From: I can’t leave so I must find a way to bear it.
To: I get to choose how I spend my valuable time and precious life energy.
If you are noticing that many people are leaving your organization, it’s likely this new narrative is in play. Though it may be too late for you to entice them to stay, you CAN change the context and the culture for all who remain and the new people you bring in.
Hint: The solution is not to offer more money. Although that might help in the short term, this is a band-aid, not a cure.
If you want to survive this Great Resignation, you’ve got to say YES to The Grand Invitation.
Here’s what you need to know:
People ultimately leave because the experience they are having at work is unfulfilling in some way.
Executives and senior leaders, you set the tone for every aspect of this experience, consciously or unconsciously.
If this is true in your organization, please know that you are not bad or wrong.
You can do something about it though, and time is of the essence.
What is required will surprise you. It’s not about being nicer, rather it asks that you start the work at the executive level to consciously craft the context or culture you’re creating.
The opportunity is right in front of you and the time is now!
I invite you to explore this further. Each situation is unique, but we know how to help.
Schedule a call with me and let’s take up The Grand Invitation together.
Here is the link:
Looking forward to our call!
Shahmeen Sadiq, MCC