Garen Armstrong has observed that the biggest employment trend of the year is “The Great Resignation.” People are changing their jobs left and right. Data shows that people are resigning at an unprecedented rate and that rate increases every month. Unfortunately, it looks like that trend isn’t going to change. The pandemic has exposed a lot of flaws in the traditional view of work life balance and relationships in the workplace. Employees are realizing their worth and recognizing that life is better with leaders who encourage, as opposed to criticize, their employees. This turnover is costing companies financially in constant onboarding costs and even the reduction of business hours. While there are lots of seemingly uncontrollable factors that go into this high turnover, one thing that can be controlled is your behavior as a leader. This change in work culture has shown that good leaders can keep employees by helping them feel important and respected.
Traditionally leaders aren’t friends, they rule with an iron fist and take no excuses. Our current job climate is not traditional. These leaders are seeing the highest turnover, because why would an employee who is high in demand stand for that. These employees can walk across the street and find a new job. Garen Armstrong believes that kindness is the new vital leadership trait. Leaders need to be able to understand that their employees’ lives don’t stop when they come to work, they bring those problems in and it can affect their work. If they try to ignore these problems they will burn out and not be the workers you need. When you notice these problems you should discuss with the employees how you can help so they can come to work with a clear mind. Whether it be taking a day off or helping find a new schedule, you must work with your employees and show kindness in order for them to be at peak performance.
A common trait that leaders pick up is listening in order to respond. After a certain amount of time it can feel as though employees are constantly looking for advice, so the brain shifts into autopilot when they start talking. One way to prevent this is to organize one-on-ones with your employees. Creating this safe place for your employees to discuss issues will let them know that you’re there to listen, not lecture. This change of perspective will make them feel comfortable sharing and who knows maybe you’ll discover something that could work better in the workplace. This will help you address problems before they fully evolve, help maintain good work relations and maybe even create a more efficient workplace. No one knows a role better than the person on the floor doing it, they can often see the flaws in the system that a business owner may not.
As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. While the role your employee is filling may not be as grand as building a monumental city, for them it’s still a grand task. When you coach and train your employees, be patient. They will understand the concepts eventually, but if they feel uncomfortable or rushed they will be too nervous to ask questions, or even become irritated and start looking at other job opportunities.
While good leaders can’t solve the great resignation, they can help slow it. Leaders can make or break an employees’ day, and if you find your employees leaving in a worse mood than they came, odds are they won’t stand for it long.