Have you heard the phrase “The Great Resignation”, also known as the “The Big Quit”? It’s a human resources nightmare and for me, it just doesn’t make any sense. After losing my job in February 2020, just one week after earning my MBA, I spent months trying to find a new job.
I would spend hours customizing my resume and crafting a perfect cover letter for each job application. I’d troll LinkedIn to find 2nd level connections I could leverage to make an introduction and potentially give me a leg up. I even contacted the John Jay and Rich radio show, “shoot your shot” segment to try to help me land an interview. Sounds desperate, I know. I was. I applied for more than a hundred positions that never even received an automated email response. It was an incredibly depressing and confidence crushing time.
Now that I’ve started my own business (one of the best decisions I’ve ever made), I’m getting unsolicited job offers. What the heck happened?! In just under 10 months (when I stopped obsessing about finding a job and started obsessing on my start-up business), the job market came full circle.
Most employers are aware that it costs a lot more to hire an employee than to retain an employee, (according to PeopleKeep, that cost is about $1,500 for an hourly employee, 100-150% for a technical position and 213% for C-suite), so it’s mind-boggling when a company says they can’t afford to give even a cost-of-living raise. They rationalize, “we can hire someone cheaper.” No, I’m sorry, but you can’t. After the onboarding, recruiting, and training costs, not to mention the lost productivity, there is no way that new, lower salary, was a good ROI. And if that employee that walked out the door was well liked and well respected? Well – you just opened the door for the big quit.
According to a study by Office Vibe, 70% of employees report that having a friend at work is the most crucial element to a happy work life. 50% of employees with a best friend at work reported feeling a stronger connection to their organization. There’s no “I” in team, but one employee departure can have a significant impact on the camaraderie of an entire organization.
According to a recent Gallup article, one big reason for the mass exodus is current workplace division. Employees, employers, and their colleagues can’t agree on how to handle vaccinations, remote vs. in-person vs. hybrid workforces, and of course the political drivers are, well … driving everyone crazy. And that’s just it, right? You’re the boss, but you aren’t driving anymore. So how do you set a new course and give directions that everyone will not only be willing to follow, but want to follow? How do you get back into the driver seat?
Gallup suggests there are opportunities to turn the tide by uniting employees around a common goal. Reminding them of shared core values and rallying around a shared mission, “The turmoil of the pandemic has created a perfect opportunity to undergo a “team reset” — a time for your team to step back and reimagine what they want to be known for and how they will best work together going forward.”
A reset, or a kickstart, is exactly the type of experience Antsy Nancy can bring to your team. Is your team coming back to the office full time? Would it help for them to get future-focused and create a team vision board? Something they will see every day in office with a common goal they are all equally motivated to achieve.
Do you have a hybrid team – some in office, some still remote, that could use a bit of a reminder that they still like each other? Do you think it would be a bit of fun to host a simulcast in-person/zoom gingerbread design contest this holiday season? You can present/ship everyone a box of supplies that nobody opens until the live event. Everybody has 2 hours to design the new company headquarters using only the gingerbread cookies and royal icing.
Maybe your group is completely focused on everything that is wrong and bad and negative within the walls of your company. Perhaps one of their favorite colleagues recently resigned. Would an opportunity to spend a day focused on helping individuals that are truly in a negative way (making food packages for homeless, creating care packages for military, wrapping presents for under-privileged kids) provide an opportunity to reflect on some of the positives? Like the fact they have an employer that will donate a day off from work to give back to the community.
Antsy Nancy isn’t a fix-all for disgruntled employee woes, but we’d like to help. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and share your biggest personnel challenges. Let’s come up with a strategy to kickstart re-engagement and camaraderie on your team. An opportunity to recommit to your company’s core values, get future focused, and secure the culture within your team may be just what you need to get back in the driver’s seat.