This chart from McKinsey helps to explain a key driver contributing to The Great Resignation.

Organisations are failing to get beneath the surface of what people actually want, or listen to them when they tell them, as I’ve heard is occurring in some organisations.

McKinsey diagram with 4 quadrants of most important vs least important for employees vs what employers perceive

Employers don’t sufficiently appreciate the importance of these factors to employees:

  • Being valued by their manager
  • Feeling a sense of belonging
  • Having caring and trusting teammates
  • Having the potential for advancement
  • Having a flexible work schedule
  • Being valued by their organisation

And are placing too much emphasis on:

  • Inadequate compensation
  • Poor health
  • Looking for a better job
  • Development opportunities
  • Ability to work remotely
  • Being poached by another company

It’s not that these things don’t matter. It’s just that they’re not as important as is thought.

Employers focus on transactional areas, while people focus on relational factors.

Focusing on the things that matter most to people can turn the Great Resignation into the Great Retention.

This is a huge opportunity to listen, respond and provide the kind of leadership that puts people at its heart – where it should be – and means that you keep your best people.


It’s an unnecessary trade-off that’s behind the Great Resignation

Diagram stating Happy to take a pay cut for flexibility and a healthy culture that supports people

If you want to be part of the Great Retention rather than the Great Resignation, here are 3 key things to focus on:

1st Stop Overwork

Stop expecting people to work long hours, to do the impossible, to keep doing it without adequate breaks or time limits.

Going above and beyond can only go on for so long, and we’re well past that point.

2nd Make wellbeing a priority

Stop paying lip service and get serious about how you support and protect people’s well-being’: it’s not ‘well-being programs’. Well, at least not on their own.

3rd Show you care

Stop expecting people to keep going above and beyond and not recognising that they areMake sure you acknowledge any sacrifices they’re making.

When work demands are too high, people are constantly making trade-offs.

Making such choices, feeling a lack of control over them, and ending up unhappy with the decision is too exhausting.  This article by Sarah Sharples shows stories of senior workers who’ve been putting in the hard yards, working harder than ever, dealing with new problems and not being recognised for it.  They feel they’ve been hung out to dry, and are threatening to resign.

We’re all hearing the stories, if not living them.

If you’re not all over points 1, 2, and 3 above, now’s the time for another pivot.

Before all your good people throw it in, give up the big bucks and find a healthy culture that supports people, make yours one worth staying for.

Take a leaf out of the servant leader playbook:

  • Focus on empathy, altruism and a sense of community
  • Prioritise an organisation culture that promotes the development of trust, fairness and relationships
  • Show an unwavering commitment to the growth, empowerment and well-being of your people.

Servant leader CEOs have weathered the storm of the pandemic well – in organisations led by them, employee well-being has remained stable, burnout has decreased and adaptability to change has improved.

Give people flexibility and a healthy culture, support them, and be part of the Great Retention not the Great Resignation.

Book a call with me today to find out more about how my executive coaching can help you to focus on supporting your employees and creating a healthy environment in which they can flourish.

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