Everything we have experienced since March 2020 has irreparably changed us, and we’ll continue to see that impact indefinitely in the workplace. Employers spent much time experiencing the Great Resignation in 2021. Now it’s time to pivot to solutions and evolve into an environment focused on retention. As Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
You have to flip your organization to be people-centric and, frankly, stop thinking of people as employees. Instead, as team members whom all deserve to be listened to, encouraged to share advice and collaborate, and emboldened to grow and make decisions. All working together towards a common goal of a rewarding career and sustainable organization.
It’s not about being a perfect organization nor leader. It’s focusing on leading based on results, not structure, clock-watching, and micromanagement. Trust, take risks, and embrace change, even if it makes certain people uncomfortable. It’s about embracing the ‘No-Jerks’ rule because the effort you spend on repairing the damage that ‘Jerks’ cause creates lost opportunities in the form of people and culture. There are probably five people in the world that cannot be replaced in the business context. It’s unlikely any of these five people work at your organization. A respectful, supportive culture should be the priority, not the ‘Jerk.’
It’s about being as flexible and generous as you can between a work location, scheduling, and time off. Being empathetic about individuals and their life priorities from bonding with a new baby, never missing a child’s school event or game, taking care of an ill parent, or ensuring their own wellness and health.
We cannot overlook the impact of the current childcare crisis in the United States, which complicates millions of people’s lives and creates financial insecurity in our workforce. From an average of $1230 per month for infant childcare to the dramatic shortage of childcare workers, long waitlists, and closing facilities, this problem affects everyone in this country – either as an organization or as a consumer. Solutions will have to come from the business world, whether subsidizing care, providing multi-employer facilities, lobbying Congress and state legislatures for change or likely a combination of all of it.
These are not easy problems or solutions, but doing nothing is not an option. The Great Retention requires leaders to evolve their organization and style to flip the narrative. Focus on creating a culture that you cannot put a price on.