For efficiency's sake, I'll assume you're aware we've been living and working through pandemic times. That burnout's been insanely high and survival has trumped thriving and we're all just so damn tired.
For months, people have put their heads down and given their all at work just to keep the train on the tracks. But now we're cautiously looking up. And many - for the first time in months - are wondering - am I done here? Have I left it all on the field? Is it time to move on? And many of those many are deciding...yep. Hence, the #GreatResignation we're beginning to see.
So as a leader - of a team, a function, or an enterprise what can you do to manage, mitigate, or shut-the-eff down this Great Resignation within your realm? Here are five...and a half...of my bits of wisdom - including some free resources that are yours for the grab.
One: Do an #EX Pulse Check
I love a good Employee Experience. But if you've followed me for a half-sec you'll know I'm not here for the sizzle-n-fizzle approach (a la happy hours and comped massages). Nope - I heart the kind of EX-work that drives actual impact. The kind that enables people to deliver their best work, develop new skills, feel connected to team and purpose, and to generally thrive.
So how is the true Employee Experience on your team? I can't tell you. But you know who can? Yep - your team! So ask them! To help you out here, I've got just the EX Pulse Check you need. Download it, tweak it, make it yours - do whatever you have to. Just do something!
Two: Shift from burnout management to mitigation
I'm seeing companies implement things like Wellness Days (mandatory PTO day) to Video-Free days (video is prohibited!) - all strategies designed to help employees get some much-needed temporary relief from burnout.
But instead of helping manage that burnout we should be helping mitigate it. Instead of forcing days off, take a look at why those days off are so needed in the first place. Where can you turn down the dial on your business-as-usual so people are well and functional and energized to work every day? What can you deprioritize or put on hold or just shut down so there is more breathing room in the system?
Three: Run a Team Refresh
I've been running these with clients who just need a moment to pause, reflect on what's working and what's not, and to make some choices about what to carry forward and what to leave behind.
Now it's your turn. Who on your team can facilitate a killer sesh? Here's their guide to a Team Renewal Discussion!
Four: Do a Pause and Recognize
We're all great at recognizing the biggies - the shiny outcomes, deliverables, and clearly measurable wins. Anyone who has ever sold a big project or fixed that major software break can tell you stories of accolades they've enjoyed.
But what about those unsung heroes who are working their tails off to keep the unsexy alive? The ones whose long hours invested in system maintenance keep your customers happy, or those reviewing hours of customer feedback they boil down to actionable insights or the person who just asked the bold question or shared the innovative idea that sparked a whole new direction?
People need to feel seen and celebrated - not just for the big wins, but for the unseen efforts that are the heart and soul of your business.
Go see someone. Like, really see them.
Five: Lean back into investing in your teams
For many companies, formal L+D took a breather during Covid. But it's coming back in full force. People need once again to feel invested in. It can be a splashy program, sure. But also it can look like a thoughtful series of lunch-and-learns run internally, or a series of guest speakers. Or maybe a free and simple Six Week Coaching Challenge.
Whatever it looks like - whatever your budget, remind your teams that their growth is indeed a priority.
Five and a half: Know when not to fight
On balance you want to retain your top talent. But also, you don't want to imprison them.
Sometimes the solution isn't quite a solution, but rather a respectful recognition that the time may just be upon us. Don't try to guilt or force someone to stay if truly this is the moment for them to seize a new opportunity. You and I know you're just better than that.