Nearly every day, we see social media articles related to the “Great Resignation”. All kinds of reasons for people walking away from jobs are given. It’s no wonder the business world is confused about the staffing situation as there are so many postulated reasons given for the problem. Therefore, we at Executive Advantage thought we might as well throw in some more items to consider as you ponder how to handle this challenging matter.
First, let’s look at some of the reasons given for “leaving”:
- I might as well retire now rather than wait.
- I am burned out.
- This job is killing me.
- My manager is driving me nuts.
- The quality of my life stinks.
- I need a more flexible work schedule.
The list could go on forever because there is no one reason that fits all situations. But as we’re trying to navigate a changing world, let’s look at some of the challenges that arise from a popular solution given to the problem: going remote.
Recently I read an online article that shared some research regarding worker preferences regarding working at the office and working remote. (Granted, most research is “online” and probably isn’t well represented form among laboring positions, outdoors, non-digital persons, and persons who are satisfied in their jobs.) Here are the findings of that article:
- Nine percent of the workers preferred working from the office all the time.
- Twenty-nine percent of the workers preferred working remote all the time.
- Sixty-two percent of the workers preferred working a mixed remote office schedule.
Hold those ideas for a moment, and let me introduce another separate but related piece of information.
A 5/8/2022 episode of “60 minutes” highlighted mental health issues with children and young adults*. Here’s what caught my attention. The persons portrayed in the episode indicated that their suicidal thoughts and depression were exacerbated because of being isolated from their social environment. (I think most of us reading this can share our stories of the effects of isolation and disconnect in our employees’ and their work.)
What might we learn from all the above? Here are a couple suggestions.
First, as business owners, if we go along with the employees’ desire to have a remote only or a combined remote office schedule, we may need to watch the emotional well-being of those employees. It will be important to find ways to connect in with those that are less connected and to schedule more intentional time for conversation. It may be important to help employees intentionally focus on workplace wins to counteract the potentially negative impact of the physical disconnect from the work environment.
Second, more than ever, culture counts. Creating a work culture that holds the standard of respect and civility, that holds people accountable and yet doesn’t lose sight of compassion in our dealings with the humans in our workplace.
Third, if you’re an in-charge person, have compassion and grace for yourself. Businesses have a responsibility to make a reasonable attempt towards vigilance and worker safety, but there is a point at which an employee has certain responsibilities as well.
On average nearly sixty percent of your budget is spent on employees. If you’re needing an outside perspective on your particular employee issue, Executive Advantage has the expertise to assist.
Would you like to meet for a conversation?