Resigned to the resignation culture? Don’t be.

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Steve Tolton

There’s been much chatter about the so-called resignation culture in recent times. Faced with huge uncertainty many talented individuals have seen themselves completely reassess their commitments and ambitions. Taking them in a different direction, very often to the detriment of the businesses and people they leave behind.

This trend – accelerated by covid – is evidence of the need to reappraise, understand and support the life and career goals of the people in our organisations. These are after all, the same people we, as business leaders depend on to deliver for our customers. Every position held is a vital link in the chain of trust in a well-functioning business that’s best-equipped to seize opportunities fast and overcome obstacles efficiently. People talk of agility, but often don’t realise that empowering people to do what needs to be done, while meeting their broader life goals is the route to ‘walking’ that agility – and, much more than just feeling satisfied – but ‘defined’ in their success.

It’s long been recognised that when individuals realise they can’t ‘effect change’ and, when any kind of success eludes them, they will often go for the ‘nuclear option’ where they feel resigned to leave. Disrupting their work and lifestyles in order to grab some certainty, choice and voice over the situations they find themselves in. These actions shouldn’t be mistaken for them giving-up though. It might seem like it. And yes: it’s frustrating for everyone.

However, it does not have to be with this way. Establishing a universally successful destination for your most precious ‘assets’ – your people – is one step towards ensuring they clearly understand how they can succeed, all round while aligning and syncing with their own goals and ambitions. In other words, giving them the emotional and rational certainty that the business or organisation matches their ambitions and values. Don’t confuse this with spurious mission statements and the like. Whilst those are familiar tools in the kit bag, they invariably only speak to the business, whereas a universally successful destination is a strategically important understanding that strikes at the hearts and minds of the people we need to attract and retain, as our teams.

The next five years are completely uncharted for business, people leaders and their people. Acting with purpose on how you support your people, and ensuring they aren’t resigned to leaving in order to find satisfying outcomes for their innate talents is crucial. And will help your people – and you – find lasting sustainable success by staying together.

Here are McKinsey & Company’s views on this vitally important issue in an article from earlier this month: ‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’? The choice is yours

How are you planning to serve and support your people and your business’ in moving towards your universally successful destination?

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