Organizations are reexamining their strategies and game plans to achieve renewed growth. Employees are re-evaluating relationships with their managers and their employers. Customers are reviewing products and services and reassessing their value.

Without a doubt, “human resources” are the great differentiator in creating value, ultimately determining the success and sustainability of any organization. That’s why the “Great Resignation” is having a profound impact on organizations, yet many executives claim that, “We didn’t see it coming.” A Gallup poll from 2019 tells a different story. In a survey of employees voluntarily exiting, 52% indicated that their organization could have done something to prevent them from leaving. More recently, over 40% of employees are considering leaving their current job, while many have already moved on.

Navigating Challenging Times

How are you navigating these challenging times? What are your next steps? In her prescient book, “Seeing Around Corners,” Professor Rita McGrath notes that “Snow begins to melt at the edges.” For leaders, get out to the edge of your organization and discover where significant changes and potential dissatisfaction is occurring. Have you taken your customers and your team for granted? Simply put, if you are willing to look in the right place, customer and employee discontent is both real and apparent. Are they valued, respected, engaged, motivated, and recognized? The overwhelming view is that “going back to business as usual” is no longer an option. Having experienced a monumental shift (and trauma) from COVID-19 and all of its related impacts, most realize that we need to focus on “go-forward” plans! As such, it’s no surprise that people are grasping any certainty and positivity, expecting leadership to step up and “Reset, Refresh, and Re-energize” the working environment. Leaders need to respond by owning this new reality and leading at a higher level. As customers and employees redefine and raise their expectations, leaders must acknowledge that people always have a choice to take their business and talents elsewhere.

“Reset and Go Forward”

Across the enterprise in every function, the path to success flows through people and their performance individually and collectively. In a world of accelerating AI and automation, “human” resources remain pivotal to success. Do you have a clear and engaging strategy that delivers for your customers and employees? Do you have a superior “People Plan” that gives your “Human Resources” a reason to stay, contribute and grow? If people are leaving in high numbers, or worse, stay and remain disengaged, what message does either state send to your Customers? Ask yourself the following questions to reset and move your organization forward:
  • Have you refreshed your employee feedback mechanisms?
  • What kind of work environment do your employees want? Are you delivering on and exceeding those expectations?
  • Are people satisfied with your current leadership, communications, and plans regarding work-from-home dynamics, or do they prefer an in-office or hybrid system?
  • Are they confused or uncertain about your direction? Are they clear and confident that their voice is heard?
  • What’s your plan for renewed collaboration and meaningful connection?
  • What style of leadership do your employees find most motivating?
  • Do they feel a strong sense of connection with leadership or only experience a strict focus on demands, deadlines, and deliverables?
  • How would they rate current leadership performance without an intermediary “translation?”
  • Considering the personal challenges related to Covid and remote work, are people feeling overwhelmed, overloaded, and under-valued or understood and supported?
  • Do they feel their work is just a one-way “at-will” contract or a two-way relationship focused on growth and mutual success?

Fact check: Over 2 million women left the workforce during COVID, and few cite good reasons or easy ways to return.

Though the reasons are multi-faceted and complex, what’s your plan to address this massive talent deficit?

Increasing Team Performance

In the ever-evolving pandemic world, employees expect leaders they can trust, who will create a sense of purpose for their team and the greater organization. Achieving this sense of professional trust and connectedness requires a higher level of leadership engagement.

  • Are your employees satisfied with their leaders’ level of engagement? Are they confident that the results they deliver are equitably valued and rewarded?
  • Does your culture value and build a strong sense of trust and cross-functional teamwork? Are you delivering on that commitment?
  • Is there a framework in place that enables and drives enterprise results through multi-functional collaboration and team engagement? How are you measuring the impact?
  • Will endless “Zoom meetings” be converted into meaningful results, with greater focus on two-way communications with better respect for people’s time (and families)?
  • Is your C-Suite aware of or oblivious to current levels of discontent, frustration, and demotivation associated with lack of clear direction, “business as usual” through a Zoom lens resulting in work overload and innumerable lists of conflicting goals?
  • Is a poorly developed and executed “remote/hybrid work strategy” costing you a talent exodus and a 20-30% of lost productivity every day?

Leaders Lead

It’s time to re-energize and empower the professional and personal path forward for everyone: Have you asked your employees if they are satisfied with where they are in their career or if they’re stagnating? Where gaps exist, ask them what needs to change to address them. Do they feel psychologically safe sharing without fear of retribution?

People – Be Your Own Change Agent

In times of significant change, you can’t afford to sit on the fence while everything and everyone else adapts. If you do, you risk becoming stuck, or, worse, irrelevant while others move forward. 

As you re-emerge into a world of change, brighter days, and new possibilities, know that you have the talent, capacity, and capability to excel. You, too, can determine and pursue new opportunities that enable you to excel and avoid the risks of inaction.

Seize this opportunity to:

  • Assess    
  • Redefine
  • Prioritize
  • Focus
  • Execute

If leaders and individuals don’t take the initiative to “reset” their strategy and gain positive momentum, who will? 

Organizations everywhere are re-evaluating their best path forward, “re-setting” their strategies for long-term success – what’s your career plan?

For CEOs and leaders who choose to stay and invest in their respective organizations’ talent and potential – this is a defining moment!

Don’t Go It Alone

The competitive landscape has changed dramatically. Leaders and individuals who step up now will leverage new opportunities for success and accelerated growth.

You don’t have to go it alone. If you want to work with an enterprise-wide business advisor, with deep experience delivering successful transformational change, let’s talk at dan@advantagedleadership.com.

Don’t miss this opportunity for you to reset and change the trajectory of your career and business. You’ve paid a significant price already – you owe it to yourself and others to reset and regain your momentum!