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The Great Resignation debate

A few days ago, I listened to an interview with a respected Harvard professor and writer about the avalanche of resignations happening in the world of work today.

This author predicted that, due to advances in technology, this was an inevitability even before COVID. It was very interesting!

Why do so many people want to work from home and spend almost no time in an office? After hours of reflection, I have some ideas about this:

  1. It’s financial. You don’t have to spend money on professional attire, commuting, childcare or even outside meals if you work from home.

  2. It’s easier emotionally. Office politics are real, and for some people, the daily reality of interpersonal relationships with co-workers or colleagues can be draining. The political mine fields in an office are greater than those you encounter remotely.

  3. You control your time. Rather than watching a clock, you may work more based on the projects that need to be completed or at your own pace. As long as the work gets done, in many cases, it’s up to you how you do it.

  4. You’re in your own environment. Your stress levels or comfort may increase due to the location of your work.

  5. The emotional toil of COVID is real. You may be fearful of catching it or have issues related to the pandemic. COVID deeply impacted mental health, and the implications are real.

During COVID and its related office closures, many supervisors and executives I spoke with were scrambling with the new reality of remote or virtual workers. Managing this new dynamic is a challenge. Few classes or training programs prepared us for a pandemic, or much else that happened over the last two years. We’ve learning and adapting as we proceed, while trying to keep our organizations afloat!

Your Type-A or solid staff members continued to be top performers. Your more marginal employees may have continued that path as well!

While I respect remote or virtual work, the reality is that we still need people in positions in the workplace. Getting promoted in a virtual world will be a challenge. Being able to make deep professional connections is best done in person. There will always be a need for face-to-face connections.

My thoughts about the great resignation are based on what I view as worldwide angst. The pandemic brought out fears and people are worried. They are unsure of the future. They want improved quality of life and happiness now.

"If we look deeply, it’s about self-determination, balance, health,
family connectedness and personal satisfaction."

The world is angry over the misinformation and lack of control we have over our futures. We see that our personal well-being is up to us. We often don’t trust the motives of our employers or even our government. Many are living in fear, and this fear turns into angst, and that turns into action.

What can we do about this? We can be leaders. We can work with what we have to build healthy workplaces where people feel valued, appreciated and wanted. We can make employee and family mental and physical health priorities. We can work to secure leaders in all areas of our world who have a positive and powerful connection to improving our world rather than simply profiting from it. We can look at the issues that trigger these fears and provide significant input about what can be done.

Most critical right now is that we stop condoning bad behavior. Whether it’s personal discourtesy, bullying or Karen/Ken foolishness, we can stop allowing it to continue. Free speech is a wonderful right, but just as you cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theatre, you shouldn’t be allowed to incite violence or hatred.

I’m leaning 100% into my life as a citizen and a leader. I’m going to do my best to be a positive source in the world. While my carbon footprint may be important, my personal impact is an even bigger footprint on society. If I can be more mindful of others, more positive, more encouraging, more forgiving, more courteous and more giving, I can make a difference. Like that proverbial pebble tossed into the water, my impact can spread.

I’m going to teach it, live it, write about it and coach others to become a force for good in a world that needs that force! I’m even going to name it and call it the Leader Force!

Good people, living good lives, helping others to succeed and flourish. Wanna join?


1 Comment

Jul 21, 2022

I love this, such important advice for all leaders in any situation.

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