Whether or not there is a long-term trend to “mass resignation” has yet to be clearly established, simply because the world is still in the throes of Covid.
What is clear however, is that the initial response to undeniable increased resignations is very misled. Recently, I have read posts and articles peddling the same “retention strategies” of the past, but simply now with a double dose and some added steroids like “do it now or die”. The most annoying thing that keeps being regurgitated is that people leave bad bosses, not bad organizations. Yes-people die in bed, but beds are not necessarily dangerous places. At present, it is fair to say that people are leaving good and bad bosses, as well as good and shitty organizations.
I want to briefly share how I view increased resignations as well as what I propose in order to deal with increased resignations.
1) Increased resignations are a societal trend, so even if you do everything right, you will face increased resignations. Yes! Even if your managers are superb and you pay well.
2) Look at your organization’s vulnerability to resignations.
- Do you have champions upon who you are highly dependant?
- Is there a lot of oral history that one needs to learn to be effective?
- Are there jobs structured so that it takes years to master them?
- Are too many key relationships held by too few people?
Once you have mapped out vulnerability, focus, focus, focus. Do NOT apply an across the board simplistic solutions.
3) Here are a few avenues of pursuit which lessen the blow of increased resignations at your vulnerable points.
- No more lean and mean-hire reserves and/back ups.
- Outsource functions which take too long time a time to learn to reputable firms. So called “core competencies” need to be re-examined.
- Appoint second drivers for key functions-perhaps even third drivers.
- Any job which takes more than 6 months to learn should be restructured if possible so as to mitigate the damage from churn to enable a rapid recovery time. This may be extremely difficult yet absolutely necessary.
- Abolish total ownership of key relationships. Smith owns the relationship with GE? Not any more. No more full exposure Smith’s loyalty to the firm. Because whatever you do, long term loyalty is either dead or in a coma-and you cannot change that. It is a societal trend.
This post was written at the end of last year. In the mean time, I have augered more experience in dealing with so-called mass resignations.
- It’s real, but it is not so mass.
- In many professions, it is caused by a shortage of manpower which enables employees to jump ship and get 40% higher wage. Isn’t it better just to pay attractive salaries, for heaven sake?
- Effective approaches are not necessarily strategic, but more targeted on roles with harder to find skills.
- Turnover has a positive effect. Fear not. Outsourcing is not the end of the world, even for key competencies.