The great resignation.
We’ve all heard about it. In the United States, COVID-19 has led to what’s been dubbed “The Great Resignation.” According to recent research by Microsoft, more than 40% of the global workforce are considering leaving their employers this year.
That’s a lot of talent walking out the door. So how do you keep that talent? How do you invest in your workforce so that they won’t want to leave? It’s like that Richard Branson quote: “Train people well enough so that they can leave. Treat them well enough that they don’t want to.”
On the Sales Engagement podcast, we sat down with Jerice O’Malley, Head of Business Development & Sales at Amplify Consulting Partners Inc, to talk all about:
- The Great Resignation and how she’s seen it impact the consulting world
- Advice for managers who are looking to retain their top talent
- Why people follow leaders from company to company
- Why people are staying at jobs for less and less time these days
Dispatches from the war for talent
We should have predicted this. People were getting antsy being cooped up at home. Once vaccines appeared and rules relaxed, everyone was eager to start making changes. Put all that in a blender and you get “The Great Resignation.”
But we shouldn’t act like this is something 100% new to us. The war for talent is always happening for sales.
For Jerice, who works at a consulting firm, people’s ideas are what makes her team succeed. She has to build an environment where ideas — and the people who have them — can flourish.
That means she’s always thinking about how to keep her people. While Jerice is fortunate that some people on her immediate team followed her to Amplify from their previous company, she still has to consider what makes people stay.
Generally speaking, no one stays forever. Everybody is shortening their duration with their employers. Two key points, however, seem to interrupt the in-and-out employee cycle — values alignment and fair compensation.
Jerice is seeing boomerangs
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know the job market is… well, the word insane comes to mind… right now. Jerice says people on her team are getting offers from everybody in the market.
The thing is, these offers usually come with fabulous price tags attached — huge compensation packages, starting bonuses, big base salaries, and commissions that are to die for.
No wonder people are snapping up these offers. Here’s the thing, though, you can afford to make these big payouts in year one, but what about years two, three, four, and five? Can these companies continue to fork out huge sums of money to retain talent once they’ve acquired it? Are expectations simply starting too high?
Jerice says her consulting group has definitely seen more churn, but she’s also seeing a boomerang. People are coming back.
Align your values to your people, and offer fair compensation. You might not keep everyone, but you could see a lot of folks return.
Why people follow leaders from company to company
This was the most exciting part of the whole conversation: how do you get people to stick with you when you move to a new company?
Jerice had a couple of team members who followed her from her last company. Why do people show that kind of loyalty?
Four reasons: personal, professional, financial, and motivational.
Let’s talk personal. As a leader, you have to care about people’s non-career aspirations. Maybe they want to relocate, maybe family life is complicated, or maybe they have some goal you can’t even imagine. Know what that dream is, support it, and help them achieve their goals.
Now, let’s talk professional. You’ll need to improve your management skills. For instance, you might need to get better at leading a remote team. You may just get 30 minutes or an hour a week to connect with these folks. Learn to use that time to its maximum potential.
Next, we should hone in on compensation. No matter how much you want to pay someone, you’re going to hit a ceiling at some point. The important thing to note here is that you need to know what industry standards are offering — whether that’s full compensation, salary, or job title.
(Here’s where connecting with your employees comes in again.)
Find out what drives your team members and try to find alignment with industry standards. Most team members are driven by one thing. That could be job title, compensation, work life balance, or something else. You’ll only know what that driving factor is if you take the time to find out.
Finally, Jerice emphasized advocacy. If you brought someone onto your team, advocate for them. If they want something, is it possible to go to bat for them?
That kind of treatment leads to people enjoying their time with you. Whenever they do decide to leave, they’ll make a peaceful exit. Maybe they’ll even work with YOU at your next company.
Advice for managers who want to retain top talent
Find the right leader.
Find the right team.
…Because no one person moves a company forward.
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