Hopefully by now you are familiar with the term “the Great Resignation,” and it has you concerned. If you have not heard this term, or have heard of it and don’t think it affects you, think again.

Nearly two out of every three people in the U.S. today are actively or passively looking for a new job.

What that means to many large and small companies is that a vast brain trust is walking out the door, and an incredible amount of institutional knowledge will disappear (and disappear quickly).

Do I have your attention?

As the Fortune article referenced above mentioned, many didn’t see this coming, but it should not have come as a shock. Crises force people to evaluate life choices, determine what is important to them,  and provide impetus towards action. In this case, that action is deciding where people are currently working is no longer satisfying, for one reason or another, and now is an excellent time to look for better options.

The range of reasons why people are leaving is as varied as the people themselves.

It could be:

  • Money
  • Job satisfaction
  • Lack of opportunity to advance
  • Lack of ability to get training desired
  • Work conditions
  • Leadership
  • Co-workers
  • Ineffective communication
  • Work from home vs. return to the office
  • Culture and purpose issues

Or a myriad of other things….

Truthfully, it is probably not just one of these, but a combination that is causing people to exit stage left. However, most leaders today still have their heads in the sand and are not doing what it takes to uncover the real issues, let alone attempt to solve them.

Every employee you lose can cost you one hundred thousand or more to replace. Senior management leaving could cost you multiples of that number. The numbers here speak to this in some respect. Still, they don’t consider lost productivity, institutional knowledge lost, projects delayed or postponed, or clients leaving because of the chaos that happens when you are short-staffed.

How do we fix this?

How do we keep people from leaving, and if they do, how do we make sure those left know exactly how to pick up the pieces?

Communication is critical, and it all starts with active listening. NOW is the time for you to be taking every single employee aside and be talking about their individual role in the future of the company. Some will believe this is too little too late. However, many want to feel they have been listened to, understood, and valued.

From there, it is about action. It is crucial to take stock of what you are currently doing and evaluate whether it is aligned with your employees’ wants, needs, and desires, and your current goals and objectives. If policies, procedures, culture, and purpose are incongruent with retaining your key employees while enabling your company to prosper, now is the time to make changes.

It is about bringing key employees, those who can cripple the business if they leave, into the conversations and empowering them to help make things better. The more you can involve your employees in the changes, the more they will embrace them, and the more they will feel that they matter and want to stay to see the outcomes.

Are you ready to do the work?

None of this is easy. None of this will come cheap, and none of this will be done perfectly the first time.

However, by not doing anything, you run the risk of half of your workforce walking out the door this year, some of them without another job waiting for them.

Change is already in the works and people are already on the move. Your job, today, is to understand how those changes are affecting your company, and create a plan to mitigate risks and then implement that plan.

I urge you, stop talking at your teams and start talking with them.

Listening to them, understanding them, and valuing them are the keys to your continued success.

Connect with Ben HERE to enable you to tell your story in ways that those you can influence will listen, understand your value to them, and be compelled to engage.