There are a lot of articles being written about the great turnover. Experts call it “The Great Turnover Tsunami,” a tidal wave of employee turnovers due to pandemic burnout, among other factors. Employees are taking the time to reassess what is important to them, and spoiler alert, it’s not going back to the office.
I’ve spent the last few weeks speaking with some of my clients who are considering leaving their current roles. When I asked them why, they mentioned two main reasons.
- They want to create more balance in their lives.
- They do not feel valued or cared for by their managers.
The consensus among these clients was that they felt their managers had not shown up for them when they were going through personal challenges during the pandemic and before.
Compensation is no longer the only motivating factor
My clients expressed to me that they were all willing to sacrifice compensation in order to find a role and an environment where they felt more supported and valued.
The Global Gallup Engagement survey states that only 34% of employees in the U.S. feel engaged.The pandemic has seen that number fluctuate even lower. There is room for improvement here, and it is up to managers and leaders to make these changes a reality. Leaders and managers need to create an environment where employees feel engaged and fully supported in their role. This is even more important during times of anxiety and uncertainty.
Of the 12 Gallup survey questions, the most important one is the following:
Does your supervisor or someone at work seem to care about you as a person?
Research shows that employees leave leaders and managers. One of the key reasons is how their manager sees and values them.
Employees want to feel heard. They want their manager to engage in empathetic and compassionate conversations. They want to know their managers care about them as a person.
People are looking for more than just compensation and benefits. They want to work in an environment, and with a manager, that motivates and supports them so they can do their best work.
Conscious Leadership can bridge the gap between managers and employees.
Leaders don’t wish to create an unmotivating or unsupportive environment. Most leaders aren’t aware of how their own behaviors impact those around them. They are unknowingly (or knowingly) blind to how their actions affect others. Yet, it’s this lack of focus and awareness that contributes to an unsupportive work environment.
One of the reasons for this is that many leaders are not appropriately invested in the management part of their role. In many cases, companies don’t focus enough on investing or rewarding the people manager component of the leadership role. If leaders want to stop the Great Turnover Tsunami, they must invest time and energy into becoming aware of how they show up. This will help them become more conscious leaders and model behaviors like emotional intelligence and empathy that make an environment more supportive and motivating.
As an executive coach, this is my passion and is what I have dedicated my career to. At ORCA, we’ve developed what I like to call the 4A’s of Conscious Leadership. These steps are an iterative process that help leaders become more aware and implement meaningful change in their organizations.
As leaders, it is our responsibility to reach out with compassion and empathy
When was the last time you had a truly empathetic conversation with an employee? A conversation where you ask about what is going well or not going well for them as a person and not their tasks. When have you shown that you really care about them as a person?
It’s time to have a caring conversation with your employees. If you don’t, you risk losing them.
Consider the following seven steps to help you gain insight into what your teams are feeling and experiencing.
7 steps to ignite caring conversations
- Set up an individual call or meeting with each employee with the goal of listening with empathy. Do not go into the call with recommendations or action items. This is about listening.
- Ask what is going on in their lives at this moment and how you can provide support.
- Ask what transitions they are going through personally. Some people will be feeling a sense of grief from intense change or the impact of the pandemic and continued uncertainty.
- Ask what they need to feel empowered and trusted to take care of their work and schedules.
- Ask how you can create the space for them to be innovative and creative.
- Ask how you can help them move forward through uncertainty.
- Create time to have engaging conversations with your employees during your one-on-one meetings or set-up a monthly check-in.
I challenge you to put time on your calendar to check-in with each person on your team and see how they are really doing. You have the power to lessen the Great Turnover Tsunami and have a profound impact on your teams using compassion, empathy and conscious leadership.
If you are struggling with how to navigate this time of turnover and uncertainty, please reach out to us. Our coaches are trained to help you become a caring manager, especially during uncertain times. Also check out the resources in our previous articles.