If you’ve been watching the news, you know we’re in the midst of what is “lovingly” being called the “Mass/Great Resignation” in the US.
In case you’re not aware…
4.4 million people left the workforce in Texas in September alone!
As you can imagine, it’s causing a number of different kinds of frustration. But what I’ve seen is two different sides of the frustration.
- People who are applying for jobs, jumping through tons of hoops to get the jobs, and then ending up with something no where near what was promised in the interview process (and often less pay included!).
- Business owners who are frustrated that they can’t even get people to show up for interviews or apply for jobs. (or worse, people who have taken jobs and then just don’t show up! This happened to a few of my clients.)
The amount of frustration on both sides is thick enough to cut with a knife!
But where’s the Great Resignation actually coming from and why is it happening? Here’s my insight based on what I’ve seen…
Place #1: Side Gigs
Something most people don’t realize is that a lot of employees spent the last 18-20 months turning their hobbies into side gigs which then became successful enough to be a full-time business.
In other words, all of these people realized their side gigs were providing enough for them that they didn’t need to actually go back into the workforce. They accidentally did what I did on purpose: turned a side-gig into a legitimate business and then walked out of their jobs.
Place #2: Toxic Bosses
No one ever wants to work for a toxic boss. I didn’t, you don’t, and your employees don’t.
People have become much more aware of good character traits and how bosses need to be treating their employees now. The general public’s knowledge of mental health and work/life balance has raised enough that people know better than to put up with toxicity. They’re not going to, and unfortunately a lot of bosses are toxic in the workplace.
So what do people do? Leave the whole toxic situation behind.
Place #3: Life Isn’t About Exhaustion
Last year, tons of people were sent home from work. And for the first time in years, they had a moment to catch their breath.
People, especially in America, realized how much they were missing out on in life because they were always exhausted and working so much. They realized that life wasn’t supposed to be about working just for the sake of working. So they decided not to go back to living exhausted.
But here’s what you, as a business owner, CAN do!
Start to work on your company culture and leadership skills.
To be perfectly honest, for the longest time I didn’t think I had the qualifications to address the Great Resignation. I’ve never had a hard time hiring, and I’ve never had anyone quit working for me. But yesterday I was speaking to a team member who told me that I had a unique perspective to bring to the table that was incredibly valuable.
So what did she say?
“You’ve never had these struggles because people love working for you. I’ve never had a boss who cared so much about my future, understood what I wanted, and actively worked me toward that goal. You’ve never had trouble hiring and you’ve never had trouble with people quitting because you put so much effort into managing and taking care of your team.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that all of the issues with hiring and quitting have directly to do with the business owner. Sometimes there are situations out of your control. But if you’re consistently having a hard time hiring, here’s what you as a business owner can do: evaluate the levels of leadership in your business, and strive to be more than a boss for your employees.
The world is past the point of people being willing to work for the sake of having a job. We are past the point of putting up with bosses who send us home crying. We want our jobs to be meaningful.
It’s not always about the money.
I’ve seen so many situations where money wasn’t the deciding factor in a job.
I personally had an employee choose working for me over a salaried position because the money wasn’t what truly mattered to her. I’ve seen people choose a job with a small business over a huge corporation, even though the huge corporation was offering tons of money to them. Leadership and a purpose for the job matter! Often, they matter far more than the money being offered.
Money is not the end of it.
If you feel like you’re struggling with not being able to offer enough money, maybe evaluate that. But also maybe find other ways you can bring value to your employee’s lives. Because your leadership skills can make all the difference in someone’s life, and they will choose that over a cushy paycheck any day!
About the Author:
Stephanie Scheller is a TED speaker, a two-time best-selling author and the founder of Grow Disrupt. In just under a decade, Stephanie has been behind the scenes with more than 5,000 small businesses. She has worked in groups and one-on-one to create total business transformation & help business owners live the life they got into business to create!