Podcast

LS International 07 March 2022

The Great Resignation: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Team with Dr. Carol Parker Walsh

Pandemic has led to people reevaluating their lives, their lifestyles, and their careers. Its sequels are also lugged in the business world as leaders are realizing that it is more challenging now to keep their teams engaged given the pandemic aftermath on everyone’s mindset. Various perks like gym memberships, dogs in the office, and stylish decorations, were once perks that could retain employees and contribute to their satisfaction and thus productivity but seem not to be anymore.

Dr. Carol Parker Walsh, CEO, Chief Career Strategist, and Mindset & Confidence Coach describes to us how priorities have changed and what enterprises and team leaders should have in mind to keep their teams committed and involved.

LAUREN:

– So, yeah. I’ve seen as well in my line of work, working in recruitment have been contacted by many, many people. And I think, millions of people are reevaluating their lives now, their lifestyles, their careers. Why do you believe that the pandemic has had this effect on people?

CAROL:

– Well, I think there’s two reasons. I think one, at a very baseline human level is that I think there’s always been this theoretical belief that life is short and that we only have so much time to live, so to speak. But I think the pandemic changed that theoretical conversation to a very real one. I think there was truly people were thinking about, the rest of their lives and how they wanna live their lives, and it just became much more critical in knowing that well time is limited, that we only have one bite at this apple. So, people start really reflecting on how they wanna live their lives and what they wanna contribute to. I think the other thing too, is that when we were in lockdown, the way we had to learn to live, work, communicate, and everything else really shift our perception and our perspective on how we can live and actually expand it, I think our ideas and the possibilities that we thought maybe we didn’t have available to us before. So that expansion of perspective, as well as this reality of the time that we have left, I think really threw people into, what people will say is this existential crisis of I really wanna make sure that this life that I have here is lived and at its highest level, and that I’m fulfilled as much as I possibly can be. So I think those were the two things that really have made this pandemic so unsettling, and expansive for so many people.

LAUREN:

– Yeah, and I’ve even seen, it was very different than other times where I think people are always reflecting on their careers. As a head-hunter, end of the year, very normal time to be contacted by people. They’re thinking about the next year, whatever it maybe, end of the year is always the time to do it. So you always see a kind of peak in those types of conversations, but I’ve never seen so many people at once, really jumping ship, I would say. So a lot of people just saying, “Hey, I’ve quit my corporate job, not really fully thinking about what to do next.” What would you suggest to people? Because for me as a recruiter, I’m very nervous by this. So it’s usually like you do everything in a very planned way as a career advisor, I’m advising people in their career, not necessarily just from one day to the next jump ship and say, I’m gonna figure it out. What would you suggest?

CAROL:

– Yeah, I’m not a big fan of that either. Although I will at all in full disclosure, I kind of did that myself, when I started my business, but that was a long time ago there wasn’t any pandemic. But what I think there’s a couple of things. I’m all about having a conversation with people to build a bridge. Build a bridge from where you are, to where you’re going, so that you have something to walk across of. I know people say jump and the wings will appear, but I don’t think that always happens. So I’m more likely to advise to build a bridge. I would say first check your finances, make sure they are in order. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, if you are struggling, if you do not have that in order, or you don’t have a savings or something that’s gonna support you, it’s gonna be problematic. So the first thing I do is I check the house to make sure it’s stable before you decide to make any moves, particularly if your income at the place that you’re with is supporting that house. So make sure the house is stable, they can handle it. But the other thing I believe too, in this economy that we’re in right now, there’s an opportunity, right? With the gig economy and portfolio careers and the opportunity to really leverage the skills that you have in multiple ways, as opposed to just one particular employer. It’s an opportunity to maybe revisit how you work with your current employer. Maybe instead of leaving, there may be a different way that you can engage with your employer, where you already are, and maybe there’s some other skillsets sets and some other things that you can do on a part-time basis on a freelance basis, on a different level, that may be more attuned to the way that you wanna live and work, and then makes you more fulfilled. So I say, check with where you are and see if there’s a different way to work there. And then, see what other opportunities maybe if you wanna add on a part-time or a freelance or some other type of position, so that that way you’re expanding what it is that you love to do in other places, creating additional income in another economy, really for your household. And you’re doing in a way that still allows you to have great relationships with where you’re at and making connections where you’re at and still maybe finding a way to have fulfillment in where you’re at. I think sometimes we have this idea, no job is perfect and we shouldn’t look for our work actually to fulfill us. I always tell people your career is one aspect of the larger ecosystem of your life. So think about what it is that you really want, and then have a conversation with where you’re at to see if you could actually get that fulfilled where you are. I think that’s a great starting place to really go for.

LAUREN:

– And I’ve seen as well, individuals that have jumped ship, they said, “My company would never go for this, they’ve never done anything like this. So I’m gonna go be a consultant and find new clients,” and then what they found is their old employer wants to keep employing them as a consultant and they don’t even have enough time for other work. So it is interesting to say, go first and ask for what it is you think you want, even if the company has never done that before companies are doing a lot of things they’ve never done before. And probably you could set it up in a really nice way.

CAROL:

– Oh, absolutely, I totally agree with that. I think what people are missing just as much as employees themselves are re-imagining and thinking about what they wanna do, the employers are in the same spot. I mean, we’re all in the midst of this uncertainty, so they are re-engaging redefining and re-examining how they wanna to engage and how they wanna work. And they’re very much interested in thinking about new ways and partnering with the people that are there to think about new ways that they can actually attract, retain, and to keep, and to come together to partner, to move into this next iteration of what we’re moving into in terms of the future of work.

LAUREN:

– And with all of these new ideas and finding purposes and seeing what you really wanna do in life. Of course, that makes company CEOs and business owners a little bit nervous about the great resignation. So how would you say that leaders can really keep their teams engaged? And yeah, do you believe that priorities have changed there in terms of leadership and how you lead?

CAROL:

– Oh, absolutely, I do. I think that first of all, priorities have shifted quite dramatically. I think right now, employers are really reconnecting with their purpose and their values. And what they’re looking for is how can they bring their employees along in the same route in terms of connecting to their purpose and values. And I think that is one of the best ways for them to start to retain their employees is to make sure that they’re tapping into what it is that they wanna do, what are the skillsets that they bring to bear and really connecting those and leveraging those to their own purpose and value systems so that the employee, why they’re there can feel as if they’re making a contribution. And then also to recognize that, right? To really engage in some praise and recognition, identify the things that they value and what they bring to the table. Finding ways to recognize that and praise that and let everyone know that they really value their presence, they value their contribution, very much in terms of what they’re bringing into the workplace. And I also think creating a learning environment, creating a space that is allowing them to re-skill, up-skill, retool, so that the employee themselves can re-imagine what it is that maybe they were doing or what they could potentially do as work, as roles shift, as positions change, as new ones come to bear with what we’ve seen in the course of the pandemic. The focus on wellness, the focus on making sure that people are feeling like there’s trust, feeling like there is a higher level of engagement, greater levels of productivity, managing people in a hybrid work situation or remote situation, not overtaxing people with Zoom calls. I think we have to pull the thing back on that one, but there’s so many things that are shifting to really create an environment of trust, a culture of trust, a culture of connectivity, a culture of value, and a culture of purpose and learning in a new and bright and exciting ways. I think as employers create those type of dynamics, it’ll help employers, employees feel as if they can make a better connection, that they can really thrive and in that workplace and find fulfillment and find purpose in the environment that they may already find themselves or connecting to one that really resonates with them at a much higher level. So as the employee looks for fulfillment and purpose, as I said, I think employers are doing the same thing and making some connections between what is our purpose of value and making sure that that’s aligned with the people that are in there so that they can really grow and create something amazing together, moving forward in the future.

LAUREN:

– Well, Carol, I appreciate all of your ideas and insights. Anything else that you feel that you’d like to add around this topic?

CAROL:

– Yeah, I think that, I love this idea about right now, this focus on health and wellness. I’ve seen some employers create chief wellness officers and really lean into the health and wellness of their employees. And I think that is shifting the idea of this constant, constant work. It’s a new way of thinking even for employees, because we’ve been so particularly high-achieving, high-ambitious people. We’re so used to working those 80-hour workweeks. And now it’s an opportunity to kind of roll that back and really think about self-care, think about wellness, to think about how you can raise your productivity, be more successful in the workplace by really taking care of yourself. And I love that employers are thinking about that as well, are thinking about the mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing of their people to really create a new way of working, a new way of managing to no longer manage time, but really manage goals and outcomes, to really focus on contributing at your highest level with your purpose and passion and being rewarded for that type of work and your creativity and what you bring to the table, as opposed to just putting in the time, putting in the work, just keeping your head down. So I really am excited about seeing the shift in culture in organizations. And I think it’s gonna make a huge difference in just the life and fulfillment for employees, but definitely change the game for the amount of people that employers can really touch and tap into with hybridity and with the ability to really value the people that are working for them.

LAUREN:

– Well, thank you, Carol. And it’s been great having you here today and yeah. Thanks again.

CAROL:

– Thank you for having me. This has been great.