Navigating the Great Resignation: Embracing Change through Effective Employee Training

by Amrit & Loralyn

HR is drama. Full stop. So, we’re indulging the drama with an innovative way to train people on how to change their corporate culture. We call it HR Theatre™ and there’s certainly a need for it out there. Why? The Great Resignation could really be renamed, “The Great Rethink.” People finally had time to think about what matters. And those left behind in the workplace (now that about one-third quit), are rethinking why they’re still holding on to their jobs. Crappy culture and compensation aren’t exactly motivating. Neither is being stuck with all the work that still has to be done even though there’s nobody left to do it.

Here’s a sobering thought. If you think the massive tsunami of “The Great Resignation” has abated with Covid restrictions being relaxed all over the world, you’d stand corrected. Here is a bit of news for you: in March 2022, 4.4 million people resigned in the USA, and that same number resigned in April 2022. At this pace, there will be nobody working by this time next year! The general consensus is that resignations were triggered by the pandemic because people were at home long enough to think about what they wanted. And the Great Rethink period doesn’t appear to be over.

Motivations Behind Resignations: Seeking Better Career Opportunities and Crappy Culture

Many understandably left because they were wary of getting infected. They also left for better career opportunities. Why not? If they were going to be working from home anyway, they might as well work for another organization at higher pay, with less stress, and maybe even with a better boss and leadership. Many quit because they were motivated by watching their colleagues quit. It’s no secret that there’s a dire labor shortage across every industry and that companies are paying extra to fill vacancies.

Overnight, geographic limitations were no longer a hindrance. Work-from-home was no longer limited to a privileged few – it became de facto for many. Analysts believe that about 37% of all jobs can be permanently WFH. Businesses and organizations, which in the beginning encouraged their employees to work from home as an emergency measure for business continuity, were unaware that they had unleashed a whole new phenomenon. And once the rabbit was out of the hat – there was no way it was going back in.

Not everyone is quitting because of greener pastures or better career opportunities. People are confused. They feel overwhelmed. They are stretched. Many are ready to give up. People who have left their jobs and have stayed home for months have had a chance to think about their priorities and how they’re spending their lives, and this has led to “The Great Rethink.” Once they’ve exited the rat race, they find themselves with time to think about what they want long-term. And studies show that’s not returning to the office despite mandates to do so. Of course, being forced to do so is having a negative effect which is further propelling the Great Resignation.

Their values and the values of their organizations don’t seem to be in sync. Prolonged isolation and introspection have led to the “Great Rethink.” Being employed at a prestigious or profitable business no longer seems as special or lucrative as it did just a few years ago. Questions like, “Do I really like my organizational culture?” or “Am I being treated the way I should be and compensated accordingly?” are being repeatedly asked by all those who have jumped onto the Great Resignation train.

Seeking Meaning and Purpose: Connecting Life and Work

They seek meaning and purpose in their lives and many are realizing that life is not separate from work. According to a McKinsey survey, despite reasonable compensation, around 89% of respondents desired a greater sense of purpose at work. Despite most of companies publishing lofty slogans, taglines, and vision and mission statements, employees believe that few purpose-driven companies actually deliver on their values. People are re-evaluating their own roles in what their employers do to keep companies’ bottom lines buzzing.

The point is that millions of workers are just not ready to keep doing the same jobs. Retaining existing employees is a constant challenge. Hiring new, capable employees has become a nightmare. Prospective employees are more demanding and less accommodating. They know that there is an overabundance of available jobs, and they can exercise choices that were not available to them 2-3 years ago. More than 12 million jobs are currently available (source). It’s still an employee’s market and likely will be for some time. That said, as a bear market and recession looms, the pendulum could shift rapidly the other way.

Then there are also the unhappy, unmotivated “Remainers” who seem to have lost all interest in their jobs but somehow can’t bring themselves to quit. To sound dramatic, they are also called the “Working Dead.” Whether people are quitting, about to quit, or simply hanging on because they are used to the status quo, there is a collective mind shift that just isn’t allowing people to give their best at their jobs. This is permeating the corporate culture. And, in some cases, poisoning it. You know, the whole “one bad apple …” thing.

The Catch-22 of Hiring: Ghosting Candidates and Lack of Employee Training

Those left behind don’t have time to keep interviewing potential replacements who are ghosting employers around 40% of the time. If the new hire does show up, they don’t stick around long because nobody has time to train them. People are complaining that HR people are focused on finding better jobs for themselves and not bringing in new hires that are desperately needed. It’s a catch 22, for sure.

If the people that are tasked with hiring new people to replace those that left in the Great Resignation, but they’re not doing it because they’re looking for new jobs for themselves or they’re bringing in talent that’s going to quit anyway because nobody has time for employee training, then what’s the point? It’s circling the wagon. Something needs to break the stalemate! That’s where the juicy drama of HR Theatre comes into play!

What do you do when your laptop or your mobile phone becomes sluggish or hangs? You reboot, of course. And that’s precisely what companies need to do with their corporate cultures: reboot them.

Since executives and HR departments are challenged to figure out how to bring employees back to the workplace, how to motivate them, or how to inspire them to perform at their best, they need to look externally for fresh ideas. The Great Resignation is the Great Rethink, ergo, it’s time for the Great Reboot. From the outside, the logic seems clear.

Employees no longer want to work within the proverbial hamster wheel. They want to acquire new life skills and then implement those skills at their workplace in jobs that are progressively more challenging – and better paying. Stagnation is no longer acceptable en masse. People are interested in social and emotional learning for their professional development, to discover new ways to build healthy relationships with tips that work in a professional as well as a personal context.

Adjusting to the Future of Work: Adapting Culture to Employees’ Needs

The future of work is no longer simply changing – it HAS CHANGED. Organizations need to adjust accordingly. It’s time to rethink and reboot..

There used to be a time when employees were expected to adapt to the culture of the organization. But it’s now the other way around: companies need to adapt their culture to the new attitudes and needs of their employees. That is, assuming they want to retain the employees they have and to be able to recruit new ones. Talent mobility (and agility) boosts recruitment, retention, and productivity.

How do you align your organizational values with those of your employees? How do you get your employees to trust you again? How to communicate to them so that they understand your core message and feel inspired by it?

If you’re struggling to answer these questions – we can help! Let’s take the drama out of HR and empower you and your organization with the tools that you need to conquer “crappy corporate culture” syndrome.




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