The same Old Story versus the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation and other myths

With all of the talk of The Great Resignation, I thought I might bring some much needed context. If you review the facts of your Employee Turnover from the last year, one fact will become crystal clear. The vast majority of your employee turnover is caused by the same root causes from before the Pandemic. These root causes will not magically go away. You can only eliminate them by management intervention.

Employee turnover is made better by management fundamentals

One of the first obstacles to truly addressing the root causes is to quit spending time on distractions. There will always be distractions and the “trend of the month”. None of these will fix your specific root causes. Right now the biggest distraction is the Great Resignation. The biggest distraction over the last couple of decades is culture. There is no lack of people who will tell you that you have to build a whiz-bang culture. They will tell you your culture will fix your employee turnover. My question is simple: Has it worked yet? The answer is obviously no.

Years ago, there was an organization who believed they had an awesome culture. This was true to an extent. The white collar departments did have a fun, energetic and awesome culture. Everybody in those departments loved it! The blue collar departments, not so much. Candidates would hear about our culture and apply with us with that in mind. Depending on which department the candidate was hired for, they were either happy or very disappointed. Disappointment always leads to turnover.

Awesome cultures are never consistent throughout the organization

The disappointed employees would quit and then make their opinions very well known in town. The actual message which got out was our culture was not as billed. The new candidates would hear their message as being throughout the organization, not just certain departments. Soon the “awesome culture” discussion was a negative for us.

On the other hand, I was involved in an organization which did not have an awesome culture. To a great extent, the opposite was true. But, we focused on the root causes of our employee turnover and made some major changes. Those changes were received by the employees in an overwhelmingly positive way. Our own employees became out best recruiters. Employee turnover, open positions and skills gap all went down. We never had a lack of resumes.

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