Finding purpose and motivation during the Great Resignation
The pandemic has changed the way we work, prompting workers to seek more from the companies they choose to work for. The Great Resignation has seen workers leaving jobs en masse, looking for higher wages, greater purpose, freedom to decide when and how they work, and more. In the US, a record number of 4.53 million workers quit their jobs in November 2021. And the impact is being felt across most industries – including small and medium businesses.
There’s a lot of research coming through already, that’s shedding further light on the matter. A survey from Microsoft reveals 41% of workers across the globe are considering leaving their jobs. According to Harvard Business Review, workers between 30 and 45 years old have had the greatest increase in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021. And Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report found that in the US and Canada, only 34% of workers are engaged with their work.
It’s clear many workers are thinking more deeply than ever about what they want from work. How can companies – especially small and medium-sized businesses without the resources of large enterprises – help their people find purpose and motivation, during times like these?
Understand what really matters
Do you truly know what’s most important to your people and what motivates them day to day? If you don’t, find out. There are many free survey tools online, like surveymonkey.com or Sli.do, while Office 365 comes with Microsoft Forms and GSuite has Google Forms. All can be used to quickly capture responses from people.
And once you hear from your teams about what matters to them, do something about it. If the ability to work from home is important, consider a hybrid-working approach. If a culture of collaboration and relationship matters, create and facilitate moments for connection. If more learning and development opportunities are important, investigate getting your people access to a learning platform like Udemy or Skillshare and giving them the time to use it. Understanding what truly matters to your people is crucial to keeping them engaged and motivated.
Does your purpose inspire?
Given the amount of time we spend working, it’s no surprise that people are after more than just a pay check from their employer. An inspiring purpose can benefit both a company’s bottom line, as well as motivate the people working there. At Xplor, we opted for a simple purpose, that we believed would resonate with all our Xplorers: to help people succeed. What’s your company’s purpose, and does it encourage your teams to get out of bed each day and give their best at work?
Build a great culture
What do you want the culture at your company to be known for? What does working at your company look and feel like? Research by Culture X, published in Bloomberg, of why people are leaving their jobs, showed that toxic culture is leading to more resignations than compensation. With this in mind, the culture at your company is a business imperative. So, where can you start?
Do your values create connection and alignment? Maybe the time is right to refresh yours, with input from your people. Do you communicate in an open and transparent way? Now more than ever, people expect the leaders they work for to be as honest and open as possible. Can you create more moments that matter in your employee lifecycle? From your first interview, to receiving your offer letter, getting your tech, your first week, your first performance review, each of these moments play a role in how people perceive the company they work for. What do these moments in your business say about your company?
As workers think more deeply than ever about what they want from an employer, business leaders need to reflect in a similar way. Helping your people to find purpose and motivation at a time when so many are changing jobs and careers, will be crucial in the future success of your business.