Maintaining motivation and the great resignation

I would never have guessed that as a result of the Pandemic and the subsequent economic hit that the following thesis is coming into mainstream thought.

‘Workers are dissatisfied with what they are offered, there is a lot of talk about the ‘Great Resignation.’  

How about this quote? 

‘The pandemic changed the way people view work. Many are rethinking what work means to them and how they spend their time. If you only live once, the thinking goes, why spend it in a job with little mission and impact, lousy pay and benefits? 

Workers want quality jobs. Because they appear to hold the upper hand in this recovery, they can make informed choices about jobs, including wages, hours and benefits.’ 

Sybil Francis, President & CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona. Quoted in azcentral. 

It would appear that health and social would be particularly vulnerable to this apparent phenomenon due to the huge mental and physical effort still being given. You would expect burnout. There is still a lot of debate of how serious a problem the Great Resignation is for employers across the developed world. For employees, the risks for many seem to be outweighed by the positive benefits of moving on.

Our society has relied upon the goodwill of people employed in health and social care long before 2020 began.

It is time to put our supposed values where our mouths are. If there is one lesson to take away from what has happened, it is the commitment of staff to their work. If we are going to keep and attract the best, it’s payback time.

Money helps of course, but if you ask staff what really matters is to have a sense of purpose, a future to look forward, to be valued, to be treated fairly. Is this what Sybil Francis means by ‘Workers want quality jobs’.

Motivation comes from within the person and leaders can only create an environment to enable employees to find meaning in their work. ‘Although the meaning is different for each employee the key factors for creating a meaning in work is a shared vision, stimulating work that allows for responsibilities and working within a team’ Coens & Jenkins (2002).

Where to begin as a leader? A simple, no cost strategy is something I saw on a TED talk with Michael C. Bush about what employees want. He said ‘Being humble and always hunting and searching for the best idea possible — that’s what listening is. And employees can feel whether you’re doing that or not. They want to know, when they talk to you and share an idea, did you consider it when you made a decision? The one thing that everybody appreciates and wants when they’re speaking is to know that what they say matters so much you might actually change your mind. Otherwise, what’s the point of the conversation?’

What I take from this is, what have I got to lose? A quality job means having a meaningful stake in decision making.

Consultant Learning & Development Manager

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