Great Resignation Got You Worried? Start by Sorting the Signal From the Noise
By | Paul Rubenstein | Recovering Consultant, P&L Leader turned Digital CHRO, People Analytics | Talent Strategy | HR Function Design | NYC ex-pat in YVR
The news media and your own HR department are probably telling you things you already know about the “Great Resignation.” Yes, it’s a real thing—even if you haven’t experienced the turnover on your own team. And, sure, HR might come up with some programs, but the real work in retention is up to individual people managers. But first, people managers need to get clear on understanding the signal vs. the noise because there’s a meaningful difference between “what you can do” and “what you should do” when it comes to retention.
Balance all the information
Most people have not been through an economic and social change cycle like this, so make sure you look at the situation with fresh eyes and an objective lens! Getting a clear picture of what can and can’t be controlled when it comes to retention is important. It’s helpful to figure out who is worth spending time on when it comes to your retention efforts.
- Listen to the employees who are not talking. In my experience, the most vocal employees easily dominate your calendar, often repeating back news articles and asking: “What are you going to do to keep me?” Employees who give an obvious signal about leaving are often the ones yet to start a job search. The people who are quietly planning their next move—and don’t benefit from your attention—are the ones that surprise you. Reach out to them before it’s too late.
- Beware the recency effect. Humans have a tendency to remember the most recently presented information best. Don’t let the last reason someone left become the only narrative for what’s going on (one person poached for a 20% raise elsewhere does not make a trend). We have all seen anecdotes become “swirls”—and then self-fulfilling prophecies. Make sure that you, as a manager, create and own a balanced narrative.