As firms crave inclusivity, employees are thriving on the new essence of an ’employee-centric’ environment. Now, more than ever, businesses must live out their core values, or employees will serve them with their Great Resignation.
The pandemic changed our social construct in many ways, but human beings are more empowered than ever at its core. With a greater sense of empowerment, employees seek a work environment pillared by engagement, revitalization, and loyalty. As many as 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021, activating an unknown sense of scarcity. Employees are fleeing from one work environment to another as they can now monopolize the market in their favor. So how can business leaders deadbolt their inclusivity efforts to survive The Great Resignation?
The Great Resignation brings to the forefront the reversed reality of the relationship between employee and employer. Employers have always held the upper hand and expected employees to remain loyal. Now, individuals demand loyalty within an environment built on core values that are alive in the workplace. As employers glamourize their employee treatment, prospective employees take advantage of what seems to be a genuine commitment to desirable workplace values. Employee resignations are peaking, and employers are now on the defense and are scrambling to strengthen their retention plan while recreating a succession plan. Whether you are gaining or losing an employee, the impact of The Great Resignation is coming for you.
Organizations must inflate their inclusion efforts to create a guardrail around their employee retention and attraction profile. Firms continue to make the mistake of focusing on more vigorous recruiting efforts. At the same time, they lack the culture necessary to enhance an employee’s experience, so they are bound to have high turnover and an unattractive attrition rate. The Great Resignation cites that a driving factor in this time of mass resignation is the yearning to pursue a role that contributes to one’s overall happiness and purpose in life.
As establishments create their guardrails and defense mechanisms to retain the top talent their competitors seek, businesses must show allegiance and empathy while hosting an inclusive environment. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health issues and their treatment were both on the rise. As people began to therapize themselves, they realized the greater importance of a healthy workplace environment and made decisions to address any voids. For many, it became the recognition and reaffirmation of their values that drove them to seek out a company with linear principles.
Here are three practical ways for business leaders to guardrail their inclusion efforts while maintaining retention and driving growth:
1. Activate Your Core Values
Core values must be bold and carried out with humility. Activated core values in an inclusive workplace are non-negotiable if you expect to survive this wave of resignations and reshuffling. Now is the time for businesses to pivot their efforts to reflect the reality of their values. If firms are bold enough to prioritize diversity and inclusion as a core value, people do not want to hear about the diversity of thought; they expect to see diversity at the top.
2. Be a Visible Ally
Allyship is not a one-way street, and it is not an opportunity to play the white savior. Allyship is not just amplification of a marginalized group. An ally is not just a silent sponsor. An ally is willing to promote against all odds. The best allies fully invest in their protected party of people. They are not seeking a mutually beneficial experience, yet they are willing to lose if their protected party gains. Allies protect equity at all costs.
3. Transparently Address Your Unwritten Rules
Reactive leaders disguise the unwritten rules instead of confronting them when they are brought to the surface. Business leaders must take on the reality of the impact of the unwritten rules in their practices. Unwritten rules bleed through processes of recruitment, performance reviews, work allocation, and reward. These unwritten rules need to be eradicated and called out as wrong to rebuild a trustworthy and loyal business environment.
Current and prospective employees remain on high alert to find the most desirable and inclusive work environments. If firms want to remain competitively desirable in the marketplace of people, and protective of top talent, there is no time for reflection – now is the time for action. It is time for inclusive leaders to open their closed doors and make justifiable decisions. Inclusion is not just a state of mind or position on workplace etiquette. Inclusivity encourages equitable success levers that foster a sense of belonging while embracing diversity.