The Multiple Benefits of the ‘Great Resignation’ Phenomenon for Various Business Entities (Paving the Road for Organizational Redemption)
The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated several simmering issues to a boil for corporate businesses that were rarely noticed and/or prioritized during the pre-pandemic times. One of the most glaring has been the phenomenon of the ‘Great Resignation’ Vast amounts of management/workplace/leadership literature is being devoted to understanding and explaining the respective trend while majority of the blame is being attributed to the various business entities. This is triggering a defensive response from the aggrieved employers who are feverishly trying to find ‘valid excuses’ for absolving themselves of such insinuations. Such a ‘battle’ for winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of the key stakeholders often clouds the multiple benefits for the various business entities pertaining to the ‘Great Resignation’ phenomenon. Some of those are as follows:
A priceless opportunity for an honest self-reflection and an unbiased review
The ‘business as usual’ approach has been severely jolted by the uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic for many organizations as they scramble to stay afloat while contemplating the reasons for their predicament. The ‘Great Resignation’ provides an excellent opportunity for humbly engaging in an honest self-reflection and an unbiased review of the viability of prevalent policies/practices/procedures that have played a significant part in perpetuating such a trend among the wary workforce. Such an initiative can be an ‘eye-opener’ for the top/senior management to revamp/refine/remodel the leadership/management approaches to become a more empathetic and resilient organization that is driven by a ‘truly engaged’ workforce imbued with the Organizational Citizenship Behavior.
Strong ‘wake-up’ call for unclogging the talent pipelines to facilitate upward mobility
A frequently cited reason for employee attrition is that they don’t have ‘room to grow’ within the organization. This generally occurs due to lack of progressive development opportunities and a ‘traffic jam’ at higher levels as savvy supervisors/managers/leaders resolutely hold on to their positions for too long due to their expertise in organizational politics and block/delay the career advancement opportunities for suitably skilled employees. The ‘Great Resignation’ provides a strong ‘wake-up’ call for a detailed examination of talent management policies/practices/procedures, especially, in terms of career progression/development and succession management to ensure the institutionalization of approaches that cultivate a fertile and promising path for the ‘desired talent’ to stay at the organization.
Discovering hidden/marginalized talent and developing a more inclusive organization
The ‘good times’ are often dominated by employees who are shrewdly able to navigate the unique dynamics of their organizations to get themselves noticed by the top/senior management for preferential treatment in terms of getting promising opportunities for climbing the corporate ladder. However, these ‘High Flyers’ are often the least committed in terms of staying with the organization during the ‘bad times’ and serve as easy pickings for ravenous competitors (https://lnkd.in/dJhWDyqs). Meanwhile, the ‘mistreated’ talent, e.g., females, minorities, etc., often stays hidden/marginalized while being manipulated by their peers/superiors for their own gains. The ‘Great Resignation’ reinforces the need for ‘all hands on deck’ and provides the necessary limelight in which the ‘victimized’ talent, can come out of the shadows to prove their ‘true’ worth and gain ‘rightful’ ascendency within the corporate ranks.
Facilitating proactive mindset for tackling future challenges
Leaders at organizations with dominant market positions are frequently lulled into complacency by the glory of past accomplishments. This is generally exacerbated by poor decision-making that often leads to disastrous consequences, e.g., the delisting of General Electric (GE) from the Dow Jones Industrial Average (https://lnkd.in/dN6RZ8G3), the bankruptcy of Sears (https://lnkd.in/d5Rq6zaY), the downfall of Toys R Us (https://lnkd.in/dSXMupnY), the capitulation of Nokia (https://lnkd.in/dQ5wD6HZ), etc. The ‘Great Resignation’ breaks the ‘bubble’ to provide a ‘reality check’ for the ‘conventionally impervious’ top/senior management who are frequently bombarded with flashy dashboard-driven presentations done by sycophants to cloak the ‘real’ issues ailing the organization’s corporate health. Consequently, a proactive mindset to tackle future challenges can be cultivated on the basis of ‘true’ facts with revised prioritization of strategic imperatives.
Elevating the need for optimization of the workforce
Most organizations struggle to timely realize and effectively optimize the deployment of their workforces, especially, due to inherent structural inefficiencies, organizational politics and the geographically spread/complexities of operational activities. This often leads to glaring imbalances in workloads as excessive work ends up being done by the ‘underprivileged’ or ‘voiceless’ employees while the ‘sycophants’ enjoy the perks of favoritism/nepotism (https://lnkd.in/dXiV9D_k). Consequently, an undercurrent of resentment splashes across such a ‘corporate divide’ that is ripe for overt manifestation during challenging times for the organization. The ‘Great Resignation’ jolts the top/senior management into addressing such debilitating issues by conducting effective reviews of assigned roles and optimizing workloads that cater to the ‘fairness’ element in the context of organizational justice (https://lnkd.in/g3xUusGn).
Enabling the effective deployment of technology
Organizations are increasingly favoring technology that can increase their competitiveness, facilitate sustainable growth, and provide a viable option for overcoming the complexities of maintaining a ‘human’ workforce (https://lnkd.in/gC_FmTHq). Consequently, AI-enabled solutions have been steadily gaining ground in the workplace while raising the anxiety/apprehension levels of the ‘human’ workforce. However, such a penchant for embracing technology can seriously backfire if care is not taken to conduct effective ‘due diligence’ (https://lnkd.in/fpWWMj9) to minimize/eliminate the chance of a misstep in its acquisition and deployment. The ‘Great Resignation’ provides the necessary incentive for engaging in such a scrutiny while assuring and ensuring a responsible approach to digital transformation that creates an optimum balance between the coexistence of humans with the complementing technological solutions.
Reforming the organizational culture
The key binding element for a workforce within any organization is its culture founded on core values. This is generally inculcated in new employees during orientation sessions while current employees, especially, in senior roles, are presented as the ‘role models’ for expected behavior through stories embedded in corporate folklore. However, the reality often differs from the ‘script’ and disillusionment runs rampant in the corporate grapevine, even in ‘seemingly’ progressive organizations, as psychological contracts are frequently torn up by the leadership in favor of exigency concerns for power/relevance within the influential quarters. This is often manifested in various detrimental ways, e.g., the frayed bonds between supervisors and their team members, glaring disparities in compensation packages within the organizational hierarchy, ruthless organizational politics, reluctance to conduct ‘exit’ interviews, indifference to the delicate handling of the ‘Employer Brand’, reneging on obligations agreed with unions, reluctance to engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiatives, challenging accountability with pertinent regulatory bodies, mismanaging workplace facilities, lacking equity/judiciousness in relations with the key stakeholders, etc. The ‘Great Resignation’ addresses such lapses by necessitating an ‘honest audit’ of current practices for reforming the prevalent organizational culture, especially, in terms of improving the quality/capability of managers and leaders (https://lnkd.in/gqncEtty) in order to realize the overall integrative goal of ‘inclusive’ progression.
The road to redemption is full of daunting challenges and demands soul-searching at the very top of the organizational hierarchy. It requires personal integrity that can sustain the inner berating of conscience and the visible boldness that can embrace constructive criticism positively to elevate the quality of leadership decision-making conscientiously (https://lnkd.in/dvPhfum9). The ‘real’ struggle for organizations to survive the ‘Great Resignation’ phenomenon without egregiously damaging the ‘Employer Brand’ resides with their leadership’s ability to ‘rise’ with the challenge and not find ‘scapegoats’ to obfuscate their shortcomings in an era of ‘Employee Activism’. Organizations that have the humility and astuteness to learn well from their missteps are the ones with the foresight for maximizing the probability of success. Are you one of them?