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Has The Workforce Really Changed?

There’s a lot of discussion going on trying to explain what seems like a “lowered threshold” for employees to “quit” their jobs than there used to be. What do you think?

People quit for a lot of reasons. They always have. For example, (and in no rank order): no perceived growth prospects, don’t like what they are doing, not respected by boss and/or coworkers, pay too low, childcare issues, pressures outside of work, their boss, and oh yes, Covid policy defiance…. You get the idea.

So, are the reasons people don’t stay all that different from “then/once upon a time in the past”? At the individual Supervisor level, you might not be able to make changes to the “pay structure or benefit plan”. But, there are things you can do on your own. It’s the behaviors you adopt and implement as you interact with the people you supervise. It’s the model you set every day and communicate in the form of “expectations” by you, of each of them as co-workers.

What does that look like? It means positively reinforcing good performance. It means “respecting” each person for their contribution to the departmental performance. It means extending “value” to each of your employees in ways they will recognize. It means “setting people up to succeed”. It means you expect people to perform to both their capability and their capacity. And, you create a workplace culture that includes expecting your staff to treat each other with respect. In other words, you create a culture of recognition and mutual respect up-down and sideways that invites people to become “a part of something”, your department.

Why, because you recognize that you spend more time with people at work than you do with family and friends….so do the people you supervise. Think about it. Abraham Maslow (look him up) talks about a “workforce with a brain”. He pointed out that “Belonging” and “Esteem” are two of the most powerful motivators for humans. Dare to be amazed. Just do it.

And a couple of parting thoughts, getting your message across. “NON-Smoking Area: If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.”

And, when it comes to your behavior, “Behave in such a way that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”

IKR. You know you’re going to retell these.



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