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Leadership Lessons from The Great Resignation
The Kevin Eikenberry Group The Kevin Eikenberry Group
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Indianapolis, IN
Monday, January 24, 2022


Lessons from The Great ResignationEvery challenge, every trend, every new situation presents opportunities to learn, if we look for them. The trend toward people rethinking their work and careers, often called The Great Resignation, is one of these times. As a leader, have you thought about what this situation can teach you? Have you learned any lessons from The Great Resignation?

While there are many lessons, and some will be individual to you and your organizational situation, there are several of which all leaders need to be aware. Whether these are brand new lessons or important and timely reminders, let’s look at some of the important ones.

Where Work is Done – The Obvious Lesson

Just a couple years ago, the number one requested perk for many workers was the flexibility to work from home on occasion.  Now, according to a recent study, 55% of workers would rather give up social media for a year than to have to work in the office every day.  The experience of working from home or with more flexibility has changed people’s perspectives on where they work forever.  However, learning this lesson is just table stakes for organizations moving forward.  This lesson is real, but incomplete.

Things That Matter More Than Ever

Here are three other important lessons all leaders and organizations must consider and apply.

  • Organizational culture. How things are done in the organization, and how people experience their work will play a bigger role in attraction and retention of talent. Over the past two years the gaps and differences in culture have widened, making work look increasingly different from one organization to the next. From D, E, & I, to collaboration, to work flexibility and one hundred other things, people will be assessing the organizational culture as a top priority when selecting a job and organization, rather than an item on their “best job” wish list.
  • Leadership skill. The expectation bar for leaders has been forever raised. As complex as leadership has always been, now we must do it with even more nuance (where and when people are working as just two examples), and even higher expectations from those we lead. While people have always looked to the skill of and relationship with their boss as a major source of job satisfaction, people are more willing than ever to “fire their boss” if their leader isn’t effective.
  • Work/life balance. We’ve been talking about work/life balance for decades. While most people haven’t found this balance for themselves, the desire and search for it is more important to people than ever.  Rather than a goal, people now see it as important, and possible.  Beyond that, organizations that help people find that balance through training, culture, leadership, and policies will be employers of choice.

The Biggest Lesson From The Great Resignation

Each of the item above are critically important individually, and I could have listed several others.  But the biggest lesson of The Great Resignation is that how people view work has been forever changed. The social contract between employer and employee is different.

People have a new vision of what work is and can be than ever before. Their expectations are higher and different, and with a ever more flexible workplace, the differences between their options will be larger and more obvious than ever.  Organizations and leaders who lament this change and blame employees as disloyal or ungrateful, and who view this as a short-term economic condition are taking a large long-term risk.

These are just a few of the lessons of the Great Resignation.  Like the lessons from any major change, ignoring them or hoping they are temporary is short-sighted and unwise.  The leaders and organizations that will succeed in the future will be those that think about and apply these lessons the most quickly.

Would you like a free resource to help you move beyond these lessons to set your organization up for even greater success? Would you like to thrive through the challenges of The Great Resignation? Introducing the Secrets for Turning the Great Resignation into the Great Revival webinar. We will move beyond the lessons shared here to organization perspectives and actions that can change your organization – for the better – forever. Your job is already hard. We want to help allay your concerns, give you a fresh perspective and some relevant tools, and help you lead forward with greater skill and confidence.

You have two chances on February 9th to watch me deliver this cutting-edge content live – at 9 am or 3 pm ET. You can get all the details and get registered here.

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Name: Kevin Eikenberry
Title: Chief Potential Officer
Group: The Kevin Eikenberry Group
Direct Phone: 317-387-1424
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