The Great un-Resignation: A New Era for Agents of Change
By: Mariam Haddad, Dominique Reissmeier and Carmen Herrada
“Resignation arrives as a state of being long before it becomes an “I quit” notification.”
In 2019, Texas A&M University Professor, Anthony Klotz, coined the term “The Great Resignation.” Klotz predicted that workers would start to resign en-masse following the pandemic as burnout and working remotely triggered a shift in people’s identities. His words proved to be prophetic. Since April, more than 20 million people have quit their jobs.¹
A Microsoft survey of over 30,000 workers across 31 countries puts those considering leaving their current jobs at a staggering 41%.³
The reasons cited for seeking a change included burnout, fear for personal safety, dissatisfaction, and a shift in priorities.
However, 59% of workers aren’t thinking about quitting. There are people who WANT to stay in the companies they are in and who like their jobs.⁴
Today, ESG and Sustainability are at the top of the board agenda. Carmen Herrada, ESG Practice Leader at Stanton Chase, strongly feels that with all great challenges comes the opposite and equal measure of opportunity.
Company cultures need transformation to empower the trend of inspiring the legacy employees of yesterday into becoming the change agents of today.
A NEW MINDSET IS DRIVING MASSIVE CHANGE
We have remembered that time is precious. People have found better work-life balance working from home with increased flexibility. As a result, they have adapted and want healthier lifestyles that allow the quality of life, not just quantity of dollars.
Savvy employers can utilize The Great Resignation to redefine their role as they listen and understand the needs of employees in today’s newly emerging world.
We are all in the process of reevaluating work priorities, what we want to do, where and how we want to work. We are living more mindfully while still considering where we want to actually be. We have remembered that time is precious.
People have found better work-life balance working from home with increased flexibility. As a result, they have adapted and want healthier lifestyles that allow the quality of life, not just quantity of dollars.⁵
LISTENING TO UNDERSTAND ALLOWS POSSIBILITY TO EXIST
A recent McKinsey survey stated that 40% of employees are at least somewhat likely to quit in the next three to six months because people are not just working for a paycheck anymore. Employers can spark the Great UN-Resignation by paying greater attention to their employee’s needs.
Therefore, it is vital to understand the issues impacting the employee experience in your company.
People are interested in utilizing their potential in meaningful ways by plugging in their reason for being into the work they do.
This is a critical element in actualizing an individual’s life purpose, which is foundational for those who desire to become agents of change.
When people exist within a state of resignation, their natural curiosity is dampened and diminished. The uniqueness of their human spirit cannot express itself, their work quality suffers, creativity and innovation are compromised and their quality of life suffers across the board.
The greater challenge is to generate a positive mindset and utilize the current environments we work and live in to be the cocoon by which we transform and grow. We may think that changing our job will make us happier people. That may be true short-term.
However, we may likely re-create the same circumstances because our internal belief system (conscious and subconscious) can be at the heart of what we think and the actions we take.
When we take time to transform ourselves from the inside out, we shift from resignation to becoming an inspired agent of change.
“Being an inspired agent of change comes with acceptance and ownership that we ourselves are the catalysts by which new realities find their way into being.” Mariam Haddad
Employees: realize your current employer may be thrilled to listen to what you have to say. Come to the table with ideas about what you would like to do in and for the company within today’s context. This helps you meet your employer halfway. Re-imagine your possibilities, creating inspired belief and excitement to open the door to new opportunities.
POSITIVE CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME
In the Great UN-Resignation, this holds true for every human being in the organization; from the board to the executive suite and every employee.
While you may have even done things a certain way for what feels like forever, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to change. Marvelous things happen when
we embrace the idea that change is good. Keep focused on making it to the other side with greater possibility ahead.
Can you change how you are perceived?
People may have a set perception of who you are and what you can achieve. To achieve being viewed in a different light, we must understand how to change from the inside out. We can only re-write the belief others already have about us, by being the change we wish them to see in us. Be courageous. Stay moving forward even if others attempt to limit you based on their internal, old perceptions. Action is the greatest recipe for writing new stories out of life!
HOW CAN I BECOME AN AGENT OF CHANGE?
Within the digital change transformation business, Dominique Reissmeier is a proven leader and expert at meeting his employees where they are, bringing them forward, and creating sustainably high-performing teams. He has had to tackle learning how to mentor, coach, and lead teams from legacy processes into new ways of working.
Step 1: Ask yourself the important questions. Answer them.
A great way for people to begin is to take ownership of their own destiny. Here are 2 questions to begin the process of creating a new and empowered mindset.
Step 2: Create a new listening.
Create an invitation into a new view of you by the merit of who you are being. Your inspired interactions, your voice, and authenticity sparked by ownership of your purpose will bring new life to your potential. This is a crucial activator in helping others view you in a new light.
Step 3: Disappear what used to stop you.
What do you do when your precious recommendations fell on deaf ears? What about the subtle, subconscious messages that made you NOT push for change, as phrases like, “Good luck with that…” were the typical response to your exciting plans for hoped-for improvements?
Our natural reaction is to question why all the changes are even necessary. We may be thinking, “This is NOT going to work!” That thought will become the greatest roadblock to our own progress.
Step 4: Change is an Inside Job First we can never change others, but we can change ourselves.
A. How do I, myself, even see that I need to change?
B. How do I know that I need to become better at what I do?
C. All this change that I hear about, where does that leave me?
D. Will I have a job in 5 months?
E. Will the company be able to survive?
F. Do I want to stay and help transform the company?
G. How can I become an agent of change?
Depending on your role, you might not be able to change the process or procedures yourself. However, you can take note and provide that information to your manager or other people. It is incredibly valuable, and you will be seen as someone who has opened their eyes and embraces change.
Becoming aware of our behaviors, what drives our reactions as well as understanding how others perceive us is a critical part of developing a solid Emotional and Social Intelligence skill set. This is a critical aspect of what is needed to transform or reinforce, our behaviors.
Step 5: Invest in Upskilling & Re-Skilling to Grow Your Personal Brand Equity.
WISDOM TO HELP YOU RISE
1. Reflect, reflect, and reflect.
If something did not go well, reflect, and see what you could have done better. Why did that customer give negative feedback? Why did something take as long as it did?
2. Listen to your top-level management what they say about goals, objectives, problem areas.
You may not receive explicit instruction. Reflect on what YOU can do to help.
1. Look for clues in your day-to-day work; what could you do to help with these goals?
2. Could you make it easier for others to get their work done?
3. Could you think more about how things are connected? Ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand what is asked of you. Remember, relationships are a two-way street. Leaders who communicate as servant leaders always care about the needs of others to find winning outcomes for all parties.
3. When you need to make decisions, ask yourself, does this help the company and us customers, or does this help my own goal?
4. Ask for feedback and, more importantly, advice from as many co-workers as possible.
Other people’s understanding of what is needed to change is crucial to forming our own opinion and changing our state of mind. Find inspiration in talking to others. Find ideas of what in your area of responsibility should change to help with the goals of the transformation.
5. Find a mentor and meet regularly.
Some companies have mentorship programs; try to join them; if you do not have one, reach out to leaders you admire and ask for informal mentorship. They are happy to do it as it also helps them.
6. Be Open and invite change!
Leaders love people that are open to change and embrace it. Show it and talk about it. Only then will people around you see that you are part of the future and not the past.
THE GREAT UN-RESIGNATION: A NEW ERA FOR AGENTS OF CHANGE
By re-defining their role, organizations will better succeed in:
1. Keeping employees
2. Repositioning talent
3. Exciting and engaging people to WANT to stay and grow.
4. Inspiring your people to begin the process of change by coming to the table with ideas and solutions.
5. Listen to what they are saying.
6. Let them know you have heard them by working with them to make positive changes — together.
The employee willing to become the agent of change can spark their greatest rising.
Identifying what you have to offer your organization in this new era and doing the work to bring that opportunity into being is the stuff die-hard agents of change are made of.
While the pandemic has been a wake-up call for businesses and stakeholders, there is still a massive gap between what executives think they’re doing, what employees receive, and what the market demands.
The Great Resignation can only become the Great UN-Resignation when we all become the agents of change who turn re-imagination into a sustainable reality.
An entrepreneurial executive and creative, Mariam Haddad equips leaders to achieve meaningful and greater success in business and in life. She empowers leaders to grow multi-dimensional value by becoming 21st-century leaders who inspire, engage, ignite, excite others through the art of effective communication. Ecosystems grow resonantly through empowered leaders who thrive through creating and delivering quality conversations and interactions that speak life, on purpose, in purpose.
Her company, The Performance Communication Company, is sought after by leaders of organizations and their management teams around the world to unleash the fullest potential of organizations, people, and products through leadership transformation and the art of effective communication. Featured speaker for Electrify Houston, TEDx Houston, Boeing, NASA, Shell, BP, Chevron, Sinopec, Technip FMC, Dr. Pepper, DFK International, BGP, Sinopec, Murphy Oil, The Diversity Summit, SASE, The Business Maker’s Show, The Asian Chamber of Commerce, Asia Voice Radio, The University of Houston Wolff Center, etc.
Join Me on LinkedIn: Mariam Haddad
Dominique Reissmeier is a disruptive Digital Transformation leader who helps organizations modernize Customer and Employee Experiences, Engineering Operating Model and processes. A veteran expert in digital transformation, he has led tens of programs, developing and building talent and skills across project management, engineering, and digital product management, creating behavioral level change in people that helps them transition their organizations into agile and continuous improvement practices.
Please join me on LinkedIn: Dominique Reissmeier
As an ESG practice leader, Carmen partners with organizations to align their people strategy with their business strategies, define the competencies that will support their strategy, and build a purpose-driven culture. She has held different executive roles in leading manufacturers, working to build companies and teams from scratch in multiple locations, Spain, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and Houston.
She has blended her executive background, trusted adviser experience with her passion for diversity and inclusion background to found and co-lead the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council within the Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston, where she serves as the incoming Board President. Through the DEI Council, she supports corporations to improve their ESG ratings and D&I index.
Join Me on LinkedIn: Carmen Herrada