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Resignation, Reset and Renewal: Charting a New Path Forward At Work – Part II

This edition is the second of two looking at the implications of what is being referred to in varying degrees as “The Great Resignation” and “The Great Reset.” As with the first edition, I have culled a wide variety of reading and listening re: the state of work, employment trends, emerging ideas and practices, etc. There are many perspectives to consider and lenses by which these significant trends can and should be viewed. As they show no imminent signs of abating, understanding our current state context should help us strategically think about and position for work and culture changes in 2022.

Highlights include:

  • Recent studies stressing the importance of culture over compensation as well as highlighting the significant disconnect re: employees’ perceptions of the state of culture and work relative to their HR and senior leadership colleagues in their organizations;

  • A treasure trove of insights and analysis from Josh Bersin and others re: architecting and implementing optimal hybrid environments and effectively leading teams in these environments; and

  • Perspectives on accelerating through career stasis, transforming your career and successfully transitioning into new roles.

As always, happy reading and listening!

Articles

The Atlantic: The Great Resignation Is Accelerating. “A lasting effect of this pandemic will be a revolution in worker expectations.”

humu: The Top 5 Reasons People Quit Their Jobs: It’s Not Just About the Money. “Today’s job market is tumultuous. In August alone, 4.3 million Americans, or 2.9% of the entire workforce, quit their jobs. To better understand what’s driving the Great Resignation, we asked more than 90,000 employees across large, global organizations why they are or are not looking for new roles. Our biggest finding? For most would-be quitters, we found that culture matters more than compensation.”

Forbes.com: Survey: Nearly 100% Of Human Resources And 72% Of Execs Said Corporate Culture Was Great During The Pandemic—Workers Disagreed. “Most of the workers who responded were not so thrilled with the way things are going. Over 25% did not believe that managers encourage transparency. About 34% of Americans claimed that their managers don’t know how to lead a team and over 25% said that their company doesn’t provide leadership training, which would ameliorate the situation.”

Fast Company: No One Is Talking About What It’s Really Going To Take To Get a Happier (More Equitable) Workforce. “The CEO of Syndio explains the ways we can set our companies up for higher engagement, lower voluntary attrition, and a happier workforce.”

Harvard Business Review: Feeling Stuck or Stymied? “But to achieve the outcomes—and build the career—you want, you have to be willing to work the process. With strategic patience and small, methodical steps—taken today, tomorrow, and the day after—almost any goal is attainable.”

Vox: Why Everybody’s Hiring But Nobody’s Getting Hired. “America’s broken hiring system, explained.”

The New York Times: The Future of Work Should Mean Working Less.Dignity, compassion, leisure: These are pillars of a more humane ethos, one that acknowledges that work is essential to a functioning society but often hinders individual workers’ flourishing…In practice, this new vision should inspire us to implement universal basic income and a higher minimum wage, shorter shifts for many workers and a shorter workweek for all at full pay. Together, these pillars and policies would keep work in its place, as merely a support for people to spend their time nurturing their greatest talents — or simply being at ease with those they love.”

Josh Bersin: The Big Reset Playbook – Hybrid Work. “For the first time in a decade, companies have an opportunity to ‘redesign’ work for an Internet-enabled, video-empowered, global hybrid work experience.”

Josh Bersin: The Big Reset Playbook – Deskless Workers. “A dedicated focus on the specific needs and requirements of the deskless workforce is indispensable in winning the war for the talented deskless workforce. In designing the approach to your deskless work strategy, you should consider three significant factors.”

Inc.com: We Need to Build Trust in the Remote Workplace. “In the remote-first organizations that have evolved during the pandemic, we are still falling short on intentionally designing our digital workplaces.”

Harvard Business Review: 5 New Rules for Leading a Hybrid Team. “Leaders today are operating against a backdrop of unprecedented uncertainty and amid nearly two years of teams being cooped up at home. Those conditions are not likely to change in the next 12 to 18 months — instead, leaders need to change. By following the five guidelines…they can support their workforces and create world-class cultures, no matter where their people work.”

Harvard Business Review: Managing Introverts and Extroverts in the Hybrid Workplace. “In order to effectively lead both introverts and extroverts through the transition to hybrid, I recommend three best practices based on over a decade of research and consulting with high-performing, distributed teams.”

Harvard Business Review: 7 Questions to Ask Your New Boss. “…You will accelerate your career success if you can manage your boss better. This requires you to understand them better, and a deliberate strategy that starts with smart questions can help.”

Harvard Business Review: How to Succeed Quickly in a New Role. “Networking for transition doesn’t have to be a do-it-yourself exercise. Employers can lead the way in showing people how to quickly build the connections that will help them thrive.”

Forbes.com: Firms Are Shaking Up Benefits To Keep Workers From Quitting. The Retirement Plan Could Be Next. “As resignations soar and the war for talent heats up amid a tight labor market, companies are turning to any tool at their disposal—even the normally staid retirement plan—to attract and retain workers.”

Books

Choosing Leadership: A Workbook, by Linda Grinzel. “Choosing Leadership is a new take on executive development that gives everyone the tools to develop their leadership skills. In this workbook, Dr. Linda Ginzel, a clinical professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a social psychologist, debunks common myths about leaders and encourages you to follow a personalized path to decide when to manage and when to lead. Thoughtful exercises and activities help you mine your own experiences, learn to recognize behavior patterns, and make better choices so that you can create better futures.” [I recently completed Dr. Ginzel’s 5 week online course and it was an excellent and extremely reasonable investment. From her immensely pragmatic workbook to her considered and well-researched insights, I learned much that is informing my perspective on leadership and how we can and should approach it more thoughtfully.]

Podcasts

Harvard Business Review: Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson on Company Culture in a Distributed Office. “For episode 3 of the HBR video series “The New World of Work”, editor in chief Adi Ignatius sits down with the CEO of Sanofi, Paul Hudson, to discuss wellbeing in the workplace of the future, and how corporate culture can thrive in a distributed, hybrid office. Hudson heads one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, and believes organizations’ duty to care for employees’ health goes beyond just safety and includes their sense of purpose and fulfillment.

McKinsey and Company: Author Talks: Deanna Mulligan on Smart Skill Building. “The former chair and CEO of Guardian Insurance offers a theory of change for those hiring, retaining, and retraining the next generation of tech-savvy employees.”

Kellogg Insight: Feeling Stuck? Here’s How to Move Your Career Forward. “…With COVID-19 changing the way we work, socialize, and learn, our lives have been turned upside down. But Carter Cast doesn’t think that should stop us from moving forward in our careers. In fact, he thinks that maybe change is just what we need to progress our careers further.”

Blog Posts

Seth’s Blog: Intentional Connection in the Digital Office. “The real challenge of remote work isn’t that it somehow erases the mysterious serendipity of magical office collisions. The problem is that making connections digitally requires enrollment and effort. If we do it with intent, it actually works better.”

Chicago Booth Review: Psychology Can Help Set the Stage for Business Success. “Use the environment you create to help employees, and your company, succeed.”

Ryan Holiday: Work, Family, Scene: You Can Only Pick Two. “Life is about tradeoffs. When we know what to say no to, and we know why, we can say yes with comfort and confidence to the things that matter. To the things that last. Work, family, scene. You can have two if you say no to one. If you can’t, you’ll have none.”

Arts, Music, Culture & Humor Corner
Ideas.TED.com: How the Sistine Chapel Spawned a Public Relations Nightmare. “When Michelangelo’s ambitious paintings premiered in the sixteenth century, they touched off a very modern-sounding social media scandal.”

BBC Music: Why U2’s One is the Ultimate Anthem. “U2’s album Achtung Baby was released 30 years ago this week. Why does its single One continue to have such power, asks Dorian Lynskey.”

ESPN.com: The Remarkable Story of a Man Who Found 162 Bowling Balls Under His House. “As he stood there, Olson could finally contemplate the question people all over the world were wondering: Where the hell did all these bowling balls come from?

The New York Times Magazine: David Sedaris Knows What You’ll Laugh at When No One Is Judging. “Now when I walk around, I don’t dream about the future. Because in the future, I’m just older,” Sedaris said.

Reflections

“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” — Abraham Maslow

“It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made ourselves clear to ourselves.”— Simone Weil

 

This article was originally published here.

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan is an International Coach Federation-certified executive coach who serves as a strategic advisor, mentor and facilitator to executive leadership teams and private clients to achieve peak performance and agility resulting in sustained engagement and value. Drawing upon a career as a leader and consultant, Kevin is able to work with clients on personal and professional development, relationship optimization and team and leader dynamics. He has deep expertise and experience developing and realizing strategic vision through a relentless focus on optimized business operations. He is also skilled at building sustainable culture and workforce engagement through the power of people and organizational partnership, as well as delivering results and value with high performing teams during periods of intense change.

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