The Great Resignation-Restore the Space
Many organizations are wondering how to prevent their workforce from entering the “great resignation.” The Harvard Business Review has suggested a number of strategies to retain the workers at all levels including tailored retention plans. With seasoned employees indoctrinating newer staff and high turnover, there is a chance that there might need to be a reset of the cultural environment.
Where to start
First, employers must honor those who have remained loyal to the company. Longterm staff may be contributing to some toxic elements in the environment, but it is possible to reset and reorient these steadfast people. They are the training force who will lead the culture of your team, but culture begins from the top down and it is time to understand why the company is losing employees.
Surveys and interviews are generally the path recommended by many Human Resource Departments. Be prepared for anonymous surveys to come back with some real hurtful and angry remarks. The best strategy is to hire a consulting firm with experience in interviewing and finding themes among employee comments. Once the themes are understood for the remaining workforce, the consultants need to find out what is attracting new talent. A good consultant can then provide strategies and recommendations leading to a healthy path forward.
Repair and Restore Damage
Restorative practices have been used in many organizations with amazing results. Educational systems have been using these practices to restore and repair any longterm damage done by an unhealthy culture. Restorative practices focus on the present moment finding incidents that occur where peer-to-peer or peer-to-supervisor mediation is needed. The format allows for people to select on the incident, take responsibility for the incident, and make agreements moving forward.
This type of communication can only occur after the team, starting with the top, has done work making agreements as a whole. Many leaders have been introduced to Lencioni (2012) and his Five Dysfunctions of a Team, but it is important to revisit this structure. Teams need to reestablish trust through agreements, learn how to manage healthy conflict through restorative practices, commit to each other on a human level, and hold each other accountable.
It is Possible
Change is hard, but it is possible. After a full systems analysis, there are usually leverage points that are required dramatic change. The hardest part will be a mindset shift and rebuilding relationships between all stakeholders. Stabilizing your workplace requires buy-in at ALL levels, so shift thinking, roll up your sleeves and do the the work. It will be worth it.