It’s no secret that if given the opportunity, I would be a backup dancer for Beyonce´. (Another article for another day!) Her latest release, “Break My Soul”, is a direct call to action for people to no longer settle for work environments that are toxic, lack communication, inclusivity and respect for them as a person. Beyonce´ has demonstrated for decades the importance of going for your professional dreams with unmatched work ethic in the music industry, but NOT at the cost of being in environments where her presence wasn’t valued or her voice was overlooked.
Why should you care?
Her level of influence and trust she has from her Beyhive will be felt in the workplace. “Break My Soul” is a reminder that pursuing their professional dreams does not have to come at the compromise of their well-being in work and life and it’s time to leave now if the workplace isn’t adapting.
73% of companies have asked their leaders to check in on their teams, but only 39% of employees say their leaders asked. To be proactive in lowering your workplace impacts due to the Great Resignation, leading an executive meeting for leaders to communicate to their teams is not sufficient enough on its own.
The #greatresignation is a workplace phenomenon birthed out of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, in which large numbers of workers are leaving their jobs, changing their jobs, or retiring from their jobs altogether.
Best Practice 1: Have inclusive behavior as a core tenant that is reflected throughout the company, in all levels and segments of leadership.
A high number of employees, particularly women, are resigning or transitioning in the workplace. This is an optimal opportunity for companies to reset how they establish a workplace that is inclusive, equitable and supportive for women. While it is critical for companies to meet the demands and needs of customers in the market, their approach will only be sustainable if the employees working on the innovations reflect who the buyers are. In short -- healthy, happy employees translate to more buyers!
It is up to you, the employer, to put policies or resources in place geared toward supporting the professional and personal well-being of your employees. If you have resources in place, assess whether these policies are meeting employees’ needs; communicate policies, resources and benefits that are available for their use; and ensure they feel comfortable to take advantage of them. If you do not currently have resources or policies that support the needs that have been expressed by employees in your company, this is your chance! Take the opportunity to be more intentional in adapting a work approach that focuses on the company’s internal health as much as its external success.
Best Practice 2: Have flexible scheduling and work/life integration.
When many workers were forced to work from home during the pandemic, it revealed several things: first, many employees enjoy and need the convenience of working from home, and second, being in-office from 9am-5pm is not always necessary. Even as businesses return to the office, many employees still need the ability to work from home occasionally or to hold more flexible office hours. In order to retain employees in 2022 and beyond, it is crucial that leaders be willing to implement workplace flexibility with employees. While this may look different for each company, the underlying need is the same: employees require bosses who understand that their needs and requirements do not start and stop at the office.
Best Practice 3: Have succession plan roadmaps for their high-potential employees with frequent check-ins for progress.
Advancement in the workplace is often a moving target. In order for employees to feel that their hard work is noticed and valued, they need opportunities to grow and advance. Here are a few ways to help employees move forward:
Offer growth opportunities. This may look like implementing a mentorship or sponsorship program, or it may look like a company-funded workshop or online course about employees’ areas of interest. It may simply be the chance to take on responsibilities out of their typical scope of work. Be creative in offering opportunities to grow!
Create fair advancement procedures. Be transparent in how you select promotions, and let your employees know when promotion opportunities become available. Ditch the “behind the scenes” work and be honest, open, and fair in advancements.
Express your intentions. Employees who know you’re dedicated to their advancement and are making it a priority are much more likely to stick around!
Remember: There is a whole Beyhive holding you accountable to what matters most in the workplace. Your opportunity to innovate is right before you.
About We Optimize Work: We are a boutique organizational management consulting firm that helps leaders create processes that increase engagement, performance and satisfaction in their organization.
Want to connect? Email me: Domonique Townsend: firstname.lastname@example.org
Beyonce' picture credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision, via Associated Press