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Viewpoint: How to Combat the Resignation Tsunami

Viewpoint: How to Combat the Resignation Tsunami

​For many, the return-to-work movement feels like a disconnect. It suggests that we’ve all slacked off the past 18 months and now it’s time to get back to work. In reality, the workforce has added 48 minutes to the workday and increased the number of meetings by 24 percent during the pandemic, according to researchers at the Harvard Business School. In addition, 70 percent of employees claim to now work on weekends.As employers push to get everyone back together in a physical office, employees are becoming increasingly anxious. Most wonder, what does a “new normal” actually look like? For companies attempting to put the toothpaste back in the tube, they’re in for a rude awakening as employees are making their feelings known by jumping ship to companies that embrace workplace flexibility. Unfortunately, the gap between what employers want and what their employees seek has widened significantly since COVID-19 first emerged. A Microsoft survey of 30,000 global employees found that 41 percent are planning to quit or change jobs in the next six months. The data found rampant levels of burnout, with 54 percent of workers claiming they feel “overworked” and 39 percent saying they are “exhausted.” Despite these findings, the same survey found that 61 percent of leaders claim their people are “thriving.”Not surprisingly, employee retention has fallen significantly as the “resignation tsunami” flows through employers large and small. Nearly 30 percent of U.S. workers are actively job hunting, according to SHRM research, which also found that four out of five business leaders report it is taking two to three times longer to fill a position than in past years. So how can leaders ensure attrition doesn’t become the most serious consequence to their business after nearly two years of leading through the pandemic? Exercise Empathetic Curiosity In The Surprising Power of Simply Asking Coworkers How They’re Doing, author Karyn Twaronite, global diversity and inclusiveness officer at EY, the multinational professional services and accounting network headquartered in London, suggested that “when people feel like they belong at work, they are more productive, motivated, engaged and 3.5 times more likely to contribute to their fullest potential.”In her research, Twaronite found that 39 percent of respondents feel the greatest sense of belonging when their colleagues check in with them, both personally and professionally. On the flipside, she found out which tactics didn’t yield the same results. For example, face time with senior leadership that wasn’t personal, being invited to big or external events or presentations by senior leaders, and being copied on e-mails from company leaders didn’t make anyone feel any more connected.To practice active listening—a tenet of empathetic leadership—senior managers need to dig deeper. A survey of 2,000 people in the U.K. found that the average person says, “I’m fine” an average of 14 times per week, but only meant it 19 percent of the time. And right now, people aren’t fine. Recent research examined well-being and burnout during the pandemic across 46 different countries. The survey showed 85 percent of …

How Networking Speeds Your Job Search

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How Networking Speeds Your Job Search

Bestselling author Martin Yate, a career coach and former HR professional, takes your questions each week about how to further your career in HR. Contact him at the e-mail address at the end of this column.If there’s a bit of career advice you’ve heard over and over, it’s that networking is the best way to get a job. But what we seldom hear is exactly how to network.Networking isn’t just about knowing people. The value lies in who those people are, what you hope to gain from a relationship with them and what you intend to offer them in return. No matter how early it might be in your career, think about and decide where you want your career to go, then work backwards to identify the stepping stones you’ll need to get to that goal.You can know influential people in your profession, but the relationship you have with them is what’s important. And you can’t build those relationships without meaningful conversations moving those relationships forward.Consequently, the people who land the best opportunities fastest and with greatest ease do so because they have built solid professional relationships that are based on knowing, learning from and helping those people who can best influence their careers. Their resumes can reflect these relationships.Your Resume Powers Your Social Media PresenceManaging your professional networks with a robust and properly focused social media presence is one of the most powerful methods for managing your career destiny. Your social media presence represents how you think of yourself as a professional and how you present yourself to your working world.Defining your professional persona starts with writing the right resume. Your resume will form the basis not only of your job hunts but also the social media presence through which you become known to your professional community. In building your resume, don’t try to make yourself the perfect choice for multiple jobs. When you try to squeeze all the things you can do into one resume, the resulting resume will lack focus and will be found less frequently in recruiters’ resume database searches. Focusing on one job (or sometimes two very closely related jobs) will make your resume dense in the necessary keywords necessary to be discovered in database searches. Your social media profile should reflect much the same information. The Best Networking ContactsNetworking is more than just knowing people; it’s developing mutually beneficial relationships. These are the types of people who can be of most value in your professional network:Anyone who works in your profession is a good contact, but of greater value are people who work in either your particular area of responsibility or an area of expertise that your job interacts with on a regular basis.Even better potential networking colleagues are people who,work in your specialty or one closely related to it and who hold job titles one, two or three levels above yours. These are the people most likely to be involved in hiring someone like you.You can meet all these people at local SHRM chapter meetings and in online groups. With online groups you can, of course, reach out and ask to …

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