Let’s face it: The pandemic changed everything. It changed how seriously we take our health, our view of work-life balance, and ultimately it spurred many of us to decide what we will no longer accept or tolerate – both in our personal and professional lives.
Recounting the “olden” days of the pre-pandemic workforce feels a lot like watching an old Western movie in black and white. We find ourselves asking: did such a time really even exist?
Can you believe we lived like this?
In many ways, the “old” way of life feels as foreign as the idea of our great-grandparents churning their own butter after milking the cow in the backyard.
Did we really wake up before the crack of dawn, sit in an hour-long commute riddled with traffic and angry not-morning-people with glazed-over expressions numbingly embarking on another 8-12 hour day?
Did we really overwork ourselves into oblivion, neglecting quality time with our family on the weekends, for that promotion that was ultimately given to the sorely underqualified brown noser?
Did we really break out into hives anytime we asked our managers to leave early for a family obligation, as if we were preschoolers asking permission to use the restroom? Did we really work through lunch, stealing bites of a breakfast bar here and there to sustain ourselves through the workday, so we could get to our kid’s soccer game on time without missing a corporate beat?
I'm not the only one reflecting on this. Everyone is. And so it should be no surprise that even some of the best companies are struggling with employee retention amidst The Great Resignation, or the mass exodus of 33 million Americans from the workforce.
Employee Retention That Actually Works
Instead of employers throwing their arms up in the air or leaving their jaw on the floor as their employees skirt out the door quicker than Will Smith after the Oscars, why aren’t we drilling down into this massive problem, identifying the drivers of desertion, and implementing solutions that – oh, I don’t know – work?
Here's the thing: it’s not that people don’t love their work. In fact, most people truly love what they do.
But what they don’t love is all the “peripheral BS” (technical term) that surrounds their great work; the politics, the red tape, the too-perfectly-worded corporate communications, the leaders that are more worried about looking good than acting human. And because of all of that, they’re simply over sacrificing their happiness and mental health for company profits.
The silver lining of the pandemic is the accidental arrival of authenticity in the workplace. As the Big Bang Theory exploded with unimaginable force to birth the big rock we’re spinning on, authenticity exploded into Corporate America, fueling a lingering desire to keep it going.
While accidental authenticity hasn’t solved all of our workplace challenges, it has lent important cues as to what’s most important and what has gone overlooked and unchecked for far too long.
So, what do people want? Authenticity.
When do they want it? Yesterday.
How do we cultivate authenticity and weave it into every aspect of our company culture and our values? Great question.
We hired expert researchers to perform a study on authenticity in the workplace. Long story short:
There is a corporate culture disconnect,
Workers crave authenticity now more than ever, and
Workers who work for authentic companies and/or leaders work perform better, stay longer, and drive more revenue for their company.
The data even blew me away, and we can’t wait to share the full study with you. If you haven’t already, sign up for my newsletter so you can be one of the first to read this groundbreaking authenticity study.
A fast track to improving company culture and values
You heard it here first, folks. Authenticity – embracing it, allowing it, but most of all, practicing it yourself – is the one thing that WILL retain your employees.
What does authenticity in the workplace look like and how can we drive positive outcomes for undervalued employees? In my bestselling book, You Do You(ish), I explain my proprietary “Six Principles of Strategic Authenticity (H.U.M.A.N.S.)” framework and how you can intentionally, systematically, and strategically practice authenticity to both propel your career and your company.
If you are one of the many folks who are struggling to find new ways to inspire and retain your best talent, we can help provide career, leadership, and culture solutions that will earn back the trust of discouraged, burnt-out (but otherwise high-performing and valuable) employees everywhere. We’ll help you turn authenticity into your secret weapon for success.