It’s no surprise that many people are evaluating their working options, and so many leaders are coming to us asking us for help with staff retention.
Firstly I’m always a big fan of people reviewing their options. I used to say to my team that if head hunters don’t want you, why would I? That possibly sounds a little harsh but when they reviewed their options, I knew that when they showed up at work, it was because they wanted to be there and weren’t spending energy wondering what else what out there.
Are you reviewing your options just because you want to get out of where you are?
If people are thinking of resigning , it’s important that they take ownership of the situation and ask themselves whether they are contemplating resigning because there is another job genuinely more interesting for them, or is it to get away from the situation they are currently in?
This is where, as leaders, we need to empower staff to really think this through and take ownership to discuss options with their leader.
I believe that most leaders really hate to hear that someone intends to move to “greener grass” when, if the employee had spoken up earlier about certain factors, they could have worked together to water the grass that was currently underneath them.
Why are people leaving now?
So often now we are seeing people leave jobs because they are tired. I totally get it ….. 2 years into a seemingly never-ending pandemic can feel exhausting, especially if people haven’t been taught to optimise their cognitive energy during this time.
Remember – starting a new job takes energy
Leaving a job when you are feeling “meh” or exhausted might be fine if you plan to take some time off and re-energise.
But remember that starting a new job takes a lot more cognitive energy than staying where you are. You need to learn new systems, new processes, new clients, how to navigate new cultures…. The list goes on.
So if you are already low on energy, jumping straight into another job will probably feel harder rather than easier.
This aligns with the fact that we are now seeing companies hiring people who don’t last very long in the new job because the burnout becomes so apparent when you add all of this “newness” into their energy demands.
It’s not solely up to leaders to provide a perfect working environment
Given that leaders aren’t mind readers, leaders often need to remind staff that they also need to take responsibility for really thinking through what they do want from their work.
It’s a two-way street.
So here are some questions leaders can help staff think through:
1. Why am I so tired? So many people are quick to point the finger to external factors – job, boss, pandemic etc. The bigger question is have you showed initiative in asking for what you need to work in a way to be less tired? In our way of speaking, have you put into practice energy management tools?
2. How do I find joy in at least 20% of each day? Research has shown that if you find joy in at least 20% of your day you significantly reduce your chance of burnout. Are you really clear on what brings you joy? How can you do more of that?
3. Does your mental fitness need some work to find that joy? Anhedonia is the inability to find pleasure (especially in things where you used to find joy). Anhedonia is one of the key signs that you might have a mental health disorder, or you might be on your way to one. Changing jobs is unlikely to help you with this – in fact the extra energy required will probably make it worse, so the question here is what are you actively doing to work on your mental fitness? Your mental health is your responsibility (not just your employer’s) so if you are not actively working on your mental fitness, don’t expect any other job to be any better for you.
4. Is your tiredness due to things unrelated to work? Knowing where you are spending your energy credits is super important before you make any major decisions. Is it really the job? If not, changing jobs will probably just make it worse.
5. Get creative – what can else can you choose to change? What else can you ask for help with? What life admin can you outsource?
Of course many of the leaders that we work with can ask these questions with confidence, because they have shown great leadership in engaging with Next Evolution Performance to provide employees with the systems and tools to achieve more with way less cognitive effort.
We believe leaders have responsibility to provide the systems to employees to help them to optimise their cognitive energy and mindset.
We also believe that employees have the responsibility to implement these systems and processes.
So before looking for greener grass – show some self-responsibility to make the grass greener where you currently are.
If you are looking to really optimise your cognitive energy and mindset, why not check out our next open workshop series on March 17 and 31?
If you’re a leader looking to provide some great systems and tools (all based on neuroscience) for your team, contact us for a no obligation 45 minute discovery meeting to explore if our approach may meet your needs.