If you’re following the discussion on how “reopening” offices will work for workers and companies, you may have noticed a second issue getting attention: the number of people who are leaving their jobs now.
One silver-lining of the Covid-19-pandemic, is that it’s encouraged people to take a serious look at how they organized their lives and begin reconsidering. Why sacrifice over long periods of time three critical Life Essentials (i.e., passion, purpose and relationships) in order to keep a job?
For instance, here’s a person’s story that was shared in a colleague’s blog: “One executive reached out to me this week and confided that she has decided to leave her organization after 14 years. “Not to take care of my kids or to give up on my career, and not to jump to another opportunity because of the flexibility, but to stop—be still, take care of myself, self-reflect, and get to my ‘why’ so that I can eventually figure out my ‘where.’”
At the beginning of the pandemic, I shared a story of a woman in her 30s that spent two hours a day commuting daily, and as part of her sales job often spend 6+ hours traveling to a client cross-country for a meeting that lasted less than an hour. Both experiences meant she couldn’t give her young daughter the attention she wanted to give her. With Zoom, she was almost equally effective in her job while spending more time with her daughter. A much more fulfilling lifestyle. Now she has to consider going back to the old, inferior system.
As one CEO recently shared with me, the best way to create a new company-effective and personally-fulfilling work life pattern is to engage employees and the management team in the decision process. His HR department has been surveying both groups several times over the past year, and the solutions they are adopting respond to the multitude of needs. The result: virtually none of the engaged employees are leaving unexpectedly.
If you need to take time to think through your goals, we recommend you take the GROWTHH time. Throughout life, we often need to reconsider our goals and strategies. In 1996, Bill Gates, then CEO of Microsoft, took a month off to reconsider Microsoft’s internet strategy in response to Netscape’s launch; it led to the introduction of Explorer. Similarly, when we need to make a change, we should take a day, week, month, or year for Goal Re-Orientation With Time for Health and Happiness (GROWTHH)
If you’re leading a company and want to develop effective policies for the company and your workers, let me suggest two relevant articles by McKinsey and Company: Help Your Employees Find Purpose – or Watch Them Leave and Igniting Individual Purpose in Times of Crisis. The data shows that:
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- People who have a strong sense of purpose, tend to be more resilient and exhibit better recovery from negative events.
- People who say that are “living their purpose: at work report levels of well-being five times higher than those who don’t.
- Purposeful people live longer and healthier lives. One longitudinal study found that a standard deviation increase in purpose decreased the risk of dying in the next decade by 15% – regardless of the age at which they identified their purpose.
In other words, try to live in the intersection of organizational purpose and individual purpose. Let us know your thoughts on this topic – as we’re thinking of beginning a new column on it. (JCahn@AgeBrilliantly.org).