- What is the impact of "The Great Resignation" in the U.S. and globally?
- What issues and deeper human needs are at the heart of this "Resignation"?
- How can coaches bring stability to people and organizations in turbulent times?
- Read more about the issue in the workplace article that inspired this webcast
Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series -- Season 10, Episode 4.
Below are audio and video plus a transcript of the conversation, including time stamps.
People are leaving their workplaces, not just in the U.S. but globally. Why? And what are the underlying causes of this "Great Resignation," and what can coaches and leaders do to bring greater stability to the workplace? Join Saurav Atri, Gallup Regional Leadership Coach and Workplace Consultant, for a data-based, practical look at this phenomenon and the solutions that a focus on CliftonStrengths and workplace engagement provide.
[The] Great Resignation is not an industry issue; it's a workplace issue. ... Engagement is the best medicine you have [for] retaining people.Saurav Atri, 24:51
The best leaders have business in their minds and people's growth in their hearts. That's called sustainable leadership.Saurav Atri, 31:25
Coaching is the foundational profession to plug this gap of the Great Resignation right now.Saurav Atri, 55:02
Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on January 12, 2022.
Meet Our Guest on This Episode
Jim Collison 0:19
Called to Coach is a resource for those who want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room. There's a link right above me there on our live page. Jump in there; we will be taking your engagement during this time. If you have questions after the fact, or maybe you're listening to the podcast or the YouTube recording, you can always send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to subscribe to Called to Coach on your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode. You can do the same right there on YouTube, right down there in the corner. Saurav Atri is our host today. Saurav is the Regional Leadership Coach and Workplace Consultant for Gallup out of our Singapore office. And Saurav, congratulations on being the first for 2022 for Called to Coach. Welcome!
Saurav Atri 1:09
Thank you, Jim, and Happy New Year to you, as well as to all the people listening in live and to all those who will be watching the recorded version of this as well.
Jim Collison 1:18
We're excited, and we have a, we've got a great program for, for you today. Saurav, for folks who don't know you, continue -- take 1 minute, and just give us a little bit of your background.
Saurav Atri 1:29
Sure. So thank you, Jim, for hosting me. And I'm really excited to be here, having this conversation with all of you. Well, I work with Gallup for the past 10 years based in the Singapore office. And I primarily work with leadership teams all across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Europe, really helping them create engaged workplaces. I'm also an executive coach on strengths. And I've been teaching our Gallup Global Strengths Coaching course, for the past, well, 8 years now and worked with close to 3,000 coaches. Some of them are logged in live as well, so I'm really excited to see them as well logging in, and some really amazing friendships and relationships I've built during this time. And I'm a huge advocate of strengths and very passionate about human behavior. And that's what I'm building my expertise on.
Why "The Great Discontent"?
Jim Collison 2:14
Saurav, when we started doing Called to Coach, you might have been my very first international interview. I think we got it set up for like, we got to get out of the United States. And I think you hosted that one. So thanks for doing that. Today -- tonight, whatever time zone you're in, we're talking about, "The 'Great Resignation' Is Really the 'Great Discontent.'" We have an article; I'll post that link here in the chat room in a second. But Saurav, you got a presentation put together. Let me bring that up, and let's get talking about that a little bit. We're all saying this Great Resignation; but why maybe it'd be the Great Discontent?
Saurav Atri 2:48
Yes, Jim, thank you for, you know, bringing this up. And as you guys know, this is a hot topic that's going on around the world right now: the Great Resignation. And today we will talk about that, at what is the Great Resignation? And it, you know, how do we reframe that? And how do we truly understand that deeply? And we are reframing that as the Great Discontent at Gallup. One of my colleagues, Vipula, who is leading our businesses in the U.S. as well as we're a fantastic article with Jennifer Robison, that "The 'Great Resignation' Is Really the 'Great Discontent." This is a deeper dive into looking at that, well, framing of how to manage this global pandemic that's going on there at workplaces. I call this a pandemic as well.
Saurav Atri 3:37
The Great Resignation in itself is a pandemic, because it started in the U.S. with people leaving their jobs. And now it is, you know, a global phenomenon. So we need to find a way to manage it, because it does have consequences as well there. So let's explore that today and see the same concept of the Great Resignation slightly differently, looking beneath the surface with a new perspective. I say, to see deep, we don't need to have new eyes; we need a new perspective. And that's what, you know, we want to explore Today is a new perspective of looking at this Great Resignation, what people are calling sometimes the "resignation tsunami" or the "big quits."
Saurav Atri 4:17
So what I'll cover today for the next 50 minutes or so, Jim, is What is really the Great Resignation? The implications of the Great Resignation on our workplaces, on our people, on humanity. Also, why is this happening where people are going and calling it, "I quit"? But really going deeper than that: Why is this really happening? is what I want to cover. How to retain your employees. Finally, how do we use CliftonStrengths as a language of hope, of compassion, of trust and stability to read in our people and build a positive work culture that people want to come to work; people want to engage with each other. For a leader, how do you inspire performances for people? That's what I want to uncover, so that we can stop this discontent and this unfulfillment that people are having in the workplaces, which is making them leave their jobs. So that's what we'll be covering today.
The U.S. Data Behind "The Great Resignation"
Saurav Atri 5:17
And let's start with digging into deeper -- What is the Great Resignation? Some of you might say, Well, you've been reading a lot about that; you've been hearing a lot about that, the Great Resignation. It's typically an ongoing trend of employees who are leaving their jobs. But let's be honest. People changed their jobs in the past also, isn't it? So they left; they hired someone else. Some people are calling this, this is the "great reshuffle," where more people are leaving and they're rejoining the workforce. Actually, that's what makes this entire journey of people leaving their jobs very different from what had happened in the past. What is going on, is earlier, people left their jobs and they rejoined the workforce in a better opportunity, a new opportunity. What's now going on, is more people are leaving the workplace, but not rejoining the corporate workforce. And that's a challenge. And this all started in the month of February of 2020, right after, I would say, right before the pandemic started hitting all the countries outside of China.
Saurav Atri 6:26
The first thing that happened, and this is particularly U.S. data, so picking up from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, what we saw was the participation rate of people in the workforce dropped from 63.4% in February 2020 and plummeted to 62.7% in March, and then all the way to 60.2% in April. That's almost 3.2% of the workforce choosing to leave and not rejoin the corporate workforce. And that's what we call the participation rate is essentially number of people who can be employed or are actively seeking work versus choosing not to. So 60.2% of the workforce or the population of the U.S. who can work were working. The rest weren't. And not only that, here's what the latest data is -- that's when it started, but today, in the U.S. particularly, what we're seeing is that there are jobs, and there are lots of jobs: 10.6 million.
Saurav Atri 7:34
And what we've been noticing is over the last 2 years, since April 2020 till now, we've seen a steady growth in the number of job openings that are in the market. Now, there are people who've been hired as well; it's not that nobody's getting hired. So 6.7 million people -- this is just the month of November of 2021 -- 6.7 million people in that month got hired. Now that's a good thing, right? Well, there are jobs and people getting hired. So why are we calling this the Great Resignation? Well, here's the challenge: 6.3 million people also left the jobs. Well, we call them separations. What's a separation? Either they called and quit voluntarily, that they left it themselves; they were layoffs; or they were discharges. So that's what we call our separations. So 6.3 million separations, whereas 6.7 million hires. But even the gap between them, roughly around 0.3, or 400,000 people, will still not cover the gap between the 10.6 million jobs that are available and only 6.7 million people that are getting rehired in that. So that gap is not covering the bigger need of the workforce.
Saurav Atri 8:42
But here's the big thing: 4.5 million people voluntarily left. That's the what, that is what's been called the "Quit Generation." That's what's going on right now. People are saying, "Quit." The cancel culture is coming into the workplace right now. The cancel culture is coming in the workplace right now. People are saying, "I don't want this," and they're moving out. And this is, by the way, it's growing over the last year. So it's not that we are sort of tapering off; it's been one of the highest in the last few months as well: 4.5 million people have quit their jobs. The quit rate is 3%, which means 3% of the total workforce just quit in the month of November. That's a sizable chunk. We talk about, you know, hundreds of millions of people, and 3% of that is a lot of people leaving their jobs.
Saurav Atri 9:31
Now imagine the impact of that. You go to a Pizza Hut; instead of 5 people there making the meals, you only have 2. Imagine the pressure it puts everyone else under. You go to a hospital, and there are fewer nurses to take care of people. Imagine the pressure they'll go through as well. And not only the impact it has on them, but it also has on their families, their friends, the entire society around them, because it creates a whole shift in their life when that pressure keeps building up. And here's what's going on: through Gallup's research in the summer of 2021, we found out that 48% of people are actively looking out for jobs right now. 48% of your employees, your team members are actively looking out for a job right now. That is worrisome. Imagine if all your top performers leave. How would that impact your organization and the success that comes with it, your partnerships, your own emotions at work?
The Global Impact
Saurav Atri 10:33
And this is not just a U.S. phenomenon. This is also happening across the world, especially in Southeast Asia, where I reside, and a lot of my friends who have joined in as well here are coming from. There is a big "quit" movement that is happening here as well. Looking at data from Ministry of Manpower in Singapore, or the Philippine Statistics Authority in the Philippines, or Statistics Indonesia or Department of Statistics in Malaysia, here's what we found out. When we look at the unemployment rate in these countries, Singapore is around 3.5%. Seems low overall, but actually, it's one of the highest in the last few years. And that's worrisome. Now, it's fine if people are, well, not having jobs, but if they have opportunities, the challenge is this: Opportunities are there. So the ratio of the number of jobs to the number of unemployed people is 1.56. Which means for every unemployed person right now in Singapore, there is 1.5 jobs available in the market. And that number is increasing. This is an average of the last 3 quarters of 2021.
Saurav Atri 11:42
What that says is people are not rejoining the workforce. Because the jobs are increasing and unemployment is increasing, what that means is people are not rejoin the workforce; there's more opportunities than people. And that creates pressure on everyone else who is already inside the workforce. And that's what we need to mitigate and manage as a community. Because this is not just about, OK, this person's left a job. This is about leaders inspiring people to contribute. What people have raised their hands and said, "I don't want to contribute anymore. I want to do something else. I'm fed up of this." And that's where they're leaving that pressure that's built up on them.
Saurav Atri 12:22
Philippines: out of 1,000 employees, 120 people left their jobs. This is the data from 2020 -- that's the latest data available on the Philippine Statistics Authority. Out of 1,000 employees, 120 left their jobs, and only 44 rejoined the workforce. That's a gap of, well, contribution that has been created in organizations right now. And same is going for Indonesia and Malaysia as well. There is constant increase in jobs and less people joining the workforce. And this is my personal experiences working with leadership across Asia Pacific. I asked one question to all the CHROs I spend time with: What keeps you awake at night? And you know, Jim, what they say? "Attrition. Stop this Great Resignation. It's taking away our talent right now." 21% to 25% attrition numbers, that's what is keeping them awake at night, and how to retain them.
Saurav Atri 13:21
And that's why I decided to bring this topic up because it's the need of the hour; it is one of the most or the biggest pain points that organizations are facing right now. And not only within countries; within an organization also, it's not just the entry-line workers who are leaving or the CEOs who are working; we saw that the Great Resignation is happening across all job categories. And people are looking for jobs across all levels in the organization. Now, how does it impact businesses like yours? Well, the cost of replacing a worker is equal into 1/2 or up to 2 times the employee's annual salary. And that can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 to replace people. And if it's your best performer, the opportunity cost for them not performing for the next 6 months, 12 months is detrimental, especially to SMEs, to middle layers, who don't have the deep pockets to sustain their businesses in the near future. So that's a challenge that we need to be aware of.
Why Are People Leaving Their Jobs?
Saurav Atri 14:28
Now, the question I have for all of you. Let's say you have an, a conversation in engagement as well here. So here's what I would like you to do. I'd like you to take out your phones. And let's make this interactive, so we all can learn from each other as well there. Let's go and scan this QR code and enter your names. We'll make this fun; we'll make this interactive; make this engaging conversation as well, so you can experience the journey for yourself. So go and scan up and go into the chat write down a "Yes" if you're in it. And I will start moving into the conversation around some important topics. And the first question I would have for you is, Why do you think people are leaving their jobs right now? What are you hearing from your friends, from your colleagues, from your children what made them switch their job? Jim, what about you? I know some of your family members have changed as well, jobs as well. What are you hearing while people are scanning this?
Jim Collison 15:19
Yeah, it's, it's interesting, even my own kids or, or children are in the same spot. Kind of what, you know, there was, at least, and I can, I can really can only speak for the United States kind of in this, because that's, that's been my experience. There was already tremendous job pressure and wage pressure going into this pandemic. The pandemic opened up a gap, right, as, as, you know, initially, there was a loss of jobs. And then, as the economy started coming back, everybody needed jobs again. And what that did is kind of create this huge vacuum of opportunity for folks. And I think if they had any discontentment in a role at all, or in this, in this race for, for just bodies, it created wage pressure.
Jim Collison 16:08
We just saw some stats come out here in the U.S. today about, it's really beginning to push wages up here in the United States, as far as folks moving around. In a current role -- and this is where I think a lot of folks stand -- in a current role, it's harder to get that bigger-jump raise than it is moving. It's always been that way in the United States. And so I think folks are seeing this opportunity, even with a little disengagement -- or maybe, in some cases, none, but opportunities -- to make that jump. And so we're just seeing -- Saurav, if I could have you move your phone really quick. I'm hearing your notifications come in on that just in the background. So if you've got that. But I hear the, I hear the vibration notifications on it. I think that's you. So yeah, Saurav, so that's what I'm, that's kind of what I'm, that's what I'm seeing in this is this tremendous opportunity for new roles to open up. And so folks are, are taking those as they come. They're just paying attention to what's going on. The -- I do recruiting for Gallup as well, and we are hot and heavy on recruiting folks. So it created this vacuum, and everybody is just moving around trying to, saying, "Well, this is the opportunity I have to do something different."
Saurav Atri 17:21
Beautiful. And thank you for sharing that, Jim. And for all the folks. you know, in case you don't even log into the QR code, that's OK. You can use the chat to write down your answers as well on it. So use the, use the chat function to write the answers. So a question for all of you is this right now: What do you think is the reason why people are leaving their jobs right now? Go to the chat here and go and write down your answers. Why are people leaving their jobs?
Jim Collison 17:48
And if you got the error on the chat -- sometimes we overwhelm that, we overwhelm that feature -- just put them in the chat room here on YouTube, and I'll bring them in as well. Can I bring a few in from the chat?
Saurav Atri 18:03
Jim Collison 18:03
Saurav, are you ready to do that? I think Andrea says, Employees are not being invested in and don't feel valued. I think there were some opportunities during the pandemic when everyone was scrambling. And so that, that, that's a possibility. Lisa says, I think people quit because they're not being fulfilled in their current jobs, right, engagement may be reduced because of the shift in work experience.
Saurav Atri 18:27
Jim Collison 18:28
Do we have any? Do we have any coming in on the app there yet? Or no?
Saurav Atri 18:33
Not yet. So let me actually open it up again; they should be able to give another 20 seconds to answer, put the answer.
Jim Collison 18:37
Kristin said, Pandemic caused some to reeval -- and I agree with this -- the pandemic caused some to reevaluate priorities, realize time is short. Do what you love. I think it was the perfect storm in some ways for people to get this priority check, like, What am I doing? You know, could I have the opportunity to do something different? What's coming in on the, on the, on your side?
Saurav Atri 19:02
And it's like retirement, fed up, lack of inspiration for future, jerk bosses, lack of safety and engagement, lack of manager support -- and, and that's right, you know, people are feeling these emotions at the workplace. And that's what I want us to think about is, as we're thinking about what's really going on in your organization, you know, we might say, you know, people want to learn and grow; they want a break; there's a burnout happening there, people. Know, you know, I want to work from home, and it's hard managing both work and home right now. You know, this work is not fulfilling; they offer better work-from-home perks; you know, going to better companies out there; I want to do something else. Mental wellbeing is suffering, quitting their managers.
Saurav Atri 19:40
Let's shift to a growth sector. I'm working in the hospitality sector. There's no opportunities right now. Let's find a tech job and move in there and learn some new skills in that area. I'm worried about my health. You know, they're offering a promotion. My industry has no future. So you start seeing that these are just going on and on and on and on in organizations right now. There's a number of factors that people are experiencing, which is making them shift to a new job or not rejoining the workforce. That's what we're tackling right now. But are we only seeing surface-level problems? What are the real issues underneath the surface? is what we want to unpack today, Jim.
Saurav Atri 20:22
And I think about why people are leaving their jobs, you know, we know 48% of people are actively job hunting right now. You know, they call it the world's largest experiment: remote working. Well, it's not an experiment anymore; it's a reality. And I say this is no longer working from home anymore; this is living at work. When I get out from my one room to move to this room, I'm working, and we are switched on 24 hours, because there's no divide between work and home anymore. So we all are practically living in work, and life has become a part of that as well there. Organization said, "Let's hire for experiences; I don't have patience to hire fresh grads." I, I feel, feel sad. I feel, you know, hurt for all the youngsters who are studying in universities who are coming in there, and there's nobody willing to give them a chance, giving them an opportunity. Why? Because they want to just hire for experience and, you know, have somebody like plug and play who can deliver; easier skilling them. Is this a delayed transition?
Saurav Atri 21:30
Last year, people were staying put because of the uncertainties, and 2020 was a year of, year like that as well. And people said, "OK, now it's time let me move on." So is this, you know, that uncertainty has now becomes the new status quo. So is that all that hiring freeze that happened has moved into, now, job opportunities, which is now leading to people applying for those jobs? Finally, workloads. Five people quit that team; now the entire workload is going on three people, and now they're feeling the pressure; the pressure is building up. And that's making them buckle under that pressure also. Mental wellbeing is being ... . These are the symptoms that you're noticing that's going on.
The Issues Beneath the Surface
Saurav Atri 22:08
What's happening below this? If you really dig deeper, what you'll notice is people are saying, "I am not fulfilled. I am unfulfilled right now. I'm not feeling it. I don't know what to do." What they want is change. They want to do something meaningful. Priorities have changed. Earlier, we were all arranging our life around work. Oh, Christmas break, I'll go for holidays then. Or weekend is coming, let me plan around that. Now people are reprioritizing life. They are prioritizing their work around their life. Oh, 9 a.m. I've got kids, you know, school. I have to, sorry, can't join this video at 9:00; I have to join 9:10. Let me get them settled up on a Zoom call with their classes first.
Saurav Atri 22:54
So priorities have shifted, as people are spending time with their families, and they have other important things on their mind right now to take care of. Their family member is sick. Should I go to work or should I take care of them first? Very different expectations to have in life. So people expect and want flexibility. Their needs are not being fulfilled. Fulfillment -- this is -- work is not fulfilling my needs. Delayed transition. People don't make quick decisions overnight. It was a disconnect that started a while ago. So we have to pay attention, is, are we really paying attention to that disconnect that's happening in that generation of people who are now quitting, burnout, discontentment -- it's emotional in nature.
Jim Collison 23:43
Saurav, before you move on to this, there was a question about "easier skilling" that you had. What do you mean by that? Hire for experience, easier skilling? What was, what does it mean?
Saurav Atri 23:54
Organizations, Jim, earlier used to organize these onboarding programs and manager development programs. And they said, Oh, but now we don't have that opportunity to do that in person. Can we still make it effective virtually? They just hire for experience, so it's less a time we would need to spend to onboard that person, shadow, that person to shadow me, work in a team environment. So they're making that shift. And that's not the right way to go forward, because we are taking away opportunities from a whole generation of people to help them succeed as well. We have to give them a chance just to grow and succeed as well right now; that's the easier skilling piece that is lacking.
Employee Engagement, the Job Search, Organizational Costs
Saurav Atri 24:29
And yes, virtual training can be equally effective. Because if you focus on getting the right experience for people in the room, you can still create meaningful impact in that conversation also. Help them grow to the 10/20/70 model: around 10% classroom training; 20% coaching, development; and 70% on-the-job training as well there. And that's why I say, Great Resignation is not an industry issue, Jim; it's a workplace issue. 74% of actively disengaged employees are looking for a job right now. 55% of not-engaged workers are actively looking for a different job, and 30% of, well, engaged workers are actively looking for a different job right now.
Saurav Atri 25:12
So you see, engagement is the best medicine you have of retaining people. Because if people are feeling fulfilled in the workplace, why would they want to leave? So it is -- the real issue that's going on underneath the surface is there is a massive discontentment that's happening in the organization right now, Jim. And what we've seen is the loss of productivity of not-engaged and actively disengaged employees is equal to 18% of their annual salaries. That cost, that's costing, in companies with 10,000 employees with an average salary of $50,000, roughly $60.3 million a year being lost in disengagement.
Jim Collison 25:51
And, and, and I would think, for smaller organizations, that impact is even larger. May not be a larger dollar amount. I mean, this is a pretty spectacular number. You know, a lot of companies aren't 10,000. So, you know, many of them are a hundred or two, but that one employee has the keys to the kingdom, right? They've got, they, because they've been in a small company, they know, they've got all this knowledge, all this experience. So I would even contend -- we don't have a number for this -- but I would contend, even in smaller organizations, that loss is even more painful.
Saurav Atri 26:28
Absolutely, Jim. And think about this: that if you have three of your top performance leave with an average salary of $50,000, $150,000 dollar amount for a SME is equal to $60.3 million for a large organization out there. So absolutely, it is creating a big impact; 18% annual losses.
Jim Collison 26:49
And this is, that's U.S. data, correct?
Saurav Atri 26:51
U.S. data, yes.
Jim Collison 26:52
That is U.S. data.
Roles: Contributors, Leaders, People Managers, Coaches
Saurav Atri 26:53
So really, if you notice deeper is the Great Resignation is really the Great Discontentment; that's what's really going on there. And understanding the needs of your employees is a key to your effectiveness as a leader or as a manager right now. And that's why I want us to think differently about whichever role you're in, whether you're in a role of an individual contributor, role of a people manager or a leader, or a coach or consultant, I would like to you to go to the chat and write down, What do you think is a job or a role of an individual contributor? What do you think they're supposed to do? What does, what does an individual contributor supposed to do in a company? And for those who are on that link as well there, you can actually go ahead and try out playing a funny game as well, to create that for yourself. Here you go.
Jim Collison 27:42
So the question is, Saurav, What is an individual contributor --
Saurav Atri 27:46
expected to do in a company?
Jim Collison 27:48
Yeah, so What's the expectation of an individual contributor in an organization? While that data is, while that's coming in, we continue to go back to salary price pressure, right? I mean, that, again, that is driving, we're seeing not only in inflation from a products standpoint, we're beginning to see this wage pressure starting to happen too. And it's, it's, it's, listen, it's hard when that, when that money starts -- we saw this already happening among college grads in the, in the tech sector before COVID was even a thing -- that there were a handful of companies here in the United States providing all the high-paying jobs. And it was just, they would, everybody would flow to that and leave everybody else kind of high and dry. And so we've got -- that's happening on a bigger scale right now.
Saurav Atri 28:40
Absolutely. And if you think about individual contributors, what are they supposed to do in a company? Are they supposed to, you know, manage people? Deliver on the KPIs? And what we typically hear is, individual contributors, well, they deliver isn't it? They deliver on expectations on KPIs? So they, they are expected to do a specific task based on their skill set. Then what do you think is a leader expected to do in a company? What do you guys think? Go to the chat and write down your answers. What is a leader expected to do in a company? Page says, Individual contributor equals a worker bee. What about leaders? What are they supposed to do? If individual contributors deliver, what do leaders do? What are they expected to do in a company?
Saurav Atri 29:28
Dawn says, Individual contributors deliver on objectives, hit targets, achieve goals. Yeah, absolutely, deliver. Leaders direct -- absolutely right; leaders direct organization. They're like a captain of a ship, right? You know, they set the GPS -- here's where we're going ahead, and inspire people to go to that direction, remove the external barriers that comes along. And I'm oversimplifying this right now. But yes, you know, I'm just giving an overarching sort of a direction around these four different roles in an organization. Then what is the job of a people manager, folks? Adrian, you're right, they set the vision. Absolutely. You know, a Golden Madume says, Lead guide and direct. You're spot on there. What is a people manager expected to do in a company, folks? What is their job? What are they supposed to do? People managers? Develop others. Absolutely right.
Saurav Atri 30:19
You know, most management definitions tell you a people manager's job is to get the job done from people. The leaders direct; the individual contributors deliver. So your job is to make sure they are doing the job. But if you're not developing those people, and Gallup evolves this definition a lot more, which is, a people manager's job is not just to get the job done from people but also get the people done from the jobs. What does that mean? To help people grow and thrive in the work they're doing. You know, we are on this planet earth living a life; you want to make sure we have great lives too, thriving lives. And that's where a people manager can create an environment that could engage people, as Golden says, and manage their development and growth.
Saurav Atri 31:01
I say, you know, sustainable leadership is both revenue impact and human impact. One does not go well with the, without the other. If you're just focusing on people growth without focusing on numbers, then it is not, it's limiting, you can't create more growth opportunities for the people because of lack of revenues and resources that you need. If you just focus on business growth or people growth, then your people would leave as well. Both need to go hand in hand. The best leaders have business in their minds and people's growth in their hearts. That's called sustainable leadership. And that's why I say people managers develop people. Then what's the job of a coach or a consultant or an HR business partner that some of you on here are already, what is, what are they supposed to do in an organization or for an organization?
Saurav Atri 31:46
Jasmine says, I'm a coach and my job is to support/facilitate my client's goals. Absolutely. Our job as coaches is to add value to our stakeholders. And this is the most important time in the world, where we would ask all of you to do just that. Because you all have been called to coach in this environment; it's the most important environment to, for our profession to thrive, because we can support each other in this difficult time to help them think through decisions. And I'll talk more about that, why that is important. Think about the best leader, the best manager you have ever had in your life. What made that manager or leader the best for you? Let's go to the chat and write it down, guys. What is it that you think that manager did for you that made that person the best manager for each one of you? Jim, tell me about your best manager -- who was your best manager and what made that person the best manager for you?
Jim Collison 32:44
That's a, it's a pretty easy one, I, well, and the one I have right now. So my boss, my manager, my, my coach, it really lets me, kind of empowers me to do what I need to do. Encourages and develops me in the way that I need to be developed, and all done individually. So it's not like a system. It's not like everybody's doing -- he's doing the same thing for everybody. He's customizing that for me. And then coaches me when I need to be coached. And that may, that may not always be the positive way of been coaching. There's times, Saurav, I need to be reined back in. And he's like, "Well, OK, bring it back in," like, you know, in a way that is good -- I mean, I guess that's development, for a lot of people. That makes some people uncomfortable. No, actually, I appreciate that. I need those, I, I'm given enough freedom sometimes that I, I still need that guidance to be brought back in. So that's what, that's what I have. We've got some coming out of the chat room.
Saurav Atri 33:43
Well, sounds like a fantastic manager. Do you have the other, Jim, I see other good managers being called out here as well -- was very supportive, trusted me I felt valued. You know, best manager I had was very, you know, feedback, provided feedback. They listened, acknowledged me and my work. You know what's interesting about all these comments, Jim, that, you know, we're hearing from these wonderful folks? Is that nothing is talking about, Oh, he was the most smartest person in the room. Or he was from Harvard Business School, Yale, or London Business School. Or he was a top performer. Or he was 20 years a people manager. All I'm hearing is how that person made you feel, isn't it? How that person fed your needs made that person the best manager or the best leader.
Saurav Atri 34:29
So if best leader or best manager, as Lisa says, somebody who ideated with me, who partners with me, who basically feeds your needs, is that, shouldn't we go just do that to be a great manager to people -- to understand people's needs, and fulfill those needs? So key to, to retention and navigating this Great Resignation globally right now is to understand the needs of your employees, of your team members and fulfilling them. And if you don't measure it, how do you manage it?
Three Types of Needs: Internal, Workplace, Life
Saurav Atri 35:02
So I say, think about 3 types of needs people have. First, it's intrinsic needs of their own personality -- self, internal, intrinsic. The second layer of needs is workplace; what needs they have from the environment that they walk into -- their workplace needs. And third is life needs that they have from life. My financial wellbeing, my social wellbeing -- wellbeing is an important driver, community wellbeing, career wellbeing, those are all important needs for people that needs to be fulfilled. If leaders focus, managers and individuals focus on just fulfilling these 3 categories of needs, you will be able to plug, and not just only plug the Great Resignation, you will be able to thrive in this Great Resignation.
Saurav Atri 35:53
Because let's be honest: There are a lot of people moving around. Are you a magnet for talent right now? As, Jim, you said, right, your son moved because he got a better opportunity. And he was looking for a great organization to work for, and he got that. So this is -- some people see this as a challenge; I see this as an opportunity that all of you great leaders have. You can showcase your leadership and attract the best talent-development work for you. That's why I say starting with self, intrinsic needs: "What lies behind us, and what lies before us are just tiny matters, compared to what lies within us," Ralph Waldo Emerson said. So CliftonStrengths is an insight into needs of people. And we'll see how do we lean and leverage this language of humanity to really inspire people to perform and to retain and to help them stay back?
Engaging Team Members Who Have Specific Talent Themes
Saurav Atri 36:50
So here's a question for you, again -- if you've not used a QR code, it's OK; you can use the chat. Question for all of you: How do you engage a team member who has Analytical as their Signature Strength? Go to the chat and write down. If, say, one of the strengths is Analytical, what does Analytical mean? Somebody who's motivated by looking at, you know, data, facts and logic; somebody who's, you know, very, well, skeptical by nature as well, because they want to prove it. They want to believe in the logic grounding. How do you engage a person, your team member, who's got this as their strength? How do you engage a person? Go to the chat and write down your answers. How do you engage somebody who has Analytical as their CliftonStrengths theme as their strength?
Saurav Atri 37:38
To help you out also, what I'll do for you is I'll put up a couple of documents on the screen, a quick reference card in case you're not familiar with CliftonStrengths. I hope all of you are; in case you're not, what would that mean as well there? Provides data during decision-making. Fantastic, absolutely right. Let's look at a few more comments here. Ask to provide data during decision making. Yes, what else? Give them time to analyze and process. Absolutely. These are absolutely the need of someone with Analytical. You feed that need; what happens in their brain, it releases the chemical called dopamine. They feel good because their need is being fulfilled. What happens? They show up at work with their heart because their need is being fulfilled.
Saurav Atri 38:30
Similarly, you have somebody else with, say, Context as a top strength. What would you give someone high Context to make them feel fulfilled? Absolutely, Marina, for Analytical, you give them facts and logic and data, time to process it; they would love it. What about Context? What do you give somebody with high Context for them to feel fulfilled in a working environment? Let them ask questions; encourage it! Yep, absolutely. What kind of questions, Jeri, would someone with Context ask? The backstory is, Jeri --absolutely! Context laughs past information. They make sense of the present by thinking about the past. And if they don't have that information, then they'll feel very frustrated, isn't it?
Saurav Atri 39:13
Let's look at, say, Futuristic. What do you think Futuristic would need for them to feel fulfilled in a working environment? What is the need of high Futuristic? What is the need of high Futuristic, guys? Here it is. What's the need of high Futuristic? Futuristic here. Opportunity to talk about the foreseen future. There's somebody who inspired the -- they want to know what's coming in 2 years from, 5 years from now. And right now, the Futuristic are suffering in the world because they can't see clearly what's coming ahead. And that's why it creates a sense of emotional instability in their minds as well. So be proactive. Understand the intrinsic needs of each of these CliftonStrengths themes as you're managing people, because if people management is about understanding people's needs, aligning their needs to the organizational needs, you have a magic story going on right there. Because you can inspire performance from people.
Saurav Atri 40:18
Engagement is not a warm and fuzzy factor; it has real business ramifications. But what is even engagement? Engagement is discretionary effort. You can't force it out of people; you can only inspire it out of people. CliftonStrengths is the best and the fastest way of inspiring performance. What about Adaptability? What do you think Adaptability needs for them to feel fulfilled in a working environment? Adaptability, what would you guys say here? You start telling about the past information, Adaptability, they will feel frustrated, because they don't care about the past. You start telling them, "Here's what's gonna happen two years from now, 5 years from now" --
Jim Collison 40:54
Well, it depends on what else they have in their Top 5. But yes, yes.
Saurav Atri 40:57
Exactly. And that's what I see. Right? Adaptability wants to be here and now. They want to look at what's the present-moment options that we have. You feed that need, create a changing environment for them, they thrive. You create a fixed, structured environment for them, they, they struggle. Because they don't, they want flexible; they want change. That's what drives them. So it's so important to think of these themes as an integrators. They want authentic human connection, one-to-one conversation. You walk into an office and you start giving them work very transactionally, you don't even care about me as a person.
Saurav Atri 41:35
Relator is the Top 5 CliftonStrengths most common theme in the world. People want a community. People want a collaborative environment. They want to work in an informal family environment as well when they have high Relators. If you don't understand and know them, how do you create that? Thank you, Lisa, for sharing it -- In a changing situation, Adaptability wants to be seen as a thriving person, absolutely. Empathy. They want to be understood. The need is emotional. They want, they want to, you to see them -- not by what they're saying but what they're not saying. Are you paying attention to them? Empathy. Responsibility want ownership. You know, when, in this environment, Jim, I've been seeing enough leaders; I've been coaching enough leaders. And when I see crisis, leaders roll up their sleeves, jump in and they take charge and they start micromanaging things, without trusting in their people. Of course, when you have Responsibility as the No. 2 strength in the world, people want ownership, they want to be trusted, and you take the reins away from them, because you don't trust them to handle the crisis. You create frustrations for them.
Jim Collison 42:40
One of the, from a positive perspective, Positivity 6, I have actually seen some great examples of how this crisis has actually brought out the best in, in people. People have given opportunities to be able to do these things that maybe they didn't get to do before. In the opportunities, I think, you know, going back to leaders, leaders giving them opportunities: "Hey, there's now gaps. How can we use, how can we use you to start filling those gaps? Right? How can we start giving you opportunities that may have not been there before? You don't need to go anywhere else." And so I've seen, man, I've seen some, I've seen some people really step up during this time.
Saurav Atri 43:20
And that's what it is, right? When people play to their strengths, they perform. They succeed. They try, because you're giving them the opportunity to fulfill their intrinsic needs and desires and purpose in life in some forms and the other, because they also tie to these intrinsic needs as well there. You know, you give somebody the opportunity to manage change with Adaptability, they will thrive. It's what they are naturally good at. Absolutely, Holly, there is -- and that's why I say, when you think about CliftonStrengths, it is a positive language, but we need to be aware of where we are not aligning our own expectations with their expectations as well there. And this is where self-awareness is the key; others-awareness is a key to creating a great working environment that people want to stick around with.
Saurav Atri 44:04
And you'll see, the best organizations I've been coaching and working with, Jim, they do exactly that. They play to each person's strengths. They give them the opportunity to play to their talents and thrive and fulfill their expectations of work. They let them perform, bring their engagement and discretionary effort to work. It's about involvement and contribution. You can't, you know, they say, right, "You want to go fast, you go alone; you want to go far, you go together." If you want to go fast through this crisis and just try to manage it, you take charge and do it, but then you will not have people to take along with you in the near future. Right. And that's what's happening there.
Saurav Atri 44:40
So that's why I say, What frustrates an Analytical? Not giving them logic of why you made those decisions. Empathy, you're not understanding what they're feeling right now. Responsibility, you're taking away the opportunity for them to prove themselves as well in this opportunity there. These are intrinsic needs, and this is what people are also expecting from the leaders now. What are people expecting from the leaders? To fulfill these needs, but when Gallup interviewed 10,000 people to look at what makes a good leader, it's followers, isn't it? If you are a leader with no follower, you're just an individual walking your own path. I don't think leadership is a position or a title; leadership is a trait. You can be in a position title, but nobody follows your, what you want them to do, you're not a leader, you're still --
Jim Collison 45:26
I've known a lot of individual contributors who are great leaders.
Saurav Atri 45:30
Yeah, absolutely. And that's why I say, don't have to be in a position of influence; you can actually still create followership by creating trust, compassion, stability and hope in your followers. And that's why I say, when you think about CliftonStrengths, it is a language built on the vision of Don Clifton, to look at what is right about people. And right now, you know, Colin Powell, a great gentleman, he said the leadership is about solving problems: "The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They've either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership." And I have noticed, the more I speak with organizations and look at comments that people are coming, this is also a failure of leadership that's going on right now.
Saurav Atri 46:20
Look at the comments people have shared: lack transparency and communication; you know, threatened me that we'll fire you; you know, management are defensive when we ask questions; lacks courage, transparency, inspiration, communication, from the top to bottom. And you know, the more I talk to these leaders also, I realize they themselves are scared sometimes. And that's why -- they have nobody to talk to; they're also human beings. That's why I say, coach is right now the most important profession -- coaching is the most important profession in the world, because you have the opportunity to hear and be that thinking partner with a leader to help them think about people from a different lens altogether. Reframe that mindset, help them manage their own nerves, their own frustration, their own challenges, because they are also going through this right now -- leadership.
A Coach's Impact on Employees, Leaders, Organizations
Jim Collison 47:11
Saurav, I, I think this is where our coaches and coaching community can have the largest impact on -- the whole first half of this presentation is in coaching leaders and managers, and leaders in the sense of those who have influence in the organization, not, not, we think of them as traditional managers. And that's important as well; they, they have the designated job to do that. But, but there are plenty of leaders in the organization that don't have a manager title or aren't given specific responsibilities that way, for people who are definitely influencers. And I think if we're going to make a difference in this, we got to, we got to make a difference in their world. Like we've got to begin to coach them around these things and take those naturally great leaders and make them even greater.
Saurav Atri 47:57
If you go out and reach out to one person, become an anchor for them as a coach, you create a difference not only to their lives, but to the lives of other people out there. And that's to say, right now, even leaders are suffering, unfortunately. But here's what I say: If you are suffering as a leader, reach out to a person, to a coach, because your suffering is not just your suffering anymore. As a leader, your suffering translates to all the people that you work with around you. Every emotion you create has an impact. You know, I say Newton's third law of motion says, for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. But for every decision you make, there's an equal and opposite emotion you create in your constituency as well.
Saurav Atri 48:46
So we should be making great decisions. And that can only happen when you take it from a calm, stable mind as well. If you're going through stress, talk about it. I say, you know, I'm just gonna bring an interesting element here. Think about all the religions in the world also, they also sort of, you know, talk about being good to people, isn't it? But I say, you know, think about all the, you know, Jesus Christ for now. Do you want a life like Jesus Christ, who went through poverty, who was crucified? What we pray for is the quality of that human being, that even when they were suffering, they stood up and protected others. Moses, he took people towards safety, stability, even though he himself was suffering in that environment. This is a time for all of you to stand up. Go beyond just your struggles and challenges and help others. And that's what leadership is about is helping others even beyond your own struggles in life. That means we need to manage the emotions we all are experiencing.
Saurav Atri 49:54
That's why I say use positive language as a CliftonStrengths language of trust. It's a language of compassion. Before you feedback, feel back. Listen to what people are experiencing right now so you can understand their plight, their challenges and help them from where they are in their life. Take action, respond. When we've seen, when organizations answer, "My supervisor or someone that seems to care about me as a person," higher retention, more engaged customers, more productive, more profitable. So these are real business ramifications. All the elements that you talked about what makes great managers, none of them talked about the hard data, hard financials. All we talked about exactly these elements -- care, he developed me he supported me, he invested in me, he helped me grow.
Saurav Atri 50:43
So how can a leader, how can we do it? Start with feeling back first. "That must be devastating for you; I understand this is hard." "This doesn't seem fair." "You feel so alone. How can we make this better? What can I do immediately?" Then ask questions and reflect back for them. Show them that you understand, feel CliftonStrengths language stability. If you've flown in an aircraft, how many of you have flown in a turbulent aircraft? Go to the chat and write down your answers if you've flown in a turbulent aircraft. Who do you look towards if you are in a turbulent aircraft? Person next to you, if they're shaking, you look towards the flight attendant. If the flight attendant is shaking on his seats, or feeling scared, how do you feel, isn't it? And that's what I say, if you think about the captain. The captain is on a microphone to say, "Hey, guys, it's gonna be, it's gonna be OK. It's gonna be OK." He's saying all the right words, but his tone of voice is not communicating the right message. How would you feel? Like, God -- What's gonna happen now, right?
Saurav Atri 51:46
I say, right now, the world is in a turbulent aircraft. Our organizations is in a turbulent aircraft, and you are the captain of those ships, as a leader. And don't think just about a position as leader, as a human leader, because you lead people in your houses, in your communities, in your organization, in your teams; you're a leader, too. So if you stay calm and composed, and you can help other people stay calm and composed as well. So manage your own emotions first right now. The most uncertain times, employees look to their manager to create stability; employees need a manager they can count on in volatile times. You can be that person for them. You know, I say, "A friend and need is a friend indeed." There is a lot of people who have a need right now. And you can be their friend who can remember you for their lifetime.
Saurav Atri 52:29
You know, when you're 70 years old, and you look back to this time, what would you remember? Would you remember the targets you've hit? How would people remember as -- the targets you've hit or the lives you've changed? This is the chance and opportunity for all of us to be that person for somebody else and change their life. Help them out when you can. Managers account for 70% of variation team, understand, reach out. CliftonStrengths is a language of hope, hope is a belief that future will be better than the present, along with the belief that you have the power to make it so. How can you create hope without -- or how can you tell people that the jobs are stable without telling them the jobs are stable? ... Here's how you can do it. You can say "Oh, your job is safe." That's one way. I can tell them, "Hey, there's an exciting project coming across by the end of the year; I think you'll be a great fit into that." She just told that person their job is saved without even telling them the job is saved, isn't it?
Saurav Atri 53:22
Involvement is the key here. When they generate ideas, thoughts, when you focus on what to right about them, you automatically create hope in their minds, because you're playing to what they are naturally good at. And that's what Don Clifton, the inventor of CliftonStrengths said, "What would happen if we studied what's right with people versus what's wrong with them?" So study what's working for your organization as well. And grow that. Whatever you give attention to will grow. So start giving attention to positive goals, progressive goals. Help your team members generate ideas and resolve them, and then create energy that fosters engagement and motivation for people. Because the more what people do best, the more hopeful they become.
Saurav Atri 53:59
So let's put things into perspective. Here's some proof, facts. An organization that we've been working very closely with at Gallup, we've been working with them for many years. And over the last 4 years, we've invested heavily in people, in coaching, developing them. And what we found was when people went through coaching, attrition numbers dropped to less than 3% in that organization, across 100,000 employees. And not only for that organization, it's across that level, across different levels in that organization, whether they were individual contributors, you know, experienced professionals, people managers, senior managers, even C levels, attrition numbers were less than 5% -- 4%, 3%, 2% -- that created that stability in organization.
Saurav Atri 54:47
So people have been able to retain employees by giving attention to people. They give them a forum to share their frustrations, vent out, talk about positive science, help them come up with great ideas, let them take ownership of the situation and improve. That's why I say coaching is the foundational profession to plug this gap of the Great Resignation right now. Be a coach to your people; listen more. And that's why I say the real key here is listening, because coaches are expected to be fantastic listeners, isn't it? And that's why I say listening is the key here. CliftonStrengths is a deeper understanding of human needs. And you have to ask yourself, Are your needs being met? If you think about this, if you ask that great leader, great manager, you've had, look at your Top 5 themes and ask yourself, which of your Top 5 themes did that person fulfill for you? And you'll get your answer why you stick around. And when you left those managers in the past, ask yourself, Which of your Top 5 or Top 10 CliftonStrengths themes and needs were not being met in that relationship? And you will get your answers as well why you quit that job early. That's why I say, CliftonStrengths. Sorry, Jim.
Jim Collison 55:54
Oh, sorry, I didn't, I didn't mean to interrupt you by breathing. I was, I was just gonna say, we have a lot to say on engagement. But I think our time, yeah, is drawing, drawing nigh here.
Saurav Atri 56:06
Sharing this very quickly. One comment I'll quickly make here is for all of you to go to the chat and write down what you see on the screen here. Write on the screen what you see here. Go to the chat and write down what do you see on the screen here? It's cut words, but I want to see if you can --
Jim Collison 56:23
And they're are a few seconds behind us, so it'll take them 15 or 20 seconds to, to kind of get there. Saurav, while we're waiting for them to write that down, for a lot of the stats that we have in here, best place, best place to go and get those?
Saurav Atri 56:37
Yes, so we've got some of them on our articles online. You know, Gallup does a really good work in generating great articles I really share, and I'm happy to share that. And thank you, Andrea and Catherine, who have mentioned that they see this word "Jumping to Conclusions" right there. How many of you can see it, right? So powerful your brain is that gave you one-half of the information, and you plugged in the gaps. But this is also what gets into trouble because we could be wrong here. You know, we could be wrong here. Have a look. We could be wrong here, folks. And that's why I say, right, our minds start building up stories in our head. So don't assume anything; measure, ask. Because this is what gets us in trouble: "I know what this person's been operating; I know what they're thinking." We don't know. It's only the patterns of your brain trying to fit in the gaps there.
Saurav Atri 57:29
As I say, use engagement tools to really measure and understand what is really going on from a workplace needs perspective in your organization. And also don't underestimate the importance of wellbeing. That is the next layer of engagement as well. So these three drivers: 1) intrinsic needs; 2) workplace needs that you can measure through doing engagement surveys of your organization employee engagement, to really understand what's under the hood; and also 3) life needs, wellbeing needs. If you don't measure it, how do you know you're managing it?
Saurav Atri 58:03
So as a closing comment I have here is, What can you do? Coach. Understand the intrinsic needs of employees through coaching, using CliftonStrengths, and find ways to align their expectation to organization expectation. Measure the workplace needs of your employees. Take charge of your organization's engagement and develop your leaders to lead effectively, managers how to have meaningful conversation and help your people grow. Because if they don't grow, they feel stagnated. And stagnation is another form of suffering that people have. And invest in the wellbeing of your people. The mind resides in the body. For a healthy mind, you need to have a healthy body as well, so take care of that for your people. On that note, folks, thank you so much. Jim, back to you for any questions and answers you may have.
Jim Collison 58:47
Thanks, Saurav, I think -- can you stay around for a few, a few minutes of postshow? OK, so if you're listening live, this will be the value of coming out live. If you're listening to the recorded, we're gonna cut it off here in a second. If you're live, stay tight and, and queue up some questions in chat for me. With that, I want to remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we have available in Gallup Access. Head out to gallup.com/cliftonstrengths. Saurav mentioned this -- a lot of the stats, a lot of what we talked about is available right at gallup.com And let me encourage you to self-feed a little bit on that. Go out there, go through some of those articles. We have lots of great stuff for you. And I think sometimes, that learning is best done actively, when you're out there getting it. So head out to gallup.com/cliftonstrengths. For coaching, master coaching or to become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, we do that as well. You can send us an email: email@example.com. We'll get you set up for that. Join us on any social platform just by searching "CliftonStrengths." If you're listening to this as a podcast or on YouTube, subscribe so you never miss an episode. We want to thank you for joining us today. We'll stay around for some, a little bit of postshow Q&A, if you can stay. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.
Saurav Atri's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Strategic, Positivity, Competition, Responsibility and Futuristic.