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How can you use HR services to drive change?

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Edward TuorinskyManaging Principal of DTS, brings two decades of experience in management consulting and information technology services.

Nobody likes disruption, but everyone likes new opportunities. The “Great Resignation” is a huge disruptor across multiple industries. That doesn’t mean your company should view it negatively. We can choose to see it as a sign that it is time for a change.

Instead of focusing on what you might lose (talent, experience, continuity), I challenge you to think about how you can use the current workforce shift to your advantage. The first thing that comes to mind is the opportunity to better position your business for the future.

You can determine what needs to change in your business by asking those who leave — and those who stay. But it can be most helpful to think about the qualities your company will need in three to five years and start the shift when you hire new employees to fill vacancies.

Consider the odds if you:

Change your mindset about revenue.

The service sector has been proud of the low turnover for years. Having one or two percent turnover was a stat to be touted, while any company with a turnover percentage of 10% or higher was a red flag.

That mindset, especially at the executive level, needs to change. We need to let go of the idea that people stay for 30 years. Frankly, that culture has been dead for decades. Turnover happens. People leave for a variety of reasons and seeking change is no longer a signal that something is wrong.

Employers can achieve their goals and thrive with a workforce with movement and new faces. In fact, employers are beginning to embrace that strategy to provide their workforce with a constant supply of fresh ideas, innovation and flexibility.

Promote individualized career growth.

Today’s employees no longer see their employers in the same way. They want opportunities to expand their career and experience new things. The leap from company to company offers growth and novelty – and the chance to work on long-term goals in their own time frame.

This trend requires employers to think in a more personalized way about the career paths they offer. Not every employee wants to take on a leadership role or even grow. Employees today are motivated by individual factors, so think about providing opportunities, skills and knowledge that help employees improve themselves or achieve their unique career goals, rather than following a particular path to leadership or expertise.

Keep in mind: your company may not have the right opportunities to provide all employees. Trying to keep someone in a role that doesn’t help them get to the next level they want isn’t good for either side. Accept that sometimes the best option for an employee is to move on. If you’ve supported their career path, their journey may just bring them back to you in the future – and will certainly build goodwill.

Check in with your culture.

It is no coincidence that The Great Resignation followed the pandemic. Companies that have adapted to survive can look and work very differently from their pre-pandemic versions. While you’re still in business, your employees deserve your appreciation, even if they want to leave now.

Use this time to re-evaluate where your business is heading and what changes you would like to see in your culture. You can be very mindful about reshaping things. Or simply recognize the lasting effects of the pandemic, such as allowing remote and hybrid work. As new hires on board, you want a culture that accurately reflects reality and makes them feel like part of the team.

Take advantage of what’s new.

Canceling can be very disappointing and disruptive for an organization, but it can also be beneficial. Avoid the short-term pain by focusing on filling those positions with the kind of people you need to move your organization forward.

Consider rewriting job requirements if roles are expanded or take longer to be in the office. Be flexible in attracting talent with potential and training them. See new hires as an opportunity to inject ideas and energy into your organization.

Evolve operations.

Moving forward with the mindset that employees won’t stay forever requires a check-in of your activities, from recruiting and onboarding to assessments and incentives. Regardless of the size of your company, it’s helpful to have processes and procedures in place to fill vacancies, educate and educate people about what you do and how you do it, and how to introduce your culture. If you haven’t had any sales, it may take some work to think through your guidelines and update the employee handbook. We are all creatures of habit, so change can be painful and slow. It may be a long time before the dust settles on the Great Resignation and our businesses find their new normal. Use this disruptor as an opportunity to look ahead and lay the groundwork for growth.


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