(Re-post - Recovering from #shrm13 - great time!)
Easy On Me
When my 20-year-old daughter said she would want to rent a place in Greece, I told her that sounded great. Wait, what? Send one of the two beautiful, brilliant, kind daughters I have across the world? Absolutely.
Opportunity is all around us. Over the last fifteen years, experiential options have improved greatly. Whether it is studying in Iceland while participating in once-in-a-lifetime outdoor adventures, creating an ecommerce business while backpacking through Europe or taking a few years after college to live in a yurt and design websites, the flexibility of work, of commerce, truly, of life is unlike any time in history.
When I read Time Magazine’s recent article, “Gen Z and Millennials Are Leading a 'Great Reshuffle,’” the focus on both sides of the work experience was explained by Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn:
Right now, all companies, all CEOs, are rethinking the way their company works. They’re rethinking their culture. They’re rethinking their values and about what it means to work at their company. And on the other hand, you have employees globally who are rethinking, not just how they work, but why they work and what they most want to do with their careers and lives.
So why do so many businesses get upset when employees leave to pursue their next adventure? Perhaps more to the point, why do managers get mad at staff who quit?
Displacement – the upturning of a department is an annoyance. Even if the organization has done a proactive work in knowledge management and cross-training, the finality of someone leaving does change things for a department. There is comfort and familiarity in communication with the current employee; a new employee will require effort and finesse in getting to know nuances and cues. The team left behind has to navigate this new relationship. It’s not terrible, but it does add work to the remaining employees.
Discovery – before the new employee ever walks in the door, you have to find him/her/them. And the talent market today won’t go easy on you. There will be great effort and creativity in sourcing required. Time that you will argue you do not have will be spent. Resources that are already strained will be tapped. Knowing that this will happen, prepare. Build a continuous candidate pool, gather pertinent interview questions and market your employer brand regularly.
Dejection – when you are rejected, it’s natural to feel dejected. Most managers and supervisors have not been taught how to do deal with departure. It may very well be personal. The knee-jerk response may be to tell a supervisor to be mature about it and not take it to heart. Well, if an employee is leaving, based upon an exit interview or some shared information, because of a manager, then why would you not want a manager to contend with how that feels? The dejection can serve to change behaviors. A mature manager will want to say, “I don’t want to feel like this again. I need to do differently.”
If we have cultivated a level of fear about employees moving on, then we short-circuit our abilities to deal with loss, to encourage a wider view of personal growth and to act critically for the sake of both the employee and the team. It’s not easy, but it can be deeply beneficial.
When I was 20-years-old, I would have been discouraged from heading to Greece. I would have been discouraged from heading outside of Philadelphia, truth be told. But seeing what those adventures can develop within a person makes me excited when someone wants to walk forward towards a new opportunity. It’s powerful.
And my Greece-seeking daughter has not booked her flight yet, if ever, but she already has time in China under her belt. She and her siblings will be bringing that worldwide experience to bear on some companies yet to come. I hope they’re ready.