As an employer, you’re likely familiar with the term the “Great Resignation”. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 47 million Americans chose to walk away from their jobs in 2021. This is impacting all industries and is showing no signs of slowing down.

This long-term trend was already in place before COVID-19 . In fact, the uncertainty of a global pandemic might have convinced some people to stay in the workplace and temporarily reduced the numbers of people leaving. This means that the worst of the Great Resignation may be yet to come, which is bad news for employers across the country.

Attracting employees isn’t easy, or cheap. Not to mention the costs associated with training. The good news is the Great Resignation isn’t inevitable and you can start a Great Retention in your workplace.

Why Are People Leaving?

To understand the Great Resignation, we need to know the driving forces behind it. There are several reasons people around the country are leaving their jobs including:

  • Not earning enough money
  • Lack of opportunity to move forward
  • Feeling disrespected in the workplace
  • Lack of work/life balance
  • Eager for more flexible working arrangements
  • Feeling burned out

While this is affecting all industries, some are experiencing more severe impacts than others. Food services and accommodation are the most at-risk. In February 2022 those industries saw a six percent resignation rate. Close behind is the retail industry, which saw a 4.9 percent resignation rate.

The good news is that creating a positive work environment through facilitative leadership can help you retain employees. Let’s look at some of the ways you can become a facilitative leader.

Appreciating Employees

The people in your organization are working hard and a kind word from a leader can mean a lot. A little recognition goes a long way. Plus, showing you understand the amount of effort they’re putting in, provides additional motivation to the majority of employees.

Remember, when you’re giving praise, you’re giving a GIFT. This acronym refers to the recommended way of praising your employees. It means:

  1. General. Start with a general behavior they are doing. From there, you can include two to three specific elements you want to praise.
  2. Impact. Describe the benefits that those behaviors had.
  3. Feeling. Talk about the way those behaviors made you feel.
  4. Thanks. Finish with a simple thank you.

This method ensures you’re doing more than just acknowledging good behavior. It tells people that you value their choices and are appreciative of their efforts. Here’s an example of what a GIFT in praise might look like:

“I liked the email you sent to an important client. It was clear and concise. Thanks to that, we have the first step to building an enduring relationship. It makes me feel good to know that you are setting yourself up for a good start at this company. Thank you for your excellent work.”

Focusing on Engaging Employees

Focusing on how you can better engage your employees is about more than just making sure people are happy in the office. You want to create an environment where your employees will thrive. When you do this successfully, you build loyalty and develop stronger, long-lasting relationships.

An engagement-focused leader keeps a few things in mind. You provide lots of growth opportunities for employees and mine for new ones. You encourage networking and give people the chances and occasions to make new connections.

You also make sure that you are leading from the front by coming into work each day energized and showing that you’re passionate about the company. When someone needs a mentor, they feel comfortable coming to you. And, when someone has questions, you listen to them and understand their concerns.

Keeping Employees Inspired

Work is about more than just money. It’s a chance to play a part in achieving a grander vision. A common mistake that employers make is setting out all the employee objectiveswithout saying why the goals are important. Getting employees to share your vision will provide motivation, giving them a reason to work hard.

If you are on the leadership team, you know your company’s goal. But what about your employees? Let them know the company’s vision for the coming year and how their work will contribute. Excite your people about how the future will look.

Creating Opportunities

Retaining people means giving them a reason to stick around. They want to know that they have a long-term position at your company. For example, you can promote internally, creating new opportunities as your organization grows.

If you are going to give people a new opportunity, you need to give them the right tools. Then, you should be able to sit back and monitor the results. If they need help, you’ll be able to step in. Otherwise, give them the autonomy needed to take control.

Understanding and Adapting

Building a cooperative working environment is an essential part of facilitative leadership. Stand back and let employees control what is happening, rather than swooping in to take charge. Understand concerns or potential roadblocks. Then, work together to find ways to overcome them. Once you have laid out a goal, you’ll need to work together to achieve it. Inevitably, there will be setbacks. At these times, connect with your employees first. Find out what went wrong and why it happened. Then, you can work to correct the situation. Remember, not everyone communicates in the same style. Some people need to hear you explain the ideas, other need you to show them. Adapt your delivery style to each person, so everyone understands the role they play.

Interested in learning more leadership techniques?

Check out our course, The Facilitative Leader

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