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The Great Resignation | Companies that Make Work Worth It | Death of the Micromanager

July 9, 2021 Misti Aaronson

The Great Resignation:

Be Prepared to Lose 40% of your People


The Microsoft Work Trend Index found that 40% of workers worldwide are considering quitting their jobs, with 54% of Gen Z saying they are mulling it over. This study was conducted on more than 30,000 people in 31 countries and discovered the two most popular reasons for job-quitting were feeling undervalued (at 49%) or not liking the work environment (32%).

Economists are calling it “the great resignation.”

There are many reasons people want to leave their jobs. The BLUF (bottom line up-front) is they want fewer hours and greater flexibility. This report outlines the 7 top workplace trends today, which are:

  1. Flexible work is here to stay
  2. Leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call
  3. High productivity is masking an exhausted workforce
  4. Gen Z is at risk and will need to be re-energized
  5. Shrinking networks are endangering innovation
  6. Authenticity will spur productivity and well-being
  7. Talent is everywhere in a hybrid world

    The great resignation is forcing companies to think and act differently. One example of this is Uber, which announced that employees will be required to come into the office 3 days a week starting in September.

    And in case you didn’t know, people are talking about this hot-button topic on Blind. Blind is a social media and networking where 3 million plus professionals share their thoughts and opinions of the workplace culture at different companies.

 Companies that Make Work Worth It -

& Why SHIFT Lost in 2020

SHIFT won Inc’s 2021 Best Places to Work Award (which was actually for 2020) and is in the good company of 429 total businesses that “Make Work Worth It” according to Inc. Winning this award isn’t new to us; we hit the list in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

But 2020 was different. This has been the one year we didn't win the award, which means that our employees didn’t think we deserved it in 2019.

Needless to say, as a company that specializes in employee engagement and performance, it was disappointing. The blow wasn’t not winning the award but rather the feedback we received: That we needed to find innovative ways of inspiring our teams by connecting them from afar with creativity that would make their work feel more meaningful and give clarity on what they were working for at all times. Check out our NPS Score below!

Inc 4Although really insightful, NPS is just one data point.

We had to peel back the 2019 onion in order to learn. What we found was that there were three areas of focus for consideration: clarity of the path forward, team alignment with path forward, and improved communication.

inc 32021 is the gray line, and 2020 is the light blue line. Clearly, our work and focus paid off this year, but 2020 was a valuable lesson. Here are some of the headlines we put in place that helped us win this year:

  1. Total flexibility & autonomy: We give our team flexability to make decisions as adults. We have a system that indicates when it is safe to meet in person, and our team feels empowered by the freedom of decision. It also ensures all members feel comfortable with their decisions as they can voice what feels right for them personally.
  2. Work Rhythm: We take 30 minutes at the beginning and end of every week to connect with everyone on our team. After a long, stressful workweek it's always refreshing for all involved to be able speak openly about what we've accomplished in the past few days as well has set goals for next week together!
  3. Switching up our Zoom game: For the last all-hands, we gave our team members awesome backgrounds at Gaping Void Virtual Backgrounds to choose from and buy, which totally changed the energy. We also do creative breakout sessions that take the all-hands to a more intimate level.
  4. Employee transitions: We threw out the HR rulebook when it came to letting team members go and allowed them to transition out, say goodbye, and keep the line of communication with us open. Of course, there are risks with this type of flexibility, but if someone wigs out when they leave, you’ve likely hired the wrong type of person in the first place.
  5. Infusion of mind-blowing, heart-opening, and soul-inspiring content in everything we do: This includes yoga, meditation, breathwork sessions, gong therapy, dancing, and everything in between. Yes, 2020 was like a wet blanket in terms of fun, but we still did our very best.
  6. Be of service: During the pandemic, we donated nearly $1M in consulting services to be of service and support to the business community, giving everyone a stronger sense of purpose and community involvement.
  7. We digitally adapted by acquiring a technology platform: Having a 100% service-based company is sometimes volatile, always unpredictable, not scalable, and limits the level of impact possible. So, acquiring a tech platform is like a shot of adrenaline to the heart.

    While our results weren’t exactly perfect in 2019, we continue to make strides. Here’s what one SHIFT employee had to say:

    Our management team takes an inclusive and transparent approach to communication and decision-making with regular team meetings and business initiatives driven by employee input. We put employees in control of their career trajectory through collaborative conversations that develop into actionable plans. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have prioritized employee concerns and challenges, transitioning to a fully remote model, altering routines, hosting virtual events addressing emotional health, and sending care packages.

The Long-Awaited Death of the Micromanager


Perhaps there was a time when being a micromanager was cool? Or maybe there was a point in history when employees really wanted to have someone breathing down their neck, making sure what they did was correct? Or maybe, the needs of employees weren’t important until recently, when business leaders learned that “loyalty” was a two-way street.

Either way, we’re about to see a major shift in what makes a great leader. With the pandemic almost in our rearview, leaders forcing employees to come back to the office in the name of “culture” or “collaboration” are getting it wrong, especially when the request is rooted in power and the need to control.

So, what makes a great leader? At SHIFT, we love EPIC leaders, the ones that: embrace change and are progressive, innovative, and culturally driven.

While there are many remarkable leaders that fit this bill, check out the Chief People Officer from Glassdoor, and learn how her public journey through anxiety and depression ultimately allowed her to connect with employees and drive well-being.

Are You Listening to Your Employees?

Capture valuable employee insights and empower yourself to better show up for their current needs with our Post Pandemic Survey and Strategy Program

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TOPICS: Workplace Innovation, leadership, stories that shift