Don’t fall victim to the ‘Great Resignation’ — plus two free hours of consultation

By: Susan Lucia Annunzio. Category: Newsletters

You’ve heard about the “Great Resignation.” Millions of Americans are leaving their jobs, according to government data. To keep this from happening to you, it’s time to take stock of the work environment your company’s leaders are creating. Is it one where people can do their best work and want to stay?

With many white-collar employees working from home due to COVID-19, this can be more challenging than it was just a few years ago. Nevertheless, some constants remain. Research conducted by the Center for High Performance found that a work environment that drives innovation and yields measurable results is distinctly different from one that does not. The difference is in how people are treated.

Our research uncovered that the overwhelming majority or employees are not engaged at work. They don’t ask questions or share ideas, and eventually become unmotivated and decide to leave. What kind of environment are your employees operating in? One that drains, or one that nurtures? How do you boost Return on Brainpower (ROB)?

Five Ways to Boost Return on Brainpower

  1. Treat smart people like they are smart. Tell people what to do, not how to do it. Trust that people want to do the right thing, then get out of the way and let them do it. There are different ways to get a good result, and since your workers are closer to the problem, they may have better ideas on how to solve it. Also, when people feel they “own” the idea, they try harder to make it work.
  2. Look for what’s right. Instead of dismissing suggestions you don’t agree with, ask what’s right about that “wrong answer,” what’s smart about the “bad idea.” Innovation always looks strange. Did you ever think you would be taking photos on a phone?
  3. Listen to the contrarian voice. Groupthink can kill high performance. The person with an idea that goes against accepted thinking may be able to see what others don’t.
  4. Reward behavior. Thank people and reward them for results. But when you applaud their accomplishments be sure to tell the story not only of what they accomplished, but what specific behaviors achieved the results. It’s not just about what they achieved, but how they got there. Thank and reward the proactivity, creativity, learning from failure, and courage.
  5. Remove barriers to success. Spend time with your best people to figure out what is preventing employees from using their brainpower effectively and eliminate those barriers. Otherwise, your high-performing employees will waste time removing obstacles — time that could have been spent productively. So spend the time, ask the questions, and expect to hear the unexpected and you will find the barriers. Remove the barriers, wherever and whenever you can.

Creating an environment where people are encouraged to use their brainpower improves performance by stimulating them to be more creative and productive. That’s good for morale and the bottom line. The best way to increase ROI is to increase ROB!

Are you communicating in a way that encourages brainpower? Are you unintentionally asking your staff to leave their ideas at the door? If you would like guidance on your approach to communications, I am happy to offer up to two hours of free virtual consultations.