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Empower Your People Leaders To Survive The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation, contrary to popular belief, isn't just about money. It's about fulfillment, connection, burnout, growth and so much more. How do you go about solving such a broad-reaching problem? Look to the people leaders of your organization. They have the opportunity to create a workplace where team members want to stay and give their best work.

People leaders run the people function of your organization, often donning titles like Head of People, VP of People Ops or Chief People Officer. They are some of your most critical assets and are leading the people revolution with the opportunity to fix the engagement problem we’ve been experiencing for over two decades.

However exciting this revolution is, they still have several hurdles to overcome. More often than not, people leaders aren’t given the proper resources, funding or authority to make the changes and decisions necessary to help their people.

Authority. This should be the first thing you look for when determining if you should partner with a company. Does the company truly value its people? Or is it just lip service? Hire people leaders and then give them the authority to run their departments. Trust these leaders as key assets in helping the business scale and evolve your people as they continue to grow and evolve themselves. Unfortunately, companies often preach the importance of their people, hire a people leader and put surface-level programs in place. But when it comes down to making real progress, to take real action, they don’t give the people they’ve hired the power to put their plans in motion.

Funding. People leaders either don’t have sufficient funds to make the real change their organization is expecting, or they have funds but don’t prioritize the employee experience enough to even see the possibility of investing in their people. So they typically allocate some funds available to their people team — an amount good enough to start something, but not sufficient funds to make real, sustainable change. They might be able to fund a few hours of training per leader, but not much more. This is how startups and maturing organizations have done it, so when they talk to peers or look at their prior experiences, it seems like they are allocating enough funds toward training. This thinking is what keeps us stuck in the past, in a world of work where only a small percentage of team members are engaged; a world where your company is out to grow revenue, but not grow you. If you truly want to evolve and develop your people, it doesn’t happen in a few hours. It takes a long-term commitment to training and development, with dozens of hours of training and practice over months and years, not just weeks.

Resources. Perhaps your organization's people team is given the green light and sufficient funding to invest in the development of your people. The next challenge I see teams face is the lack of actual resources for the people team itself.

So, is your people team properly staffed?

Headcount on people teams is primarily focused on the talent team — the team charged with enabling the company to double in size this year. These roles are critical and necessary. However, where you may fail to invest is in the roles needed to onboard, train and develop those 200 new hires. This is often left to a small handful of people who are expected to be Jills and Jacks of all trades. This can cause the fourth and most pressing challenge.