2021 represented the largest shift towards employee empowerment since the advent of the 40 hour work week. Last year, millions of employees all across America, from various industries and seniority levels, quit their jobs. You’ve not doubt heard the old adage of “People leave managers, not companies,” and studies like this one from Gallup confirm that 75% of people quit their job to “get away from their manager at some point in their career.”

Therefore, with the Great Resignation causing major disruptions, from lack of products on store shelves all the way to growth challenges for thriving businesses, what can a Modern Leader do, or better yet, what should they STOP doing in order to succeed in the era of employee choice?

Avoid Micromanagement

Over and above salary expectations, this next generation of employees wants to feel included in the success, and even failures, of the organizations they join. Stop shielding your team from your reality and enroll them in a positive vision for your team, the organization and themselves. Inclusion is not just about diversity of people, but also diversity of thought. Excel in your role, by empowering team members and leaving them space to bring you great ideas. 

Don’t Pause, Postpone or procrastinate offering talent development opportunities

The reality of today’s workforce means you might not hire a candidate with 10 years experience in their field, but they may fit the profile of the motivated learner you can develop. Feed their desire to learn and grow by putting in place opportunities to acquire knowledge that is aligned with organizational goals. 

Quit Counting hours

There is no more 9-5 workday, and the sooner Leaders recognize this reality, the less stress they and their teams will face. Hybrid work may sound like a fad, but this reality is here to stay, and if we want to attract, and ultimately retain top talent, let’s stop trying to force skilled employees to fit into our mold of work/life balance. 

Don’t Ignore the importance of feedback

Considering this new age of employee empowerment, the importance of gathering their feedback cannot be overstated when it comes to growing a successful business. Employees’ feedback can offer unique business insight to leadership, process review and strategic planning. Instilling this culture, of honest feedback at all levels of the organization, is a crucial part of the work environment and extremely effective at improving performance….when done right. 

But sadly, too often: 

  • Managers are afraid to give it.
  • Employees don’t know how to receive it.
  • Employers are scared to open Pandora’s box.
  • It lacks political tact.
  • And the idea of Feedback Culture, stresses everyone out.  

Stop wearing the same hat, regardless of the situation

Leaders today are faced with team members from different backgrounds, cultures, employment experience and now even different geographical realities. The one size fits all Management style simply doesn’t fit with this new normal. 

It will be important for the Modern Manager to recognize when to wear the Coach hat, when to wear the Authoritarian hat, and most importantly when to wear the Teacher’s hat and train their staff for the skills they need to succeed in their role. 

Gain a better understanding of your team’s values and leverage those values to align a powerful vision you can promote effectively while motivating your team to success.