I’ve recently had direct experience of the themes described in this excellent article https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/great-attrition-or-great-attraction-the-choice-is-yours relating to employee attrition rates & the gulf in perception & approach between managers and employees.

It describes how employees want ‘social and interpersonal connections with their colleagues and managers. They want to feel a sense of shared identity & they want to feel valued by their organisations and managers. They want meaningful interactions, not just transactions’. It links to https://hbr.org/2021/06/what-does-it-take-to-build-a-culture-of-belonging that describes key factors that need to be in place to create a sense of belonging:

  • Employees want to identify with the organisation’s value & purpose & feel connected to colleagues
  • Managers need to recognise & celebrate employees contributions & support them in their daily work & career aspirations

On the face of it this isn’t hard or complicated yet management through transactions continues to be a significant issue, with relationships focussed on outputs & activity and missing the need for  genuine & meaningful human-to-human engagement. COVID has brought this into sharp focus. An employee I know wasn’t contacted until 4 months after lockdown had begun; the ‘how are you?’ question only came at +12 months once an initiative had been introduced to check in on employees. On resignation, the response was merely ‘I’m surprised, your leaving date is…, and this to a skilled, knowledgeable, competent & self-directed high-performer. It’s dismal.

Effective leadership & management requires a genuine, authentic human relationship – until it’s in place employees will continue to vote with their feet.