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The Great Resignation & the Leadership Failures that Drive Good Employees Away

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, since early 2021, the Great Resignation has and continues to cause havoc in the employment world. Leaders world-wide are grappling with understanding what’s fueling it, and why millions of workers are making a mass exodus.  Research suggests that people are rethinking their careers, their long-lasting job dissatisfaction, preferring the flexibility that remote work allows and desiring a better work-life balance. More than ever, employers need to think smart and ensure that their work environment appeals to the post-Covid generation of workers.  Additionally, business leaders need to recognize some of the fundamental leadership failures that drive good employees away.

Relationship Management: To distinguish and determine how different people are motivated, what are communication breakdown styles, what are comprehension styles, and your ability to lead and respond accordingly.

Dr. Dharius Daniels, an emotional intelligence expert, author of Relational Intelligence: The People Skills You Need For The Life Of Purpose You Want and former professor at Princeton University, identifies 4 crucial leadership failures and how to rectify them:

1st leadership failure: 

The failure to recognize that the employee is actually the primary customer. Employees are initially drawn to work for a company because of the company’s reputation.  Ultimately however, good employees stick around because of how well a company looks after them. Employees should therefore be treated as the primary customer.  This means that the employee should be treated, cared for, managed, and responded to in a way that is consistent with what the company wants to see mirrored in their customers.

Managing employees this way not only sets a good example, but also increases one of the most important assets of any company – credibility – and what credibility brings is trust.  Steven Covey says every relationship “moves at the speed of trust”.  Employees want to work with and work for a company that they can trust and if they can’t trust, then there’s no credibility.

2nd leadership failure: 

The failure to recognize the difference between leadership and management. Leadership is a buzzword in corporate culture but in reality, what we see is a management culture in most companies and not proper leadership. Management is important and is a part of senior leadership responsibility.  Managers have to make people follow but leaders make people want to follow. Managers bring about compliance and what leaders are able to create is buy-in and when you have buy-in, it increases the likelihood of an employee bringing their best self to work and giving you their best effort. It offers the promise of an employee going beyond the regular call of duty. And so if leaders recognize the difference between management and leadership, it increases their likelihood of a team that will give you their best effort and will go beyond the regular call of duty. If leaders recognize the difference between management and leadership, it increases their likelihood of recruiting and retaining good employees.

3rd leadership failure: 

The failure to recognize that finances are not the only form of valued compensation.  This is a reality that’s a recent development and specifically when you look at the work patterns of the millennium generation.  Current studies reveal that this is the 1st generation in a long time to not out earn the previous generation. And it’s not because this generation isn’t capable or competent, but because there are things that they value more than money.  They value being part of something that means something and they value being part of something that values them. They value flexibility more than finances. So, recognizing and realizing that the idea of placing golden handcuffs on people is a phenomenon that worked in the past but not in the future, is imperative. It may have worked in the past, but not now. This refers to paying employees so well that they tolerate toxicity in their working environment because of the financial compensation. Again, it may have worked for previous generations but it will not work for companies that thrive in the future.

4th leadership failure: 

Last but not least is the failure to recognize that EQ is the IQ multiplier.  Especially with the reality of the great resignation.  What people don’t want to return to, is the toxicity in the culture they were part of. It’s not that they’re avoiding work and it’s not that they’re in love with staying at home, but they’ve got a glimpse of what it’s like to work in peace. It is vital that raising Emotional Intelligence should be seen as a core leadership competency.

Your EQ consists of 4 qualities:

1. Self- Awareness: How well you are aware of yourself as a leader.

2. Self-Management: Your ability to manage yourself based on what you know about yourself because the 1st person a leader has to lead, is themself.

3. Social Awareness: Your ability to discern the difference in others and their relationship management.

4. Relationship Management: To distinguish and determine how different people are motivated, what are communication styles, what are comprehension styles, and your ability to lead and respond accordingly.

So being an emotionally intelligent leader, being able to manage yourself and others, is key and critical to recruiting and maintaining good employees in a post-COVID work world.

13 thoughts on “The Great Resignation & the Leadership Failures that Drive Good Employees Away

  1. Not much different than “leaders” who drive folks to move out of state…………………….

    1. It happens all over the country. They drive out businesses and individuals because their base voters insist on raising business and state income taxes on “the rich”. These idiot voters don’t think through the consequences. States simply get more in the way of takers than givers, so the result is inevitable.

      1. But if a rich person or company refuses to pay taxes, doesn’t that make THEM “takers”?

        1. lol, you cant refuse to pay taxes just ask the IRS

          1. Refuses as in, decides to leave NJ instead of paying taxes.

            As the commenters above were saying.

            Reading comprehension>rushing to make a comment to dunk on someone.


          2. NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition………………..

          3. touché, every CPA in state will tell you its best to leave

        2. Can you cite any instance where a rich person or company is refusing to pay taxes?

          1. David Tepper moved to Florida when he would be receiving a large capital gain, estimated that it saved him 140 – 150 million in NJ taxes avoided. He later was rumored to have moved back.

  2. People are just following the money. There’s no more loyalty,

    1. People have always followed the money. To not do so would be stupid.

    2. loyalty is earned, not given. if the workers are not properly compensated, they SHOULD vote with their feet.

  3. Everyone is high minded and picky until jobs go elsewhere and people need to put food on the table. How quickly sanctimonious people forget.

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