Like caged birds, employees who have been feeling the effects of burnout over the last two years are feeling trapped by their jobs and are resigning in droves.
Using the analogy (the British version of the Psychologies magazine (March 2022 edition)) to describe the Great Resignation, Evelyn Chow, Managing Director of strategic HR consultancy DecodeHR, said, “People hit burnout in one form or another and decided that ‘I'm going to set myself free’. And I think this is why many people have decided to seek a new career to choose a different path because they feel that it's now or never.”
Evelyn was speaking at the inaugural Mednefits RECHRGE podcast held on 21 April, which centred on the global trend in which more employees are voluntarily resigning. DecodeHR is a Mednefits partner and customer.
She added, “Another factor is that people want purpose and passion in their work. If they are not feeling that passion or purpose in their work, or are not fulfilled or nurtured, then they want out.”
Then the question is: How to motivate employees so that they can give of the best of themselves at work and – using the analogy Evelyn cited – burst into glorious song?
Even with the advent of working-from-home, leaders must spend quality time, whether it is in-person or online, getting to know their employees. Said Evelyn, “As leaders, we need to recognise our employees as people with aspirations, interests, and hobbies. That would then enable us to craft and enable the delivery of work in a way that taps on their strengths. There is no shortcut for that.”
On “super-efficient” Zoom meetings which may be ended once the agenda is complete, Evelyn said, “What's been really missing from some of these Zoom conversations are the other questions where you think, ‘How about this, maybe we should be doing that’, brainstorming sessions. These are also needed to build up trust, which is critical.”
Evelyn, who has conducted performance coaching for business leaders and managers for about 7 years and also personally engaged her own coach, said, “Coaching opportunities really motivate people to see that ‘I have the opportunity to be the best version of myself here in this workplace. I want to give it my best shot’.”
A visionary leader Evelyn worked with in the past allowed anyone to put up their hand for challenging projects, even those who may not be that experienced. “It really changed the dynamics and culture of the company,” recalled Evelyn, “as it created a team of younger people who were hungry.”
Company/team events help to build camaraderie. For instance, DecodeHR held a 2021 Christmas party over Zoom, which included fun games, with food and gift packs sent to every employee’s home.
Bringing a breath of fresh air into the tried-and-tested Zoom webinar routine, Evelyn turned the spotlight on the youthful hosts when she asked them to answer a question from a participant: How can a company motivate younger employees?
To which Mednefits Account Manager Bryan Woo, 28, replied, “For me, it would be an environment to grow in, a safe space where the organisation pays attention to more than just the numbers to elements like well-being.”
It was a different story for Mednefits Customer Success Manager Low Hsiang Ling. Said Hsiang Ling, 27, “Having the opportunity to grow, learning things beyond my role, the ability to work with different teams, a management that listens to me, this is all important. But I'm a bit more realistic so I would also look at employee benefits like health screenings, where I am appreciated in terms of monetary benefits.”
That said, piecemeal measures are not enough. When it comes to motivating employees, organisations need to adopt an integrated approach which is sustainable.
“It should not be a one-off thing. You do need to think about a longer-term strategy which comes down to nurturing a culture across the teams, so that all leaders recognise that people are their most important assets,” said Evelyn.
“Strategies like these, coupled with the opportunity to have access to coaching, mentoring, having access to projects, all these things are the different ways that companies can create the levers to really create a workforce that's motivated.”
And when all the birds sing with all their hearts in perfect harmony, that is when an organisation can truly soar.
Written by: Decode HR - More about them:
DecodeHR is one of the most innovative and agile strategic HR Consulting firms in Singapore. Focusing in providing strategic advice and high-impact solutions to clients primarily in Asia, Decode HR specializes in the areas of Strategic HR Reviews, Competency Frameworks Development, Strategic Workforce Planning, Transformation projects, and Recruitment.
With deep knowledge of Singapore and Asia, and this is coupled with experience in the international arena, Decode HR distills the best global practices to bring to you practical solutions for maximum impact. Connect with the Decode HR teamand explore innovative HR solutions.