As a Director overseeing a large distributed team at Crossvale, I have seen #TheGreatResignation (really #TheGreatMigration) first hand and have some thoughts on how to keep it from ravaging your teams.
Our company is onboarding new staff almost every week and the ball has definitely been put in the hands of the applicants. To call back to my last article (IT Post Covid), expectations have shifted drastically and most companies haven’t responded well. How are you maintaining engagement with a fully remote distributed team?
According to a recent inc.com article, compensation is not the major reason, but it is definitely a factor in the current migration. Historically a new job, with a lot more responsibilities, was required to make a great shift in monetary comp. Today we’re seeing folks leave and make lateral shifts instead. Everyone is seeing the same inflation numbers and each person wants to ensure they are receiving full market value for their skills. How do you handle this?
Now that your staff is working remote and they haven’t recently, or ever, stepped foot in your physically office, your engagement strategy is what keeps them carrying your banner and showing up to contribute. No longer can you throw a box of donuts next to the coffee machine once month and call it “team engagement”.
You need a clear Recognition, Security, and Trust plan.
#Recognition: At heart we’re all kids that want to receive that gold star saying we did a good job. Sometimes it really is that easy. Include in your monthly newsletter/town-hall a deliberate callout of the greatest contributor to the team’s success. In your sprint retro make sure the team knows you’re noticing their delivery. Work up through your channels and get approval to get your team gift cards for dinner out or approval to allow them expense some random home office improvement…which will ultimately make them more a more efficient worker.
#Trust: What are you talking about in your weekly 1:1’s with your team members? Are you wasting this critical time doing status updates that should be coming from standups and sprint planning? Or are you building a relationship with your team members? Understanding what is happen in/with them? Ensuring they are planning/using time off and taking advantage of company benefits and training for career growth.
Most companies run a yearly review process. Have you done a stay interview with your team members? Are you ensuring that they are satisfied in the current roles? Are they tracking towards your goals for them?
Most of your staff won’t know the right words to use to describe why they aren’t happy. That’s where you come in as a servant leader, ensuring they are getting what they need and they know the words to use to describe what they want. As a manager you should be fully in the know for what the company offers for benefit programs and you should be helping your team to take advantage of those programs.
#Trust your team. They want to feel trusted. Gone are the days where you can breathe down their neck every few hours to ensure they have figured out how to minimize their favorite blog as you come swooping by. Measure the things that make your teams valuable. Sprint burndown, ticket closures, loan bookings, whatever your metrics are. Track that and not their perfect clock in at 8 and out at 5.
#Security and stability has an unspoken value. The security that they understand the plan and the plan itself is stable. They understand the macro direction the team is going in and how their daily efforts drive and support those milestones. You’re not going to move a mountain in one pass and your team needs to understand the value of each wheelbarrow, so they keep leaning into the goals.
We’re in a transition state in the IT sector and as our Agile oriented folk know this “forming and storming” time is critical to make us all better and more efficient. Those teams that are dynamic and able to evolve to the shifting environment are going to thrive in this new environment
Director, Solutions / Consulting Integration Architect