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RAB Sales Tips

I quit!

"The firings will continue until morale improves."

"You'll either be fired up with enthusiasm or fired with enthusiasm."

Those funny/not funny clichés are no way to build a high-performance culture. It's hard enough to find people, and once you have them, sometimes they leave. Frequently, these resignations are seen as some 'generational thing' or something new.

It was way back in 2009 that a Texas A&M economist first used the term "quiet quitting." Since then, we've heard it thousands of times, and more recently — The Great Resignation. What's with all the unhappy people? Are people on your team ready to walk out the door? When people are working from distributed locations; home, coffee shops, anywhere but "in the office," it can be more difficult to keep your fingers on the pulse of the organization or individual employees.

In her book, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go, author Julie Winkle Giulioni suggests that it's time to stop demonizing employees and instead focus our efforts on trying to understand what's going on and develop ways to optimize engagement for each employee. Giulioni says it starts with four questions:

1. Do we know what's motivating the shift in mindset or behavior of an employee? This of course assumes you have noticed a shift in performance or attitude. Giulioni says, "Employees don't fall into some broad monolithic demographic category. They are individuals who must be treated as populations of one."

2. Has the organization or team experienced a pattern of escalating work expectations or volume of work? Most organizations, understandably, are trying to do more with less. Giulioni says this can be exhausting for the average employee as they push their limits and absorb unprecedented levels of psychic stress.

3. Does each employee have clear, fair and verifiable goals and objectives? This is something we share in our RAB Leadership Masterclass. The importance of job clarity — but not only clarity, participation from the employee to help develop the goals and objectives. If they are involved, they are likely to be engaged and committed. If they are "sent from on high" you can hope for — at best — compliance.

4. Is the organization investing in development? Development is a key driver of employee engagement. Not surprisingly, when people feel that their careers are being developed, they are more satisfied and invested in their work. After spending time in a pressure-cooker environment, I can remember my first week at RAB when Erica Farber called me to ask me how I was doing. I instantly flipped on the switch and was telling her all the things I had accomplished that week and my task list for the following week. She stopped me abruptly and said, "Jeff, I didn't ask you what you were doing, I asked you how you were doing." And that's the kind of leader I work for. She cares and she's amazing.

Talk to most managers today and they are focused on recruitment — finding new talent. While this is critical to future growth, you may pause this weekend and reflect on your retention efforts. Do you understand what your team is struggling with? Do you notice even small changes in behavior or attitude that could be warning signs? When was the last time you had a casual conversation with one of your team members and simply asked, "how are you doing?" Then, listen — really listen — and they will tell you everything you need to know.

Happy Friday!

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP