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The Boomerang Approach to the Great Resignation

Written by Avi Liran

Dale Carnegie said “Life is a boomerang. What you give, you get.” How can employers use this theory to turn The Great Resignation into an opportunity? One man did just that, and the result was astounding.

More than 19 million US workers and counting have quit their jobs this year. This is the highest number recorded by the American Bureau of Labor statistics in history. According to Microsoft, 49% of the Singapore workforce plans to leave their job by the end of this year.

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Has all of the negativity about The Great Resignation that is flooding the news and our social media feeds blinded us from the great opportunities that lie within? To answer that, we need to first look at why so many are leaving their jobs.

While it is true that a large percentage of employees are leaving their jobs due to a lack of worker protection, stress, disrespect and dissatisfaction with their organization’s culture, there are more profound reasons for resignations.

The pandemic ‘pressure cooker’ of lockdowns and work-from-home isolation allowed many the time to reflect and evaluate their career choices. Not only has this pushed people into realizing that they need to seek out opportunities that align with their values, but it has also encouraged individuals to pursue their desired careers and dreams.

In fact, Aviva, the UK’s largest insurance provider, found that around 60% of workers in the UK intend on changing careers. In addition to this, the silo effect of corporate culture, exacerbated by covid, has left many employees feeling disconnected, unrecognized, and unseen. This has created a craving for a sense of belonging.

With so many people globally reshaping their priorities, The Great Resignation could be seen as an incubator for opportunities. So, what can we, as employers, do as our talent leaves? How can we use this to our advantage? What would a delightful leader do?

The delightful Leader approach

Greg Allan, the former general manager of Marriott in Singapore, the President & COO Aryaduta Hotel Group in Indonesia, is an accomplished C-level hospitality leader. He taught me a valuable lesson in 2007 how a delightful leader should approach the issue that is pertinent to our current massive employees’ resignation.

During that year, many new hotels were recruiting new talent, among them were the two integrated resorts: Marina Bay Sands and Resort World Sentosa who needed more than 15,000 people. Where would they hunt for the best managers? Marriott was at the top of their list because it is well known to have a great culture that constantly develops its team members.

Greg had to do something to stop the exodus of talent, so he embarked on “Operation Boomerang’: Greg made a choice. With each resigning employee, he would invest time, energy, kindness, and support instead of expressing the natural disappointment felt when people that you invest in and care for leave. What came back to him was astounding.

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About the author

Avi Liran

Known as the ‘Chief Delighting Officer’, an author, economist and a global expert speaker, Avi Liran has been researching and implementing delightful cultures transformation that cultivate delightful employees and customers experiences.

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