The Great Resignation: The C-Suite Impact
Significant changes to recent employment rates have forced employers to re-evaluate their approach to staff retention and the factors that influence longevity and strength in a workforce. The Great Resignation, in which millions of people are leaving their jobs in search of better lifestyles, has caused upheaval in almost every industry, creating large gaps in talent and production, while impacting budgets and company morale.
“At Amrop, we have noted significant trends in our partner countries – the ripple effect of what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports as 47.8-million Americans resigning from their work last year. Our position as a global leadership advisory and executive search firm allows us to analyse and anticipate these challenges in other territories, assisting our worldwide network with strategies to tackle The Great Resignation” says Annika Farin, Amrop Partnership Chair and a Managing Partner of the German office.
Amrop data shows that after its hard hit on the USA, The Great Resignation is now impacting a vast European territory, causing smaller countries to take note of retention lessons learnt in the US., also notes that Europe’s demographical factors are impacting the job market, as the Baby Boomers are all exiting quite simultaneously – “this is especially apparent in Germany, we see this everywhere now, and have to get creative about it” says Farin.
According to Amrop Italy’s President and Managing Partner Antonio Pellerano, the phenomenon is impacting 60% of companies in Italy, and several thousands of positions, mainly in the digital and ITC areas. Similar trends are now being seen in Eastern and Western Europe.
Although a Microsoft survey conducted last year highlights that 41% of the global workforce is considering quitting their jobs, the anticipated rate of resignation in the executive class is significantly higher. A recent Deloitte survey shows that nearly 70% of C-suite employees in the US, UK, Canada and Australia are seriously considering leaving their jobs.
The study indicates that 81% of the C-suite says that improving their well-being is more important than advancing their career, as they go in search of better-lived lives. This lifestyle pursuit is now trickling into European countries, forcing companies to pay close attention to their chief executives, chief financial officers, and other C-level employees, as they reassess the role of work in their lives.
Amrop develops retention programmes that keep employees engaged, productive and employed – always customised to the enterprise’s needs and goals. A multi-faceted, targeted, and personal strategy is key, supported by a trusting, secure working relationship between the employer and employee.
The retention counselling service developed by Amrop Woodburn Mann and the Woodburn Mann Leadership Science Institute offers a successful example of such a programme, and one that the Amrop network around the world extract lessons from when dealing with partner retention strategies. It focuses on principles of enhanced engagement – at a personal and institutional level – that facilitate solutions for executives within a business.
“The programme cultivates long-term loyalty and delivery, enhancing the retention proposition and attracting the executive to remain in the company,” explains Andrew Woodburn, Managing Partner at Amrop Woodburn Mann, who sits on the Global Board of the Amrop Partnership. “In most cases, the individual is not informed that they are undergoing retention counselling, since this knowledge could create an awkward dynamic between them and their employer. Rather, they are awarded an executive development opportunity. Together with the employer, we design a programme to overcome some of the challenges triggering the employee to become a flight risk.”
Woodburn advises businesses to look beyond solely addressing the employee’s needs. “In many cases, culture and retention stem from the leadership style trickling down from above. Therefore, systemically, the culture and leadership of the organisation need to be attended to from the top down. This is a long-term programme and can take many years to execute within an organisation, requiring a dedicated culture commitment and buy-in from the business.”
He recommends a diverse facilitation mandate when creating such a programme. “It should include attitude, current organisational environment, any personal issues, education and training, leadership, remuneration, role scope and future expectations. This broad palette should bring to the surface the critical issues that need to be addressed by the retention programme, to generate a workable solution for both the employee and the employer.”
“At Amrop, we encourage businesses to make retention plans part of their mandate to attract, develop and retain talent. Our aim when working with corporations is to hold on to enterprise knowledge by retaining long-term, highly valuable employees, particularly in the executive category. An executive’s experience, qualifications, networks, insight, company understanding and ability to contribute beyond KPIs are highly prized commodities – and these C-suites should be a strong focus in a business’s retention strategy” – Annika Farin
To ensure good retention planning, Amrop recommends an agile approach that considers the individual and their overall well-being. Companies that can offer flexibility to their employees and understand their needs and values are more likely to maintain a stable and competitive workforce. Offering attractive benefits, being committed to long-term career prospects, facilitating training, and investing in ongoing learning will instil greater loyalty, retaining talented and motivated executives who are committed to the organisation's success.