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            [post_content] => IMI Members recently had the chance to join a highly informative webinar, hosted in partnership with Deloitte. We heard from Jon Kelleher and Anusha Monga, who are Managers on the Deloitte Human Capital Team. Deloitte has recently undertaken a report of Gen Z and Millennial workers, across a number of countries. In this article, we’ll share some key insights from the webinar.

The world of work is constantly changing and reinventing itself. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve come to understand that work will never be the same again, and additional factors like the war in Ukraine, inflation, and the energy crisis have continued to influence ways of working this year.

A global shift in worker values and expectations

Covid gave workers the unique opportunity to pause and consider what was important to them. For example, the focus has shifted to time with family, a change in values, new career goals, and people looking to avoid long commutes, low wages, and burnout.

This year alone, 4.25 million people in the US quit their jobs. That’s up from 3.3 million in 2021. So, who is leaving? Resignations are highest amongst mid-career workers (aged 30 – 45 years); women; and people of colour.

41% of the global workforce were likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next year. With 4 in 10 Gen-Z workers planning to quit their jobs in 2022, better flexibility, greater opportunities for advancement, and purposeful culture were cited amongst the top reasons. Looking forward, 56% of Gen-Z and 40% of millennials in Ireland would like to leave their job within the next two years, with almost a third of Gen-Z being willing to leave their job without another one lined up.

65% of workers said that the pandemic has made them re-think the value of their job, and workers believe they have more agency than ever when it comes to securing a new job.

The push for flexibility is a key driver. 75% of Gen-Z and 76% of millennials would prefer a hybrid working pattern. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that this is equitable. New generations are pursuing non-traditional work, like start-ups and gig work.

An Irish Perspective

From an Irish perspective, cost of living concerns are key, followed by mental health factors, workplace culture, and career progression opportunities and rewards.

From the standpoint of the organisation, there is a need to do more to prevent burnout. Unsurprisingly, there is still a stigma around mental health, with around half of Gen-Z and Millennials not feeling comfortable talking to their direct managers about mental health concerns. On top of this, the time they are taking off due to anxiety-related issues is increasing.

People in senior positions are also now rejecting jobs based on their personal values. For example, only 20% of respondents in the Deloitte survey believe that their organisations are committed to environmental causes, like sustainability.

So how can organisations work towards flipping the Great Resignation to the Great Reimagination? The answer falls into three pillars: work, the workforce, and the workplace.

Benefits are changing with the times

When it comes to work, the key is to re-focus by optimising processes, eliminating low priority work, and re-designing towards achieving new outcomes. In terms of the workforce, organisations should explore new talent pipelines, leverage workforce ecosystems, create new opportunities for existing employees, and work towards re-skilling the workforce. Finally, organisations should work towards improving both the physical and digital workspace, and focus on culture and collaboration by bringing staff together to create the right environment for work.

At a more granular level, organisations should think slightly out of the box. For example by introducing more relevant perks like paid family leave, home office stipends, or childcare assistance funds. When it comes to skills and training, organisations should look at the human skills needed to develop leadership potential and eliminate entry-level qualifications which are not longer relevant to the job at hand.

When we talk about a workforce ecosystem, organisations need to rethink their workforce strategy to explore untapped talent. Allowing workers to flex their skills leads to stronger performance and higher satisfaction amongst the staff members. Furthermore, the physical and digital workplace should be designed to facilitate automated or completely remote tasks. Technology should be implemented in ways that work towards specific goals, rather than for the sake of it.

Leadership also has to shift in this new world of work. In years gone by, leadership would require identifying a problem, assessing for gaps and building a solution to fill those gaps. Nowadays, leaders need to understand where you are and where you need to go, lead in an adaptive way, and innovate and maximise long-term value through strategic partnerships.

In summary, it can be said that a paradigm shift is occurring – and if organisations don’t move with the times, they’ll be stuck with the great resignation, rather than moving forwards to the great reimagination.

--

IMI Corporate members can enjoy access to webinars, in-person events and other benefits. You can find out more about Corporate Membership here.
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            [post_content] => Based on your current work – if you had only six words of advice to give a leader, what would they be?

Trust yourself to hold onto doubt.

 

What does this mean?

People who have the capacity to be comfortable with doubts often have a higher tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. To be able to hold doubt, question and not jump to conclusions is a sign of high self-trust. It’s an important trait we will see becoming more prominent in leaders over the next 10 years.

Overconfident, ego-driven leaders are not who we will trust in the future. We are undergoing a major shift that will determine the types of traits we look for in our leaders.

For generations we have been surrounded by leaders who pretend to have the answers when they don’t – they often project a ‘false certainty.’ But the Covid era has shown us glimpses of how a new generation will lead in times of uncertainty. Perhaps most notably, Jacinda Ardern – the Prime Minister of New Zealand – has been open about not knowing. Leading with doubt is about slowing down and listening; expanding your capacity to respond to the unknown.

The obsessive need for speed, control and performance can have a huge impact in driving poor decisions. Doubt is often perceived as a negative force, but once we rethink doubt as something productive rather than paralysing, we can make more informed trustworthy decisions.

Paralysing doubt pulls us backwards or downwards; productive doubt pushes us forwards. Productive doubt doesn't 'hold us back' but keeps us still long enough to consider other options and choices.

 

Where should we look for further information?

By subscribing to my Rethink with Rachel newsletter and receive a new edition every other Monday. You can also join the Rethink Book Club to hear regularly about what I’m reading and get recommendations to help you think differently.
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Ruth Gotian

Ruth Gotian

24th Jan 2023

Webinar Insights

Related Articles

From Great Resignation to Great Reimagination: An Irish Perspective – Webinar Insights
Six Words of Wisdom with Rachel Botsman

4 Things High Achievers Do Differently: Dr Ruth Gotian

We’ve all heard the saying, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Yet a recent Gallup study shows that many people are, in fact, not loving their work and are miserable in their jobs, with only 21% of employees engaged at work and 33% thriving in their overall well-being globally. Individually and as a society, we seem to have lost our hope for the future. People want to succeed, but the path to achievement is murky. No one wakes up aiming to be average, but all the messages we receive, consciously and unconsciously, appear to push us to that undistinguishable level.

For nearly a decade, I’ve interviewed scores of high achievers, from astronauts to Olympic gold medalists to Nobel Prize winners, for my book The Success Factor. What was revealing is that irrespective of their industry, all high achievers had four things in common, and any of us can customize them to our own lifestyle, not by copying their habits but by emulating their mindsets.

1) Tap into your intrinsic motivation.

Why did you enter your chosen profession? Getting to the “why” behind your career choice is critical, as it will help you get in touch with your deepest motivations, block out distractions, and potentially adjust (or reengage) with your current path.

For instance, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is motivated by helping others. When I asked how he selects which problems to focus on, he told me that he picks problems that he feels are important, not just interesting. This sentiment was repeated by many of the people I spoke with — they focused on doing work that would make an impact beyond themselves. For the highest achievers, it’s not about the medals, rewards, bonuses, or promotions.

What you can do:

To tap into your intrinsic motivation, ask yourself: What fuels my curiosity? Is it aligned with what fuels my work? If you’re focused only on external factors (like rewards), you’re likely on the path to burnout.

I recommend creating a passion audit, which will help you differentiate between what you are good at versus what you are not, and what you enjoy doing versus where you procrastinate. Look for themes and see how you can embed some of your more passionate tasks into your career.

2) Get comfortable with failure.

Dr. Peggy Whitson is a biochemist who worked at NASA. She always dreamed of becoming an astronaut but was met with repeated hurdles. For a full decade, she applied to be an astronaut but was repeatedly rejected. She didn’t quit after the first, second, or even third rejection. Every time she faced a hurdle, she asked herself, “What strategy have I not thought of yet?” She leveraged what she learned working at NASA to be more competitive as an astronaut applicant, and even went on to become the first female commander of the international space station, and ultimately became NASA’s chief astronaut.

Some people fear failing, while others fear succeeding. High achievers fear “not trying” more than they fear failing. For them, it’s not a question of if they can overcome a challenge; the focus is always on how they can. They consider alternative strategies and work fiercely to control what they can control, and ignore distractions.

What you can do:

To achieve a similar focus, consider this two-step approach. Learn to leverage your cognitive hours, those when you are most able to concentrate, and spend that time on your deep focus work, not passive tasks such as responding to emails or scheduling Zoom meetings, which you can do when you are more sluggish.

Second, consider productivity sprints using the time management Pomodoro method, which has you working and taking scheduled breaks on a predictable cycle. If the work you’re engaged in during this time isn’t bringing you closer to your goal, or giving you the results you want, don’t stop trying or lose focus. Instead, us the time to brainstorm a different approach.

3) Reinforce your foundation.

The week the Nobel Prizes are announced, social media is in a frenzy showing the newly minted award winners going about their usual routine of teaching or writing grants in between press interviews. Despite all of their accolades, high achievers never rest on their laurels. Even if they’ve done a task or routine countless times, they still work on the basic skills foundational to their current — and future — success. It’s why NBA champion Kobe Bryant was famous for practicing the same warm-up routines you’d see in any junior high school gym.

In the military, people are told to “train hard, fight easy.” It’s also the strategy marathon runners use when they train in high altitudes so that running the race in normal conditions feels easier.

What you can do:

Consider the “must-have” skills of your profession and imagine how you can brush up on them or learn to build on them. Instead of letting them get rusty, think about what it would take for you to get to the point where they are so effortless that you can rely on muscle memory to lead you under stress. Do you need more practice? Do you need to practice under challenging conditions? Both strategies will sharpen your abilities.

4) Become a lifelong learner.

The high achievers I spoke with are continuously open to learning, although it is rarely in the classroom. Discussions with mentors, colleagues, peers, and mentees, coupled with reading, observing others, watching videos, and listening to podcasts, all inform their deep reservoir of knowledge.

Christopher Wadell, for instance, grew up as an able-bodied skier until an accident one day left him without use of his lower body. He wanted to return to the slopes and first learned this was possible years earlier when he watched a cancer survivor with one leg on a monoski. That memory was embedded in his mind, and it pushed him to learn to ski in this new way. Today, Christopher Wadell is a decorated Paralympian. He’s won 13 medals, five of them gold.

What you can do:

To increase your knowledge base, which can lead to making connections others don’t yet see, immerse yourself with interesting people and open your mind up to new ideas. Surround yourself with a team of mentors who can offer you challenges and scaffolding to try new things. Consume new ideas in a platform of your choosing — reading books and articles, watching webinars, taking LinkedIn Learning courses, or listening to engaging conversations and interviews.

 

People want to succeed, but there is a lack of understanding and discussion on how to achieve more, and more importantly, be motivated to do it. By learning the lessons from some of the most accomplished people of our generation, we can make average our beginning, not our end goal.

 

Originally published inHarvard Business Review: 4 Things High Achievers Do Differently (hbr.org)

IMI Members can sign up to attend our in-person event, The Success Factor: Developing the Mindset and Skill set for Peak Performance with Ruth Gotian,  taking place on 22nd February in Dublin and 23rd February in Cork.

Non-Members can purchase tickets here for Dublin and Cork. Places are limited.