How to fight the 'great resignation'

Provide three 'basic needs' that all workers yearn for

How to fight the 'great resignation'

Workers have “three basic needs” that organizations should satisfy if they want to give their workforce a peak experience that is profound and long-lasting, as found by O.C. Tanner’s 2022 Global Culture Report.

These needs are autonomy, connection and mastery, found the report.

“Our research finds that satisfying these needs produces a strong, positive emotional response that supercharges employees’ perceptions,” says the report. “Fulfilling these needs also improves how people see themselves and determine their value in the workplace,” says Malcolm Gladwell, researcher and author of the report.

Autonomy, when satisfied, evokes an increased sense of ownership among people, according to the report. Connection brings out a greater sense of belonging, while mastery induces a sense of usefulness.

“Those three things — autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward — are three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying,” says Gladwell.

The report later added that when organizations provide these three things, combined with modern leadership, opportunity, and resources everyday events can be considered great experiences.

Saying thank you often will pay out for businesses, found another survey.

Practical steps

The report suggested three practical steps for businesses so they can bring out peak practices.

1. Focus on key elements

O.C. Tanner’s previous report identified six Talent Magnets that are important in an employee’s decision to join, engage with and stay in their current jobs. These are purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, wellbeing and leadership.

Providing opportunity can satisfy the need for autonomy and mastery, found the report. Showing appreciation and investing in wellbeing can help build connection, while recognizing employees’ work satisfies the need for mastery. Modern leadership, according to the report, satisfies the three needs.

2. Use recognition to satisfy needs

The report zeroed in on integrating recognition to help meet employees’ three basic needs.

“When recognition is common throughout the culture, the likelihood of achieving higher connection satisfaction increases 131 per cent and the odds of higher mastery satisfaction improve 127 per cent,” says the report.

3. Provide modern leadership

The previous two steps underscore the importance of leadership in satisfying the three basic needs, this is because modern leaders can “connect their people to purpose, accomplishment, and one another”. According to the report, this is why leaders should be trained on how to help employees connect work to a larger purpose.

“Leaders should champion their employees’ successes and recognize accomplishments,” the report says. “Likewise, encourage leaders to mentor and help their employees network and build connections with others across the organization.”

The report suggested shared leadership and frequent one-to-one meetings to further satisfy the needs of employees on autonomy, connection, and mastery.

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