I recently googled trends in leadership and found "The Great Resignation" was ranked #2. This caught my eye because I received two faculty resignations in my first week as interim dean (no jokes, please!). I was talking with our university president last week at our opening college meeting and he commented that about one-third of the faculty at our university are new since the pandemic. This isn't just happening at East Tennessee State University. A whopping 4.5 million employees left their jobs by the end of 2021 so I'm pretty sure we're all experiencing this shift regardless of our work setting. Share how The Great Resignation has impacted your work place.
Now, while millions of workers have resigned, they are also looking for stability in their workplaces because of the economic and political uncertainties. And what they're searching for is trust where they work. Trust is such an important currency and leaders don't want to risk losing trust capital. This is where strong leadership can be a differentiator – leaders are central in building trust in the workplace and among employees. This is such an important aspect that several companies are incorporating trust as part of their leadership development programs.
As leaders, we know the importance of leading with facts and staying mission-focused. But we also understand that it is equally important to act with empathy and address people's fears. Leadership is a uniquely human endeavor and it is transactional.
How has The Great Resignation elevated the need to address trust in your leadership?
This is a great conversation, Lynn and Janet! I heard a brief piece on NPR this morning related to employee turnover. The person being interviewed (can't recall who, or what their credentials were) was talking about how people are looking for employers that demonstrate empathy for their employees, and that the lack of empathy was a large contributor to a person's decision to leave an employer. I've learned so many lessons about the importance of being an empathetic leader during this pandemic that I will continue to carry with me. In many situations, having empathy can help to create trust.
Margot L. Beckerman, AuD, CCC-A
Assistant Director, Michigan Balance-Vestibular Testing and Rehabilitation
Interim Assistant Director, Adult Audiology
Department of Otolaryngology
"Let us not return to what was normal, but reach for what is next." --Amanda Gorman, "New Day's Lyrics"
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Lynn, Ashley, and Academy Colleagues:
I also extend my thanks to Lynn for this important discussion connecting trust, empathy, quiet quitting, and quality of life to recent events that will continue to challenge our leadership to advance our professions. Lynn, I appreciated the link to the Brown podcast. The discussion outlined key issues for all of us to examine and discuss as we re-envision our workplaces and how they achieve our missions. The concluding perspective on using the workplace as a conduit for social change and creating better communities connected me back to an article that I recently re-read by Blixt on how to lead with vision. Blixt offers guidance on how leaders can inspire their teams to foster a future vision for their organization that is aligned with lessons learned as outlined by Brown and Sonenshein. This helped me connect trust, empathy, quality of life, and workplace inspiration to the power of visioning.
What Leaders Get Wrong About Vision | by Al Blixt | Medium
Robert M. Augustine, Ph.D., CCC/SLP
2022 President Elect
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Senior Vice President
Council of Graduate Schools