The Great Resignation: A Manager’s Guide to Great Retainment
August 24, 2022

The Great Resignation: A Manager’s Guide to Great Retainment

Fun Productions, like many small businesses during the 2020 pandemic, made the difficult decision to lay off workers. In fact, they laid off the entire team while they waited 15 long and uncertain months for events, and therefore business, to start up again.

Like many other companies, Fun Productions encountered an unprecedented dilemma in the altered world of employment. When it came time to call up employees who had been laid off (some more than a year prior), news swarmed of The Great Resignation and the working world overflowed with open, unfilled positions. It had seemed that rehiring old employees and getting the team back together would be a greater challenge than expected.

Fun Productions, however, had worked hard implementing EOS strategies that helped them bring back 8 of the 11 employees who were laid off in 2020, many of whom also already had other jobs. Plus, because Fun Productions prioritized hiring old employees with experience rather than new employees, they were able to get up and running much more efficiently and with less of a learning curve than if they had hired a completely new team. When the events spigot turned back on and business began to flow, Fun Productions was able to meet demand without missing a beat while competitors or other businesses struggled to keep afloat with the holes in their workforce.

Fun Productions may be the poster business for great hiring and retention practices through EOS, but other businesses did not manage as well during The Great Resignation. With the pandemic having changed how employees think about work and with more employees quitting or considering doing so than ever before, the Great Resignation poses a unique challenge to employers and pressures them to reevaluate their values, practices, and priorities.

A success story like that of Fun Productions might seem unlikely, but by implementing EOS, leaders can effectively attract the right people with the right skill sets and retain them even during unprecedented times.

See the 4 ways that EOS helped Fun Productions keep an experienced and engaged team.

Provide a Clear Vision

During The Great Resignation, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and companies need to provide intrinsic value beyond that which is tangible – like salary or benefits – to attract and keep employees. The businesses that are able to weather the storm are those that have a clear and well-communicated vision with which employees relate and identify. Sticking with Fun Productions as the example, the small business has clearly-stated core values that they practice as much as they preach. This is one of the fundamental priorities of EOS and serves as a foundation for the later steps of the EOS process.

The result? Because Fun Productions was able to effectively communicate their core values, vision, and Core Focus, their employees felt like their positions were more than just jobs. By tying the business to big-picture ideas, a fulfilling purpose, and iron-clad values, Fun Productions could create more engaged employees that align with those values thereby making them less inclined to seek employment elsewhere, even during challenging times.


Get Transparent

One of the dilemmas that Fun Productions faced as they began rehiring laid-off employees was the uncertainty of continued business. In 2021, events ramped back up, but there was no guarantee of consistent and continued demand or income.

At the crossroads of wanting to fill open positions during the Great Resignation and wanting to be fully transparent with rehires, even if it meant losing some of the old team, Fun Productions decided to use EOS best practices. They communicated to each of their employees the lack of certainty and that there would be no guarantee of continued work. In doing so, they showed respect, honesty, empathy, and integrity to their previous employees. They also fostered trust and prevented any would-be burned bridges if employees did not understand the risks involved.


Value Your People

Employees join teams for a reason, and during times like the Great Resignation, when they were in demand and had several employment options, those reasons must be strong. Fun Productions made the right move when they called up their old employees first and then filled the remaining open positions with new employees.

Because Fun Productions prioritized people and clearly communicated their vision, those previously laid-off employees were likely on the team because they identified with and related to Fun Productions’ core values. Their jobs were tethered to something more meaningful than just their day-to-day roles. Realizing this, the small business knew its best chance at filling those open spots with the right people was in rehiring those who already understood their vision. Fun Productions recognized that those employees were the right fit and aligned with the business’s vision thereby saving the company time, reducing turnover, and maintaining a strong, connected team.


Make Feedback a Priority

While employees cite feeling “valued by a manager” as one of the most important factors to overall satisfaction, managers frequently place little weight on the importance of feedback and making employees feel important.

The Great Resignation poses a unique challenge but also a unique opportunity. The employees who stick around when options exist elsewhere are proven to be dedicated, loyal, and driven simply because they continue working. Make sure they feel that way by placing a high priority on giving consistent and valuable feedback. A company like Fun Productions, which communicates expectations and describes what a “rock star” performance looks like, should have no trouble keeping employees satisfied and feeling valued.


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Let’s Get Your Company Running on EOS

To learn how you and your team can flourish, even during challenging times, book a discovery call with me so we can start implementing EOS best practices into your business. We’ll use the EOS framework to create an engaged and valuable team that aligns with your business’s core values and can weather any Great Resignation storm.

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