Everybody is a Free Agent

January 19, 2022
# min read
Janice Giannini

My colleagues and I recently engaged in a conversation about the Great Resignation. I began to wonder if this is a data, facts, and figures challenge requiring a logical approach, or a humanity challenge requiring emotional understanding and empathy.

A significant shift has happened over the past two years. A compelling fact might be that everybody is now a free agent.

What does that mean?

As resignations abound, hypotheses surface. People like working from home and want to continue to do so; many may not be ready to return ever or may not be until they deplete their financial reserves, and individuals feel they have untapped potential. These may be valid for some people, but it does not reflect the total picture. Numerous staff may also be leaving for better opportunities or to start a business.

Here are some compiled survey statistics. What does it indicate if:

  • 35% of staff is fully engaged in their job; 16% is actively disengaged
  • 50% of staff will be looking for other opportunities within the next 90 days
  • 60% to 65% of staff are looking for other opportunities within their current origination
  • 50% of staff is not on their desired path and don’t see a way to get on that path
  • A significant percentage feel leaders in the organization are out of touch with their reality

Are leaders asking the right questions?
Do they know the right questions to ask?
Do leaders/managers want to step up to the changing environment?

We learned a lot from the pandemic as it applies to working opportunities.

  • Working remotely on a massive scale is possible, even desirable
  • Working off-site may dramatically increase the sphere of opportunities for many people
  • Economic growth offers many avenues for individual fulfillment
  • Everybody can be a free agent if they choose

The world has dramatically changed.
People are free agents as never before.

I invite you to ask the most important question of all time: What would cause staff (current and potential) to choose your company every time?

Perhaps asking and understanding what people need is an appropriate first step. Anything less will sub-optimize the culture, productivity, and growth.

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