By Barb Ward

We are all tired of hearing it… but the reality is change, change, change… and more change. As organizations struggle to figure out the right recipe for keeping their leaders and staff happy, change is constantly chugging away in the background. The work is changing, the office landscape is changing, and the people are changing. In fact, as of March 2022, a whopping 4 million people voluntarily left their jobs each month for 9 months running. Even in businesses where employees had been with them for long periods of time, their people were leaving. 

As leaders you have likely been impacted by this trend:

  • It has taken more time to fill open positions
  • Labor costs have continued to rise
  • The compensation being posted for new hires is affecting the pay structures throughout the organization

As if that weren’t enough, leaders are also dealing with the added stresses of replacing, onboarding, and building trust with new team members.  

There are conflicting views on whether the resignation trend will continue in 2023 or will fizzle out. According to a report from CNBC, 2023 will bring less job hopping and fewer counteroffers as the demand for talent and supply of available workers evens out. (Feb 1, 2023). 

However, an opposing study by LinkedIn and CensusWide found that 61% of workers in the United States are considering leaving their jobs in 2023. And, perhaps even more concerning, according to Fortune, even if less staffers are walking away from their jobs for new opportunities, more are “quiet quitting”, meaning they are pulling back the amount of effort and time they spend at work. (Fortune, Feb 23, 2023). Gallup corroborates this story reporting that employee engagement percentages have fallen from 36% in 2020 to 32% in 2022 with 17% actively disengaged. 

These are concerning trends in an economy that has companies struggling to stay competitive and profitable and retain a strong workforce.

As a consulting company specializing in organizational effectiveness, we have talked with many clients who are dealing with these same issues… and they are not unique to any one industry. Leaders who are placed in the middle of the chaos are exhausted. The staff who are consistently barraged with changing structures, leaders and ideas are exhausted. Even in the midst of all the constant change, everyone agrees that something has to change!

We can help. Following are three things to consider when working toward a future-focused organization.

Create the Right Culture

An organization’s culture directly affects employee engagement, and as we know, when engagement is low, productivity is low, and we will likely lose our best employees. This can have a devastating impact on an organization’s bottom line and future success. For a company’s culture to be true, it’s leadership and staff have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, meaning it is not just what people see from the outside in, but is truly reflected by the actions of the staff and lived from the core of the organization.  

Organizations with a great culture generally have:

  • High employee retention
  • Identified and visible core values
  • A great onboarding program
  • Clearly defined roles and expectations
  • Consistent and transparent communication
  • Supportive leadership
  • Strong team relationships
  • Accountability
  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Career advancement opportunities
  • A diverse workforce
  • Flexibility
  • A focus on employee wellbeing

Create Change Leaders

Instead of becoming victims of change, we must enable our staff to turn the tide and become change leaders, because the one thing we know is that change is not going away. To empower people to be change leaders, we must switch our focus from managing change to leading change.  

Often, leaders spend a great deal of time (and are highly successful) at planning the change and understanding all the right things to do to ensure the actual change is correct. However, what we often fail to acknowledge and plan for is the human side of the transition. 

According to Gallup, When leaders understand the human side — including mindsets, behaviors and cultural norms — they can create a work environment that energizes people to embrace and anticipate change, which in turn helps to push the organization forward.

To illustrate this point, consider the differences between the two mindsets, managing change vs. leading change:

Managing Change Mindset Leading Change Mindset
Change comes from the top down Change is inspired at all levels
Focus on structural aspects of change Focus on behavioral and cultural aspects of change
Managers inform employees about change Managers coach and empower people to create change

  Source: Gallup

Create a People-First Environment

People first is not just about demonstrating care and compassion. It is woven into the fabric of our work culture. People first happens when organizations provide meaningful work for their team members, when leadership places equal value on ALL roles, when we respect work-life challenges, and when we offer opportunities for growth and development. A people first focus is agile, meaning leaders are actively assessing the needs of the people, whether that is compensation, work flexibility, hybrid workplace options, the ability to grow and advance their careers, and that they work to meet these needs when possible to keep employees engaged and committed to the organization. The people first mentality also occurs when we provide open and honest feedback, and make difficult decisions through the lens of empathy.

Putting people first shows employees the organization cares about them and wants them to succeed. As a result, it helps to increase engagement.

Wading through all of the levels of your organization to develop a recipe that allows you to be agile enough and structured enough is a lot of work. We would love to partner with you to talk through your identified issues, provide new perspectives, and create an organizational culture that will help you retain your valued workforce and achieve your strategic goals. Please contact us for a complimentary consultation at or call us at 970-279-3330.

Our mission is to give voice and action to an emerging future. As a partner in your success, we would love to come alongside you to help you find your voice, see your vision, and imagine what the right action could be for you, your team, and your organization.