Tag Archives: global pandemic

Four Reasons the Big Quit Exists

Four Reasons the Big Quit Exists

Turns out the pandemic prompted mass numbers of employees finally say, “take this job and shove it” to employers and careers they don’t like. Life is too short to be miserable at work.

In a recent NICE Webinar, we discussed how job quit rates have hit a historic high—even while the economy is still recovering from two years of furloughs and layoffs. This is often referred to as The Great Resignation.

Enlightening research from Gallup gathered in March of 2021 found that 48% of the working population in the United States is actively job-hunting or seeking out new opportunities.[1]

NICE Employee Churn word cloud

So, while we watch the labor market churn with no signs of settling, how can businesses avoid the costs of high turnover rates?

“How to Reduce the Risk of Employee Churn Amid the Big Quit”
(click to continue reading this article on the NICE blog)

Image credits: NICE

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Reducing Employee Churn During the Great Resignation

Reducing Employee Churn During the Great Resignation

For those of you struggling with your staffing levels or with finding talent during these exceedingly challenging times, I have exciting news to share!

My latest commissioned webinar is now available ON DEMAND:

Stop the Madness! How to reduce the risk of employee churn amid the Great Resignation

Synopsis from NICE CXone page:

It’s being called The Great Resignation: Millions of employees leaving their jobs every month! While the trend affects every industry, nowhere else is it felt more acutely than in contact centers. How do you keep agent churn from derailing your contact center?

Smart organizations know that it’s about more than salaries. Agents want work-life balance, and on the job, great tools and support to help them do their jobs well.

In this On-Demand webinar I explore what’s driving the Great Resignation and how to keep your agents engaged and satisfied.

Learn important strategies for keeping your agents from walking out the door:

  1. How giving agents purpose creates job satisfaction.
  2. How to create flexibility for agents to improve work-life balance.
  3. How to keep hybrid workforces connected and engaged.

Click here to access the webinar

I hope you enjoy it!

Please post any questions below in the comments.

There will be an accompanying white paper available soon.

NOTE: Commissioned thought leadership (articles, white papers, webinars, etc.) to accelerate a company’s sales and marketing efforts (including lead generation) is one of the services I provide in addition to the speeches and workshops I deliver as an innovation speaker.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Parallels Between the 1920’s and Today Are Frightening

Parallels Between the 1920's and Today Are Frightening

GUEST POST from Greg Satell

It should be clear by now we are entering a pivotal era. We are currently undergoing four profound shifts, that include changing patterns of demographics, migration, resources and technology. The stress lines are already beginning to show, with increasing tensions over race and class as well as questions about the influence technology and institutions have over our lives.

The last time we faced anything like this kind of tumult was in the 1960s which, much like today, saw the emergence of a new generation, the Baby-Boomers, that had very different values than their predecessors. Their activism achieved significant advances for women and minorities, but also at times, led to tumult and riots.

Yet the changes we are undergoing today appear to be even more significant than we did then. In fact, you would have to go back to the 1920s to find an era that had as much potential for both prosperity and ruin. Unfortunately, it led to economic upheaval, genocide and war on a scale never seen before in world history. We need to do better this time around.

Panics, Pandemics and War

A Wall Street crisis that threatened the greater economy and led to sweeping legislation that reshaped government influence in the financial sector was prelude to both the 1920’s and the 2020’s. Both the Bankers Panic of 1907 and the Great Recession which began in 2007 resulted in landmark legislation, the Federal Reserve Act and Dodd-Frank, respectively.

Continuing in the same vein of eerie parallel, the 1918 flu epidemic killed between 20 million and 50 million people and raged for more than two years, until 1920, when it finally got under control. Much like today, there were social distancing guidelines, significant economic impacts and long-term effects on educational attainment.

Perhaps not surprisingly, there was no small amount of controversy about measures taken to control the pandemic a century ago. People were frustrated with isolation (it goes without saying that there was no Netflix in 1918). Organizations like the Anti-Mask League of San Francisco rose up in defiance.

The years leading up to the 1920s were also war-torn, with World War I ravaging Europe and the colonial order increasingly coming under pressure. Much like the “War on Terrorism,” today, the organized violence, combined with the panics and pandemics, made for an overall feeling that society was unravelling, and many began to look for a scapegoat.

Migration, Globalization and Nativism

In 1892, Ellis Island opened its doors and America became a beacon to those around the world looking for a better life. New immigrants poured in and, by 1910, almost 15% of the US population were immigrants. As the 1920s approached, the strains in society were becoming steadily more obvious and more visceral.

The differences among the newcomers aroused suspicion, perhaps best exemplified by the Sacco and Vanzetti trial, in which two apparently innocent immigrants were convicted and executed for murder. Many believed that the new arrivals brought disease, criminality and “un-American” political and religious beliefs, especially with regard to Bolshevism.

Fears began to manifest themselves in growing nativism and there were increasing calls to limit immigration. The Immigration Act of 1917 specifically targeted Asians and established a literacy test for new arrivals. The Immigration Act of 1924 established quotas which favored northern and Western Europeans over those of Southern and Eastern Europe as well as Jews. The film Birth of A Nation led to a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan.

Scholars see many parallels between the run-up to the 1920s and today. Although nativism these days is primarily focused against muslims and immigrants from South America, the same accusations of un-American political and religious beliefs, as well as outright criminality, are spurring on a resurgence of hate groups like the Proud Boys. Attorney General Merrick Garland has pledged to make prosecuting white supremacists a top priority.

A New Era of Innovation

As Robert Gordon explained in The Rise and Fall of American Growth, prosperity in the 20th century was largely driven by two technologies, electricity and the internal combustion engine. Neither were linear or obvious. Both were first invented in the 1880’s but didn’t really begin to scale until the 1920’s.

That’s not uncommon. In fact, it takes decades for a new discovery to make a measurable impact on the world. That’s how long is needed to first identify a useful application for a technology and then for ecosystems to form and secondary technologies to arise. Electricity and internal combustions would ignite a productivity boom that would last 50 years, from roughly 1920 until 1970.

For example, as economist Paul David explained in a highly cited paper, it wasn’t the light bulb, but in allowing managers to rearrange work in factories, that electricity first had a significant effect on society. Yet it was in the 1920s that things really began to take off. Refrigerated rail cars transformed diets and labor-saving appliances such as the vacuum cleaner would eventually pave the way for women in the workforce. The first radio stations appeared, revolutionizing entertainment.

Today, although the digital revolution itself has largely been a disappointment, there’s considerable evidence that we may be entering a new era of innovation as the emphasis shifts from bits to atoms. New computing architectures, such as quantum and neuromorphic computing, as well as synthetic biology and materials science, may help to reshape the economy for decades to come.

A Return to Normalcy?

Not surprisingly, by 1920 the American people were exhausted. Technological change, cultural disruption brought about by decades of mass immigration, economic instability and war made people yearn for calmer, gentler times. Warren G. Harding’s presidential campaign touted “a return to normalcy” and people bought in.

Yet while the “Roaring Twenties” are remembered as a golden age, they set the seeds for what came later. Although the stock market boomed, lack of regulation led to the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. The harsh reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles made the rise of Hitler possible.

The 1930s brought upon almost unimaginable horror. Economic hardship in Europe paved the way for fascism. Failed collectivization in the Soviet Union led to massive famine and, later, Stalin’s great purges. Rising nativism, in the US and around the world, led to diminished trade as well as violence against Jews and other minorities. World War II was almost inevitable.

It would be foolish beyond belief to deny the potential of history repeating itself. Still, the past is not necessarily prologue. The 1930s were not the inevitable result of impersonal historical forces, but of choices consciously made. We could have made different ones and received the bounty of the prosperity that followed World War II without the calamity that preceded it.

What we have to come to terms with is that technology won’t save us. Markets won’t save us. Our future will be the product of the choices we make. We should endeavor to choose wisely.

— Article courtesy of the Digital Tonto blog
— Image credit: Pixabay

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Maintaining Work-Life Balance in a Post-Pandemic Remote Work World

Maintaining Work-Life Balance in a Post-Pandemic Remote Work World

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way we work, with many businesses transitioning to a remote work model. While this has brought about increased flexibility and convenience for employees, it has also blurred the boundaries between work and personal life, making it challenging to maintain a healthy work-life balance. In order to thrive in this new work environment, it is crucial for employees to prioritize their well-being and find strategies to effectively manage their time and energy.

Case Study 1: Setting Boundaries

One key aspect of maintaining work-life balance in a remote work world is setting boundaries. Without the physical separation between the office and home, it can be easy for work to spill over into personal time. This can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. One case study example is Sarah, a marketing manager who found herself working late into the evening and on weekends in order to keep up with her workload. After experiencing increased stress and exhaustion, she implemented a strict work schedule and designated a specific workspace in her home. By setting clear boundaries, Sarah was able to maintain a healthier balance between work and personal life.

Case Study 2: Self-Care and Work-Life Integration

In addition to setting boundaries, it is important for employees to prioritize self-care and work-life integration. This involves integrating activities that bring joy and relaxation into the daily routine, such as exercise, meditation, and spending quality time with loved ones. Another case study example is Alex, a software developer who struggled to unwind after long hours of coding. He began incorporating short breaks throughout the day to go for a walk or practice mindfulness, which helped him recharge and stay focused. By prioritizing self-care and integrating activities that bring balance into his day, Alex was able to improve his overall well-being and productivity.


As we navigate the challenges of working remotely in a post-pandemic world, it is important for employees to prioritize their mental and physical health in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance. By setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, and integrating activities that bring joy and relaxation into their routine, employees can thrive in this new work environment and ensure long-term success. Remember, your well-being is just as important as your work – make time for yourself and prioritize what truly matters.

SPECIAL BONUS: The very best change planners use a visual, collaborative approach to create their deliverables. A methodology and tools like those in Change Planning Toolkit™ can empower anyone to become great change planners themselves.

Image credit: Pexels

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Why Change Failure Occurs

Why Change Failure Occurs

GUEST POST from Greg Satell

Never has the need for transformation been so dire or so clear. Still, that’s no guarantee that we will muster the wisdom to make the changes we need to. After all, President Bush warned us about the risks of a global pandemic way back in 2005 and, in the end, we were left wholly vulnerable and exposed.

It’s not like pandemics are the only thing to worry about either. A 2018 climate assessment warns of major economic impacts unless we make some serious shifts. Public debt, already high before the current crisis, is now exploding upwards. Our electricity grid is insecure and vulnerable to cyberattack. The list goes on.

All too often, we assume that mere necessity can drive change forward, yet history has shown that not to be the case. There’s a reason why nations fail and businesses go bankrupt. The truth is that if a change is important, some people won’t like it and they will work to undermine it in underhanded and insidious ways. That’s what we need to overcome.

A Short History Of Change

For most of history, until the industrial revolution, people existed as they had for millennia and could live their entire lives without seeing much change. They farmed or herded for a living, used animals for power and rarely travelled far from home. Even in the 20th century, most people worked in an industry that changed little during their career.

In the 1980s, management consultants began to notice that industries were beginning to evolve more rapidly and firms that didn’t adapt would lose out in the marketplace. One famous case study showed how Burroughs moved aggressively into electronic computing and prospered while its competitor NCR lagged and faded into obscurity.

In 1983, McKinsey consultant Julien Phillips published a paper in the journal, Human Resource Management, that described an “adoption penalty” for firms that didn’t adapt to changes in the marketplace quickly enough. His ideas became McKinsey’s first change management model that it sold to clients.

Yet consider that research shows in 1975, during the period Phillips studied, 83% of the average US corporation’s assets were tangible, such as plant, machinery and buildings, while by 2015, 84% of corporate assets were intangible, such as licenses, patents and human capital. In other words, change today involves mostly people, their knowledge and behaviors than it does strategic assets.

Clearly, that changes the game entirely.

What Change Looks Like Today

Think about how America was transformed after World War II. We created the Interstate Highway System to tie our nation together. We established a new scientific infrastructure that made us a technological superpower. We built airports, shopping malls and department stores. We even sent a man to the moon.

Despite the enormous impact of these accomplishments, none of those things demanded that people had to dramatically change their behavior. Nobody had to drive on an Interstate highway, work in a lab, travel in space or move to the suburbs. Many chose to do those things, but others did not and paid little or no penalty for their failure to change with the times.

Today the story is vastly different. A crisis like Covid-19 required us to significantly alter our behavior and, not surprisingly, some people didn’t like it and resisted. We could, as individuals, choose to wear a mask, but if others didn’t follow suit the danger remained. We can, as a society, invest billions in a vaccine, but if a significant portion don’t take it, the virus will continue to mutate at a rapid rate, undermining the effectiveness of the entire enterprise.

Organizations face similar challenges. Sure they invest in tangible assets, such as plant and equipment, but any significant change will involve changing people’s beliefs and behaviors and that is a different matter altogether. Today, even technological transformations have a significant human component.

Making Room For Identity And Dignity

In the early 19th century, a movement of textile workers known as the Luddites smashed machines to protest the new, automated mode of work. As skilled workers, they saw their way of life being destroyed in the name of progress because the new technology could make fabrics faster and cheaper with less workers of lower skill.

Today, “Luddite” has become a pejorative term to describe people who are unable or unwilling to accept technological change. Many observers point out that the rise of industry created new and different jobs and increased overall prosperity. Yet that largely misses the point. Weavers were skilled artisans who worked for years to hone their craft. What they did wasn’t just a job, it was who they were and what they took pride in.

One of the great misconceptions of our modern age is that people make decisions based on rational calculations of utility and that, by engineering the right incentives, we can control behavior. Yet people are far more than economic entities, They crave dignity and recognition, to be valued, in other words, as ends in themselves rather than as merely means to an end.

That’s why changing behaviors can be such a tricky thing. While some may see being told to wear a mask or socially distance as simply doing what “science says,” for others it is an imposition on their identity and dignity from outside their community. Perhaps not surprisingly, they rebel and demand to have their right to choose be recognized.

Building Change On Common Ground

The biggest misconception about change is that once people understand it, they will embrace and so the best way to drive change forward is to explain the need for change in a very convincing and persuasive way. Change, in this view, is essentially a communication exercise and the right combination of words and images is all that is required.

Yet as should be clear by now that is clearly not true. People will often oppose change because it asks them to alter their identity. The Luddites didn’t just oppose textile machinery on economic grounds, but because it failed to recognize their skills as weavers. People don’t necessarily oppose wearing masks because they are “anti-science,” but because they resent having their behavior mandated from outside their community.

In other words, change is always, at some level, about what people value. That’s why to bring change about you need to identify shared values that reaffirm, rather than undermine, people’s sense of identity. Recognition is often a more powerful incentive than even financial rewards. In the final analysis, lasting change always needs to be built on common ground.

Over the next decade, we will undergo some of the most profound shifts in history, encompassing technology, resources, migration patterns and demography and, if we are to compete, we will need to achieve enormous transformation in business and society. Whether we are able to do that or not depends less on economics or “science” than it does on our ability to trust each other again.

— Article courtesy of the Digital Tonto blog
— Image credit: Pexels

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