The Great Resignation – is APAC Next?

  • Karin Killander
  • January 6th, 2022

As people are handing in their resignation notices at rapid speed across Europe and North America, we decided to bring together a group of Executive Coaches and HR leaders to discuss what organizations can do to prevent The Great Resignation from rippling down the APAC region.

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The Great Resignation might not have taken off in APAC yet, but employers can’t sit back and relax. The pandemic has impacted people’s work lives all across the globe, and the switch to remote work has provided an opportunity for people to question the status quo and dare to dream of something better. As we collectively paused during lockdowns, many people took the time to reflect on what’s truly important to them, only to realize they want more out of life. 

“People have spent more time reflecting, which has led to new ‘aha’ moments and epiphanies. I’m noticing that my coachees are questioning things they were not questioning a couple of years ago”, Nicolien Timmer says, an Ezra Coach based in Sydney. “This combined with the market conditions has made many people consider their options. I think we’re in for a big surprise in 2022 even in APAC with more people looking to change their careers.”

The need for active listening

If it’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that organizations need to pay better attention to the needs of their employees or risk losing their best talent. Balancing individuals’ and organizational needs is not an easy task. To bridge the gap, leaders must become better at active listening and make room for open and honest communication. Coaching and listening are two most under-rated leadership skills” Shehzad Lalwani says, Chief Talent Development Officer at The Coca Cola Company, Bottling Investment Group.

Listening is at the core of coaching, which might be why it has exploded since the pandemic. Organizations are not just looking to offer coaching to their employees as a way for them to feel seen, but also to encourage leaders to have more coaching style conversations where they create a safe, non-judgmental space and shift from advising to empowering people to develop their own solutions. 

At The Coca-Cola Group, the team has tapped into coaching to unleash talent, help individuals amplify their impact in their current roles, and develop human-centered leaders, and they’re always on the lookout for new ways of listening to their employees: 

“We’re exploring how we can use artificial intelligence to help us enhance the employee experience and not wait for once a year or two-year engagement surveys to assess sentiments. Progressive organizations are leveraging on AI, analytics to facilitate better listening and create more meaningful connections, foster loyalty, and drive growth.” Shehzad continues.

A company that is doing just that is inFeedo. InFeedo’s chatbot Amber is an employee experience bot that chats with employees to discover how they feel about work. She then provides actionable insights to the employer on improving the culture. 

While technology has many benefits, Ezra’s Executive Coach Andy Chan stresses the need for leaders to step up rather than solely rely on technology: “Leaders don’t need to listen more deeply; they need to start to listen, to begin with.” 

Creating psychological safety

For open communication to take place, organizations must create a safe place for people to express their needs, share their opinions and voice their challenges – and that starts with creating psychological safety. When people feel psychologically safe, they’re not scared that speaking up will have negative consequences. 

As a Coach, Nicolien has noticed that many frustrations are not being expressed. She often works with clients to help them feel more comfortable expressing their concerns to create more collaborative working environments. 

Returning to the fundamentals 

The Great Resignation aside, the pandemic will have made a long-lasting impact on our work lives. So, where do we go from here? It’s a million-dollar question for companies all around the world. 

The answer might be to return to the fundamentals and revisit company values. Taking a step back, re-evaluating what you stand for as an organization, and letting your values lead your decision-making might be the way forward. 

The pandemic has made people dare to re-imagine what they want out of work. For companies to keep up, they need to listen deeply, invite employees to influence new policies, and design workplaces where both companies and people thrive.

Boost your team’s satisfaction, engagement and retention with Ezra’s world-class employee coaching, built to fit into today’s working life. We’ve redesigned leadership coaching for the modern age to help transform people through affordable, scalable and high-impact solutions, with equitable access through our world-class coaching app. Find out today how digital coaching could make a big difference to your organization.

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