From Cambridge UK to Cambridge US: The Great Resignation bites deep

Workplace motivator Cassandra Andrews explains why firms are facing the ‘big quit’.

The stats are eyewatering. A million job vacancies in the UK and a whopping 24 million resignations in the US since last spring as ‘the big quit’ continues to impact the workplace, and send recruitment and HR specialists into meltdown.

There’s no doubt that keeping colleagues engaged and retained is tough right now, but as Cassandra puts it, you have to start with the groundwork – why people are motivated to do their job in the first place.

Cassandra, who grew up in Lode, Cambridge, set up her global motivation business 18 months before the pandemic hit and truly believes the key to recruiting and retaining the right talent is to understand what gets them out of bed in the morning. This involves deep-diving into the motivational traits of every individual and then pulling the right levers to ensure they feel valued and connected in the workplace.

She explains, “Never before has the engagement of employees been so crucial. Covid has reminded us all that people are our most valuable asset, but motivating them, particularly in these turbulent times can be challenging”.

“Too often, organisations put in broad-brush mechanics, failing to realise that every human is wired differently and therefore have different motivators. My role is to root out what is important to every member of the team, how they wish to be managed, recognised and rewarded, so that individuals genuinely do feel empowered and love their job”.

Cassandra’s clients come from a range of industries and geographies, but have one thing in common… a goal of making their workplace a better place to be.

She continues, “I’ve just returned from America where I’ve been working with a number of organisations including the fabulous leadership team at Harvard University, which ironically is in a place called Cambridge, so it didn’t feel like I was actually that far from home!”

“It’s fantastic to see so many businesses being proactive around their people. No longer does even the most generous benefits package cut it – employers need to put in the extra yard to ensure every individual’s motivators are well nourished if they are to retain their people, which of course translates into increased productivity, happier customers and better profits.

“Talking to many business leaders in both the US and UK there has been a real sense of bemusement this year. 2021 began with mass lay-offs and uncertainty for so many employees. Now the tables have turned, with employees quitting and creating real challenges around staffing levels for their employers.

“Of course there’s no easy fix, but we’ve all seen the studies for many years that show individuals wish to be treated as such. We must respond to this and offer them the type of workplace experience they crave. This begins with their motivators.”

Cassandra uses methodology known as ‘Motivational Maps’ based on extensive research into the nine human motivators we all have, but in different levels of intensity.

She concludes, “My Map shows I love freedom and autonomy, which is why I run my own business! Other motivators include having a strong sense of purpose, coming to work for the social aspect, wanting to be in charge and being creative and innovative. There are nine and it’s totally fascinating.

“Motivational Maps unravel what makes us tick, so employees understand themselves better and managers can work with their teams more effectively and without conflict.

“It’s fantastic to see so much appetite for employee motivation, both here at home and in America. We know the challenges of employment and retention are unlikely to get any easier by themselves any time soon, so I feel blessed to be able to help so many unique organisations globally.”

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