Refrain from the Blame Game

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Take responsibility. A simple yet elusive concept. Finger-pointing and insistence on blamelessness proliferate our modern society. “It wasn’t me–it was them!” is often seen more so than “It was me; I’m sorry.” Owning our part in events that go wrong either at work or in our personal lives is a sign of maturity. Mistakes happen–no one is perfect. Accidents are called so for a reason, after all.

Yet, here we are, submerged within the blistering dilemma of the Great Resignation and talking points that target employees to blame. We’ve all seen claims or social media posts wherein organizations blame shortages and shutdowns on disengaged employees. But research conducted by employee-wellness HR firm Limeade suggests that the major culprits are employee burnout and inflexible employers.

It cannot escape notice that while some organizations are desperately grasping for employees, others are thriving. The restaurant and hospitality industries are the ones enduring the most departures, Limeade observed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics likewise determined that the restaurant industry has been enduring more resignations than any other sector.

Limeade’s investigation noted, “the vast majority of employees left their previous jobs feeling burned out and underappreciated and sought new positions with organizations that invest in their well-being.” Employee resignations are often an indicator of the confidence people have in finding other, better jobs, and indeed, figures reflect that these departing employees are discovering greener pastures.

Research by business consulting firm McKinsey & Company similarly discovered that employers aren’t acknowledging why employees are leaving. We need to ask our employees what they need, however. The labor market is searching for work-life balance, appreciation, and, of course, reasonable compensation.

In his TED Talk, Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe, author Simon Sinek observes when leaders make employees a priority, “remarkable things happen.” He adds that great leaders are like parents and advocates for employees being treated like family. Sinek adds, “When people feel safe and protected by the leadership in the organization, the natural reaction is to trust and cooperate.”

A reminder, that in some way we are each a leader to others. Thus must we look inward and own our part in this. To do so, we ought to not cast blame, but ask, ”What can we do better?” We should ask, “Who needs to be appreciated and made to feel safe?”

“Leaders inspire accountability through their ability to accept responsibility before they place blame.”

— Courtney Lynch

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