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Leadership Matters

"You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." - John Kabat-Zinn


The Team at Psyince believes in people. We follow the science showing that organizations are more effective and productive when the right people in those organizations are developed into outstanding leaders. This truth has never been more poignant than right now.

The world is changing, or perhaps it has already changed. Given the current and future employment environment, organizations are not going to be able to deploy the previous methods and expect the same results. To use an old metaphor: the pandemic was like a thrown stone, creating a ripple in the lake of contemporary employment.


That ripple has now become a wave of people leaving the workforce.




Ripples In The Water


When the team at Psyince began building our model for leadership development in early 2019 there was no way any of us could have predicted the impact that the global health crisis would have on society and work. In a lot of ways, the rapid adjustments that workers and leaders have made during the years 2020 and 2021 have been inspirational. However, as is often the case when systems are significantly stressed, workplace issues have been brought to the forefront that may have laid dormant and hidden for years. The path forward for workers and for organizations is not as clear as it had been even a couple of years ago.


We are currently in the midst of a collective transformation of people's engagement with work. Even prior to 2020, the new and more flexible “gig economy,” was being popularized by companies such as Uber (ride-share services), DoorDash (delivery services), Fiverr (freelance technical services), and AirBNB (short-term rental services). The need for many of these companies and services became even more apparent during the pandemic. These new gig-style opportunities created new competition for employers and new, more flexible opportunities for workers.


Ripples Becoming Waves


More recently, however, has been the emergence of a phenomenon dubbed The Great Resignation, or as Harvard Economist Lawrence Katz put it, "a once-in-a-generation 'take this job and shove it' moment." Workers are in the midst of creating new relationships with work, with many deciding to shift away from traditional jobs. Time Magazine reported that as of September 2021, "nearly a quarter of workers ages 20 to 34 were not considered part of the U.S. workforce."


The impact of this current trend in people resigning from the workforce has led to other impacts for employers. One of those secondary impacts is that even loyal workers are experiencing burnout as a result of being required to compensate for short-staffing. As a result, "many of those more loyal staffers are bolting, too." To underline this point further, Johnny Taylor, CEO and President of the Society for Human Resource Management, states,"organizations must respond by recognizing the need to think differently in how to recruit and retain talent."


What can leaders do about this shifting tide in their workforce?


Leading, and Learning, from the Waves


In a recent interview, the CEO of EY Carmine Di Sablo noted, "companies that took care of their people, I think they are being rewarded for it now." One of the things that researchers of employee engagement have found is that leaders are a critical factor for workers deciding whether to leave or stay at a job. In 2015, Gallup identified that "managers account for 70% of variance in employee engagement." In 2018, the Center for Optimal Learning Environments found that school leadership was the main construct teachers said most influenced their decision to stay teaching or not.


These findings are consistent with the findings Psyince has identified in organizations as diverse as an elite Army unit, a NCAA Division I Football Team, and a school district in the American South-Western region. We found effective leaders create effective and productive environments. Conversely, ineffective leaders can create toxic environments where workers perform poorly and actively seek an exit.


We believe, and the best available research agrees, that leadership has too significant an impact on organizations and people to leave the development and selection of leaders to chance. We believe that leaders need to understand the culture and climate of the organizations they are leading, and they need to learn how to develop into effective leaders within that organizational structure. Our data-driven interventions can support leaders and organizations in creating effective philosophies and practices to accomplish those goals.


The bottom line is that the environmental conditions that sustain and motivate the workforce are shifting. Organizations that fail to adapt to this new leadership-focused aspect of organizational development will not be able to weather the changing tides. The team at Psyince was formed to help your organization adjust its posture, and safely ride the incoming wave to shore.







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