COVID-19 is not the cause of The Great Resignation.
America is currently experiencing several dynamic culture shifts all at the same time. Many researchers and people in the media are focused on the Great Resignation where people are leaving their jobs at a greater rate than ever documented. In this episode of Heart Work with PBJ, Dr. Patrice Buckner Jackson explains how the pandemic was not the cause of the The Great Resignation. Further, she shares critical steps for schools, hospitals, corporations and organizations to retain their most important resource...their people.
Here is a link to the news report by 60 Minutes mentioned in this episode: Why are Americans choosing to quit their jobs in record numbers?
Check out this free workshop by Dr. PBJ- 3 Steps to Disrupt Burnout
Hey, friends, I am Dr. Patrice Buckner Jackson, but you can call me PBJ. Welcome to another episode of Heart Work with PBJ, where we are disrupting cycles of burnout for people who serve and work from the heart. Oh my friend, when you give in that way, when you serve in that way, when you minister in that way, it costs you something, and you got to go somewhere so that you can be refilled and refreshed. And I hope that you know that this is a place that you can come and I hope that when you get here we fill your cup, fill your heart and revive your soul. So that is our goal here. That is our mission. Listen, wherever you are watching or listening. If you would do me a favor and subscribe to this podcast. When you subscribe, it helps us get this message out to more people. Also leave a rating leave a comment, let me know you are there. Alright, y'all, I got a burden on my heart today, let's get into this episode. So this weekend, I believe it was Sunday night, my husband and I watched a little bit of 60 Minutes, the news broadcast here in America. And they were talking about The Great Resignation or The Big Quit, whatever you might call it. And I know this isn't the first that you've heard about it. For my friends who are in other countries, I'm curious to know what's going on in your area. So if you'll just leave comments, and let me know if you're experiencing the same thing. But here in America, over the last couple of years, we've experienced more resignations than ever recorded, as long as we've been recording. And this is according to 60 Minutes. As long as we've been recording job rates, we've never documented as high of a resignation rate, as has happened in the last two years in 2020 and 2021. And this was actually forecast by a researcher who said that this was coming as a result of the pandemic. And that's what we're seeing people are submitting their resignations. And you know, here in America, I know that there are a lot of people who say, Well, it's because of the government support and money that was received in the in the unemployment that was received. That's why people are not working. And friends. This isn't a political statement. It is what it is. Those benefits have stopped, they've ended and people have still not returned to work. So that can't be the total answer. And also today, I want to talk more about many people who didn't receive most of that support. So high achieving professionals with degrees there, there were a few maybe a couple of stimulus checks. But other than that they didn't receive the unemployment, they didn't receive the additional stimulus and no shade against anybody who did. I'm glad you got some support. But today I want to focus on those folks who we can't blame it on the the government support because these are not people who qualify or get that kind of support. These are professionals who have dedicated their lives. They've gotten the degrees, they've gotten the training, they put in the years and they are resigning from their jobs and friends. I know it's easy to say it's because of the pandemic. And the pandemic is the reason why we are here. But listen, the pandemic again, remember, I've told you this crisis is a mirror. It's a magnifier. It just shows you who you are. It doesn't make you into anything. It shows you who you are. So the great resignation that we're experiencing right now is the tip of the iceberg. That is what is above the water that we can see now, but there is a math below the water that has been building for years and America concerning the way that we approach work and life that has led us to the place where our good professionals, I'm not talking about the people you want to get rid of anyway, but our dedicated professionals are walking away from their positions, all different levels, all different salary, incomes, all different types. titles and people are resigning. Some people are resigning to go to a new opportunity. Some people are resigning to move to a different place. Some people are resigning to go into entrepreneurship. Some people are resigning and sitting at home and not quite sure what they're going to do next. But here's the bottom line friends are people are tired. Our people are tired. And instead of just focusing on the outcome, the great resignation, I think we need to talk more about the great American burnout. That's another term that I found in my research, the great American burnout, we are in a space of life right now. Where burnt out individuals are deciding to just stop. They're deciding to just step away. Friends, how did we get here? How do we get to the point where we are losing the very people that we need to hold on to. And it's so interesting to me that now that it's affecting the bottom line, everybody wants to do something about it. Everybody wants to have an incentive, we're looking at work weeks, and we're looking at time off, and we're looking at Project distribution. These are things that we should have been doing a long time ago, if you tell the truth, friend, you're here because you were tired before COVID-19 You're exhausted before the pandemic, you felt spent before, we were faced with all of the things that has happened since March 2020. So this is not the pandemic, this is not something that a pandemic has brought upon us, my friends, this is something that has been happening and coming for a long time, organizations, institutions, companies, and I'll speak directly to education, because that's where my experience and my exposure is, it is a critical situation right now that you learn how to value your people. And I have to be honest with you, it might be a little bit too late. It might be a little bit too late for the ones that are most valuable to your organization's and friends. This is not to tear down. anybody, any person, any company, y'all hear my heart. But if we don't start talking about the whole story, we're going to find ourselves in a situation that we cannot serve, because we've lost the people who we need to serve well, and we cannot recruit new ones, we can't replace them. I always tell my team, you might you might feel the position. But you can't ever replace a person. You can't replace that same skill set, that same heart, that same personality, that same gift, that same brilliance, you can feel it, but you'll never replace a person. So we got to go back and acknowledge that we're facing the great resignation right now. Also the great American burnout, because we have failed to honor our most valuable resource, which is our people, which is our people, you know, even me in my heart. So I've worked in student affairs, most of my career, and that's the branch of colleges and universities that are responsible for the lives of the students outside of the classroom. So that includes where they live and a lot of places what they eat and where they eat and their social lives, what they're engaged in. And their involvement and and their leadership training and their career aspirations and all of the pieces of college education that you don't get in the classroom from the textbook, Student Affairs is responsible for that their health care, it goes on and on and on. And when we started when we started in March 2020, I remember thinking, finally, finally, the world of academia is going to recognize the contributions of Student Affairs. I mean, how could they miss it this time? How could they not see what we bring in what we contribute to the college and university atmosphere? How can they not acknowledge that we are holding this whole thing together? How can they not see when we're in the midst of moving students out, moving them back in isolating them encouraging them to get tested, delivering meals when they're isolated, helping to get them moved from one place to another and then all the normal things right? And then on top of that we had a crisis of isolation because students weren't going went to the classroom, they were feeling disconnected. So we had to find a way to engage them that was safe and healthy, but still connect with the student and help them connect to each other. We had to learn how to do our jobs in a different way. And I'm not saying we're the only people I'm just talking about what... the experienced that I know intimately. And I just knew in my heart I knew in my heart, finally, the university is going to acknowledge that the work of Student Affairs is just as important as the coursework as the classwork as the textbook. I fooled myself, I fooled myself, in, in my conversations with my colleagues all over the country. And this is not about any particular school, this is nationwide. In my conversations with my colleagues all over the country, it was still Student Affairs, show up and clean up, do the isolation, do the communication with students, engage them, take care of them, feed them, answer the parents do all the things, but there was still no acknowledgement of what that work means to higher education. Even our national organizations, which I honor, and I'm grateful for, I waited for our national organizations to say, here's how you take care of yourself. Here's how you take care of your team. All I saw, and all I heard, and I'm not saying I saw everything. So if you saw something, share it with a sister. But all I saw was, here's how you care for your students. Here's how you connect your students. Here's how you retain your students know who was speaking for the people who are doing the work. Who was protecting the people who were doing the work? Wow, faculty members and others. And in a lot of cases, for at least a little while, not completely for at least a little while people could stay home, or, you know, choose where they want to teach from. We were considered for frontline workers, if students were there were there, how are we going to move them out from home, we have to be there, we have to be there to move them out of the residence hall, we have to be there to move them back in, we have to be there to feed them, we have to be there to help them. Through isolation, we have to be there to engage them. We had to be there. And and even asking for volunteers who wanted to volunteer, because that means they had to put themselves in jeopardy to show up, I get it. I completely understand it, I get it. But here's my challenge. You cannot expect that level of investment from a person or group of people and not so back into them. You cannot expect that level of commitment from a person or group of people and fail to acknowledge what they're giving and fail to give them what they need in order to do it well. And that's why we find ourselves in this place where people are deciding, or not even deciding not even deciding because today, I need to take it deeper than burnout. I need to take it beyond burnout. And I need to talk to you all about compassion fatigue. And as a matter of fact, I feel pressed to really engage you and educate you concern and compassion fatigue for a few weeks now for a while. Because we've got to stop and talk about how teachers and educators and student affairs professionals and HR directors and social workers are at the point, your good ones, your good folks are at the point where where they are determining the cost of caring is too much. And simply put that is the simplest definition of compassion fatigue, when the cost of caring becomes too much. How many people started in their profession, or started in their career field because they have a heart for the students or a heart for the client or heart for the patient or whomever you serve a heart for the people even in ministry, a heart for the people and you feel called to this work and and you feel connected to the people that you serve and you go head first and all in and you give everything that you've got to give and along the way because keep in mind all of us have a specific capacity to care and our different levels of capacity are different right not right or wrong, just different. We're different people, we have different backpacks, our experiences make us different. But everybody has a certain level of of care. But imagine throughout years, I'm talking years, I'm not talking about since 2020, I'm talking years, for years, you continue to give out of that bucket of compassion. You continue to sow into other people, so into other people, so into other people, and every now and then you might get somebody to sow into you. But that's not what you're looking for. That's not what you need. You're looking to serve not to be served. So you keep serving, you keep serving, you keep serving. And then you get to the point and you realize, why am I so emotional? Why is it difficult for me to think about getting up and going back to work on Monday? Why do I find myself angry, or crying? And I don't, I can't really put my finger on why? Well, I work hard all day, every day. Then at the end of the day, when it's time for me to serve my family. I've got nothing left. Because I've given out everything. Why am I having trouble doing simple things that I know I need to do that I know I'm responsible for and I know how to do. But I have no more motivation to do it. Why am I the person with the biggest heart and the biggest passion. And now I'm beginning to feel like I don't care. I can't care any more. The regulations, the rules, the politics, the pressure, the trauma that you're faced with on a daily basis, other people's trauma and your own the doing the work and not feeling acknowledged the the putting so much energy and time into something that never comes to fruition, the fighting the on necessary politics and foolishness that comes with existing in professional environments, it all takes out of your bucket. And you're continuing to pull out and pull out and pull out of that bucket with very, very little deposits, very little deposits. And before you know it, you find yourself in a position where your heart posture is I have to decide whether I will continue caring to my detriment. Or I have to let something go. And the pandemic pushed us. It pushed you to the point that you had to make a decision if you could afford to continue caring. And so many of our folks, so many of our good people have decided and are deciding that carrying cost much. And the tragedy in this is we are losing people who are really called and purpose to do this work. We're losing people who are gifted to do the work. And colleges, universities, school systems, schools, hospitals, you're going to be left with the people who either can't go anywhere because nobody will take them or they just don't care. And what a mess you're going to have on your hands. So when we're having this conversation about the great resignation, let's stop talking about the symptom. That's the outcome. That's a symptom. That's the tip of the iceberg. It's time for us to dig deep and find out what got us here. It's time for us to start valuing our people. Now gotta I gotta call you on the carpet and this is to organizations. This is to superintendents, this is to principals. This is to university presidents vice presidents Dean's even speaking to myself, I've got to call us on the carpet. Because the things that we are doing right now, to try to convince people that we care is making the problem worse. How in the world Are you going to approach a teacher who cries at their planning hour every day and reward them with wearing jeans on Friday? How in the world are you going to approach an employee in higher education, who has faced dealing with drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexual assault situations, isolation, exposure to COVID-19. And you're going to reward them with a pat on the back or an email. And this is not even about money, per se. I mean, pay your people, less not to pay your people. But people are leaving without a job. People are resigning without knowing where their check is gonna come in next month. So we got to stop tipping people, we got to just, we got to stop just throwing out solutions. Talk to your people. stop and talk to your people. What we do in higher education is, when we come up against a challenge, the first thing we do is look around and see what everybody else is doing. And we don't find out if it's working or not, or if it will fit our environment or not. But if it looks like a good idea, or if it's an idea, period, if somebody has an idea, we jump on that idea, and we start doing it and then we wonder why people don't respond. Talk to your people. I will tell my team this all the time. You want to know what a student wants. Ask them. They'll tell you, you want to know what your team needs. Ask them. Do you need to know if they're considering leaving you ask them? Do you want to know what will make a difference? What you could do tomorrow to turn the tide? And to change the direction or wait things going? Ask your people and don't ask them with your armor on ready to say, well, we can't do that. We can't do that. And here's why. We can't do that. And here's why. Ask them and listen. I'm not saying that you need to promise something that you can't do. That's that's worse, that don't do that. Don't promise something that you can't do. That is not what I'm telling you to do. But what I'm encouraging you to do is ask your people listen to them without correcting them or giving an answer. Take back the information. Find out what you can do based on what they asked for. What's the low hanging fruit? What can you do based on what they share with you and do it? Do something, do something that they shared with you, that would be significant to them. This is not a complete solution. But this is a start. It's a step in the right direction. No longer are the days where you can say well, this is a good job and good benefits. So if you don't want to good riddance, those days are over. No longer are the days that people are going to stay with you for 1020 30 years. If they don't feel valued, those days have gone. No longer are the days that people are willing to pay ultimate sacrifices, in their marriages in their families in their mental health and their physical health in their piece. No longer are the days that people are willing to pay those sacrifices no matter how much money you are willing to pay them. If we want to hold on to our best people. If we want to recruit and retain good people, we need to stop and assess check your baggage, schools, universities, hospitals, corporations, check your baggage, what has created the culture of your environment? What are the values, the real values not the ones you put on your website? What are the real values? And how do you adjust those values to take care of your most important resource, which is your people. It's time to pay attention. It's time to pay attention. The cost of caring is too high and people are no longer willing to pay that cost? So if you are an individual and you are struggling with, should I stay? Should I go? What should I do? I can't tell you what to do. But here's what I will tell you. Unless you address the way you approach work in life, no matter where you go, you're going to have the same problem. No matter what you do, you will still have the compassion fatigue problem. So you have to do individual work. You have to do hard work, to make sure that you can appropriately approach life and work and pursue purpose in a way that is sustainable. For schools, hospitals, corporations, organizations, you if you are bleeding people, and many are right now. And you know, you need to turn the tide. You need to stop asking people. You need to stop and figure out the truth about the values of your organization. You need to ask your people what they need. So that's what I got friends, thank you for allowing me to share my heart. Thank you for allowing me to share this truth that not sure that I heard from somebody but truth that I've lived, and truth that I've watched from my colleagues for 22 years, and truth that I'm learning from my clients, companies, organizations, hospitals, schools, and individuals that I'm serving right now. The cost of caring is too high. And we need to do something about it. We're losing our good people. We're losing good people. So we're going to continue this conversation about compassion fatigue, I'm going to tell you more about my experiences with compassion, fatigue, I'm going to define it more specifically for you and educate you on compassion fatigue. And then we're going to talk about the heart work journey and, and how it helps you through this process, y'all is time is time we got to serve our people. We've got to serve our people. I've always told my team, I'm not going to expect you to serve our students and I'm not serving you. And we need to have that mentality now. It's critical. It is critical. The livelihood and sustainability of our organizations in schools depends on start caring about your people. Listen, that's all I got for you today. Again, we will continue this conversation because there's lots to dig into. But as always, you are powerful. You are significant. And you are loved. Love always PBJ