The great January exodus
Suzanne Lucas, the ‘Evil HR Lady’, joins Katrina Collier on her podcast The Hiring Partner Perspective to talk about the great January exodus.
Why You Should Care
HR needs to step in and start training managers on how to manage a hybrid workforce.
Find out why remote work can also be challenging for introverts.
In this episode of The Hiring Partner Perspective, host Katrina Collier talks to Suzanne Lucas, The Evil HR Lady* – yes for it is she – about the global spread of the ‘Great Resignation‘, the distant past of pre-COVID times, the need for wage transparency, and the continued importance of hybrid work.
*This isn’t UNLEASH’s description of her – it’s literally her Twitter handle.
Here she is talking about employee empowerment:
“…Here’s the thing, if you don’t give [people] the bonus, they will definitely quit. So you can’t say, oh, I’ll just say the bonus is coming next week. That’s not going to help. You have to do that, but you have to do more. And this is where we get stuck in this old school train of thought that ‘I am the employer, you should be grateful for me’.
“Since I’m sitting here in Switzerland, I’ll throw in a German term they use; the owner of the company, the word that they use is ‘work giver’. So it’s like this benevolence [of]…’I give this to you’. And I think a lot of Americans have this concept too, but that is switching.”
Katrina Collier: “Yeah. And it’s not like when you and I started out…we had that carrot and the stick, you were lucky to have a job. But fast forward 30 years and throw in a pandemic…
Suzanne Lucas: “People are not like that anymore. And now it’s very much ‘Hey, you’re lucky to have me as an employee!’ And managers, owners have to do that switch. And the thing is, is that the employees are right.”
The conversation moves to address hybrid and remote work.
Suzanne Lucas: “HR needs to really step in and start doing that training on managers of how to do it [managing a hybrid workforce]. But here’s the problem, not everybody in HR knows how to do it either because we are all used to the whole managing-by-walking-around.
“And in my Facebook group, we had someone ask, ‘Am I the only HR person that’s an introvert?’ and everybody just like exploded. No, we’re all introverts. Of course, we’re not all introverts, but a lot of people are and for an introvert remote work can also have a challenge that’s not there in person. And you say, ‘Well, if I’m an introvert, then I want to be alone, if I’m an HR person, I do employee relations.
“So I want to know what’s going on, and one of the best ways to do that is to know your people. Well, as an introvert, I walk around, and I see you and I can say hi, [but] if I’m sitting at home, I have to make an effort to reach out to each person. And that’s difficult for a lot of introverted people.”
Counterintuitive? Our host thinks so.
Talent management for 2022
Discussion turns to the four-day work week (more of that later), and it’s time to get hopeful for this year and beyond:
Suzanne Lucas: “Something I really want recruiters and managers and everyone to focus on in 2022 is [work-life] boundaries. Too many people have sloppy boundaries, either way. So either the manager does by saying, I’m going to give you four days, but actually, technically, I’m going to [give you] five, because I’m going to WhatsApp you at 10pm and stuff like that.
“And then employees have to push back and say, ‘No, this is the boundary, this is what we agreed and this is how we’re going to work.’ It needs much more clarity around that…I mean, I live in Switzerland, but almost all my clients are in the US. I write from an American perspective. Someday I will move back to the US. So I frequently will send emails when people are sleeping. I don’t expect them to get up at three in the morning to respond.
“Likewise, they send me emails while I’m sleeping, but they don’t expect me and that’s one of these things that we have to change in the culture. Okay, so you’re gonna get copied on this on your day off, but you don’t have to open it. Right? Exactly. It’s gonna show up in your inbox. There might be some slack messages there. But you don’t have to look at it. You know, we are not doing brain surgery here. No one’s gonna die if you don’t open your email.”
She’s right you know. We can’t give away the whole conversation though can we? Listen to all of it in the embedded player above and thank us later.
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Editorial content manager
Jon has 20 years' experience in digital journalism and more than a decade in L&D and HR publishing.