Don’t Call It Quits! 3 Ways to Beat the Great Resignation

What makes a successful agent leave a team? This question was one of many topics covered at our semiannual coach training event this month. And with good reason — in August, Bankrate released a survey indicating that 55 percent of American workers expected to be voluntarily looking for a new job in the next 12 months. Then in October, Joblist stated in their Q3 report that the number of Americans considering quitting had climbed to 73 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics supports the findings of these studies, reporting that an unprecedented 4.3 million people — nearly 3 percent of the workforce — actually did quit their jobs in August alone. More people than ever are either dissatisfied with their jobs or resigning entirely, meaning that a Great Resignation is upon us whether we like it or not.

What does this mean in your real estate team or brokerage? It means that if you have four people on your team, it’s likely that two or three of them are thinking of leaving, if they haven’t already.

We’re familiar with the reasons experts have given to explain this trend; the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered both the job market and attitudes regarding work, with workers re-evaluating their priorities and desires for working conditions, compensation, and more. The question is, what should we as leaders and employers do about it?

In a group mastermind session, our coaches identified a number of ideas to meet concerns surrounding recruiting and retention. Here are three:

Build a strong recruiting game.

The best way to have a solid team is to intentionally build one. One key aspect of recruiting is establishing clear expectations throughout the recruiting process. Too often, a growing team is not clear in what it wants from new members. Obviously, this can cause frustration for the team leader, but it can also become a source of frustration for team members when they don’t have clearly defined expectations. This will eventually result in a disconnect between all parties. By clearly stating early and often what a new recruit’s roles and responsibilities are, as well as explaining company culture and work ethic, the recruits can make an informed decision should an offer be extended. 

Offer ongoing value.

With any business interaction, a value proposition is a key consideration. What am I getting out of this, and what am I providing for the other party? If the terms of this proposition are agreeable, the interaction will continue. If not, it will likely fall apart. So what is your value proposition for new recruits and current agents? It will obviously include compensation and other benefits, but it also involves value that is less tangible. For example, think about why someone might want to work with your team? What about the team culture and atmosphere is appealing and unique, and how could you communicate that to a potential recruit? Or think about why someone might want to leave the team, and come up with ways to address those issues to create value propositions that agents will appreciate.

Are you listening?

Listening holds a critical place in any relationship. Listening effectively doesn’t always come easy, especially for those in leadership positions, but good listening skills can often serve a team leader more than their voice can. So ask yourself: are you truly listening to what your team members are saying? Do they feel heard? Is your office the kind of place where issues can be expressed comfortably? 

Take stock of your behavior as a leader and the culture in your office, and identify possible areas of improvement when it comes to listening and responding to concerns voiced by teammates. If you know the concerns of those around you, you can take steps to address them before it’s too late — before you receive a resignation letter.

Perhaps we can address possible team member resignations with one more question: what if we treated our team members like we treat our clients? With any client, we are careful to outline the terms of the relationship, and we work to make it mutually beneficial, even if its terms change over time. Above all, we listen to make sure any concerns we can address are taken care of. The dynamic between team members is different than the dynamic between an agent and client, but the principles underlying these relationships are more similar than we might think.

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An empathetic approach will go a long way in facing the Great Resignation. It’s not that people don’t want to work; it’s that for many, the terms have changed. As leaders and employers, we need to acknowledge this so that our businesses can adapt and continue to flourish and grow.

If your team has been experiencing uncommon turnover or you aren’t sure how to grow your team and business, it might be time to think about private coaching. An experienced Workman coach can provide you with customized strategies and systems for your success. Click here to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert business analysts.