The “Great Resignation” & Employee Engagement

The “Great Resignation” & Employee Engagement

There have been several articles about the “great resignation” and how the pandemic set in motion the desire for workers to leave their current job. The release of a Microsoft study called The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work – Are We Ready? studied 30,000 global workers who expressed the desire to leave their jobs by the end of 2020. It revealed that 41% of workers globally are thinking about handing in their notice in 6 to 12 months.

As summarized in the World Economic Forum, “More than half of 18 to 25 year-olds in the workforce are considering quitting their job. And they’re not the only ones. Microsoft found that as well as 54% of Generation Z workers are considering handing in their resignation. Similarly, a UK and Ireland survey found that 38% of employees were planning to leave their jobs in the next six months to a year, while a US survey by Prudential reported that 42% of employees would quit if their company didn’t offer remote working options long term.”

“The great resignation is propelled by three forces: the changing generation, the economic crisis, and the realization people have had that they can have a different social contract, spending more time with family when they work remote and skip the commute,”

                            - Shahar Erez, CEO of the freelance talent platform Stoke.

With 4 million people quitting their jobs in April, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary released a few weeks ago, it’s already happening. It made me wonder if the tight job market will open up more opportunities for recent college graduates as well as older workers. These are the two cohorts of people who have had the most difficulty landing a position. Having too little experience or being labeled as “overqualified” are biases that happen at the hiring level. It also made me wonder about innovative practices companies are adopting to increase employee engagement and retain their talent. Progressive companies offer things like learning and development programs. More companies are offering wellness benefits to make work-life balance more attainable. More importantly, progressive companies survey employees and provide quarterly assessments to learn about their career interests and tap into their talent on a deeper level. It’s not surprising that this has far better outcomes than forcing people to stay in one lane in their specific job role for years and years. Daniel Pink in his book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” talks about three things that motivate people at work. 1. Mastery 2. Autonomy and 3. Purpose. If “mastery” of a job doesn’t evolve and provide more opportunities for growth, feeling stagnant may cause someone to leave. Autonomy equals trust. Many employers were forced to give their employees autonomy and allow them to work from home. And now 42% have said they will quit if they can’t work remotely. Of course, the flip side to remote working is digital burnout which is one more challenge employers need to consider. Purpose is something that is personally meaningful. Why do you care about what you’re doing? Purpose could also be articulated through a company’s manifesto as well as through leadership. Authentic employee engagement options are going to be the key to keeping happy and talented employees.

The pandemic has reshaped the way we work forever and employees' needs have changed in a significant way. The Microsoft study outlined seven major trends to consider.

Work Trends from Microsoft Study:
  1. Flexible work is here to stay
  2. Leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call
  3. High productivity is masking an exhausted workforce
  4. Gen Z is at risk and will need to be re-energized
  5. Shrinking networks are endangering innovation
  6. Authenticity will spur productivity and wellbeing
  7. Talent is everywhere in a hybrid world

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The Great Resignation: Why Millions of Workers Are Quitting Their Jobs

40% of employees are thinking of quitting their jobs, says survey | World Economic Forum

How employers can prepare for the 'great resignation'

Video: Daniel Pink: "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us"

Recap: Get Set up with No Code To Build Your Product

Recap: Get Set up with No Code To Build Your Product

Last Thursday, we hosted an event on illume hire with Lacey Kesler, Founder of Women in No Code and the Head of Education for Adalo.  Not many people know the term “no code” because it’s only been around for the last three years. It’s becoming more popular though because people are able to build out their product idea and earn income using these tech tools.  No code opens up the ability to create an app or online product for anyone who is not a developer. And during the pandemic, even more no code tools have launched for those of us who don’t plan on ever being a developer.

Lacey said she fell in love with software a few years ago and started out thinking she’d be a developer. She quickly learned however, that coding was not for her and that’s when she discovered no code tools. When she was on a group call and advised them on what tools they should use to create their product, she noticed that the women would send her a direct message instead of asking a question in public. That’s when she came up with the organization, “Women in No Code”.

Lacey walked through different ideas that are possible to create but she emphasized that there WILL be a learning curve. She said it will give people a leg up when looking for a job or when thinking about building a product and creating the first version (called a minimal viable product). Check out tutorials on YouTube if you get stuck on working with any of the no code products you run across. 

"As creating things on the internet becomes more accessible, more people will become makers. It's no longer limited to the <1% of engineers that can code resulting in an explosion of ideas from all kinds of people."

                                                                                            - Ryan Hoover, Founder of Product Hunt

Top No Code Resources to get started:

  • Adalo is a great resource for building an app and includes tutorials as well as templates to try out different scenarios.  Adalo - Build Your Own No Code App
  • Here are some of Adalo’s predictions about the prevalence of no code by 2026. The Future is No-Code Book & Mini-Series | Conclusions
  •  Twitter No Code Experts: Lacey discussed different people to follow on Twitter such as @colleeMBrady - her site, has plenty of resources too.  The Program Director for Be On Deck (a startup accelerator) on Twitter @thisiskp is another person to follow.  She recommended following @nocodelife on Twitter as well. 
  • Ben Tossell @bentossell on Twitter who started (and was acquired by Zapier 18 months after launch) is another site to check out. They have tutorials and a no code course to help tackle your project.

If you’re having trouble landing a job or figuring out what kind of problem to solve, start playing around with some of your favorite apps and then set aside time to think about what is really needed right now. Begin by making something simple like the guy who works for Zapier (an automation and connection tool)

Listen to podcasts like the one Lacey hosts called The Visual Developers podcast. It will give you an outline of how the movement got started and more importantly where it’s headed as it pertains to the future of work. Most of these podcasts have been around for only a year so now is the time to dive in and get familiar with these tools.

Here is the replay of the event. Hope you enjoy it.

Future of Work: Get Set Up To Build Your No-Code Product



Side Hustle Platform Ideas

Side Hustle Platform Ideas

Instead of getting back to business as usual, people have been searching for a new way forward. Oftentimes their new path includes either becoming an entrepreneur or developing a side hustle (or two).

There are so many new digital platforms that enable people to earn a livelihood that I’m excited to share a few more. Li Jin, investor and expert in the “passion economy” is committed to talking about (and investing in) companies that help lower the barrier to entry to earn money. She’s inspired by the possibilities created by the digital platforms that are helping people monetize their unique skills and she shares new products and platforms on her blog.

So yes, it's easier to get started. You can start a newsletter business with a few clicks on Substack. You can start a subscription business on Patreon. You can start a content subscription business on OnlyFans. You can sell things on Etsy. But getting to scale, getting to success, and making it your full time income is still really challenging.
Li Jin

Here are a few tools to make earning money a little less challenging.

Flexible Selling Opportunity: Upcall: Outbound Call Center for Marketing Sales Automation

If you enjoy the thrill of landing business, using upcall might be exactly what you need. Fearless cold calling is involved and you’ll be given a script by the company that chooses to hire you. They base their success on data and the best times to call a potential customer. It takes under 5 minutes to sign up for this platform and people earn anywhere from $500 to $3500 per month.

Matching System for Freelance Gigs: Worksome - Hire and manage your freelance talent like never before.

Worksome connects skilled consultants and specialists with companies that want flexible talent to solve their business issues. It makes companies’ recruitment quick, and efficient by matching talent and skills with a companies’ demand. They screen and gather the best talent in all of the knowledge-heavy fields such as developers, graphic design and digital marketing. It’s easy and free to create a job post. They use a rating system that ensures high quality for both the company and the specialist. Worksome’s digital recruitment process delivers flexible labor smarter, faster, and cheaper than traditional analog recruitment solutions. They also provide an all-in-one solution that takes care of contracts, billing, and payment, so the company and the specialist can concentrate on the work.

Build & Deepen Your Relationship With Your Audience & Get Paid: Norby: A tool to build your brand, grow your community and activate your audience.

Norby was launched in 2020 and I learned more about them on product hunt (which I highly recommend checking out frequently). If you already have an event, how do you get people in the door? Norby solves this problem. They believe that when creators own the relationship with their followers, they are incentivized to build on those relationships and make meaningful content. Platforms, on the other hand, are incentivized only to keep people's attention for as long as they possibly can, regardless of the net effect on people's lives or livelihoods. Norby helps creators and community builders reclaim the relationship with their audience and create experiences that meet people where they are while retaining the control and ownership creators need to survive. Norby is a one-stop shop for building and managing creator and brand communities. It has all the tools you need to get started, from your link in bio, signups, and landing pages to your SMS campaigns and email newsletters. It has tons of integrations and you can use it to host events on any platform, create personalized experiences, track follower analytics, and more. Check out their events here.

Knowledge is power, and knowing your skills as well as all the different kinds of platforms that are available now will not only help earn money but it will also help gain more tech knowledge about these “all in one” platforms. There are several holes in the world right now that need filling. Perhaps your skill set can fill a few of them.

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Why Is No-Code Such A Big Deal?

Why Is No-Code Such A Big Deal?

Yesterday morning I was excited to speak with Lacey Kesler, Founder of Women in No-Code. We met via Twitter because I wanted to learn more about her courses. She’s also the Head of Education for Adalo (a no code platform to create apps). No-code is a method and a movement of programming that does not necessarily involve writing code but instead works with GUI (Graphic User Interface) tools. No-code technology has one objective: to find a way to get the most work done and deliver the most functionality in the smallest amount of time. The most repetitive, manual tasks that take up your time can be automated with no-code. 

Lacey and I talked about how people in technology and startups share no code tools they’re using on social media. Non technical founders “build in public” and share how they’re using no code tools to gain an audience and revenue. Her belief is that the people who are exposed to no code opportunities are relatively small. Even the term “no code” is not familiar for a majority of people. 

Coincidentally, she met with her manager last week regarding the need to expand their audience to people who are life learners who could also benefit from knowing about no-code opportunities. She believes the greater population has no idea these tools exist. To be fair, no-code tools are relatively new and they’ve gained tremendous traction during the pandemic. There are also new products that have launched within the last year. Lacey said she wants everyone to know about these tools since it democratizes the ability to build a tech product and earn an income. Oftentimes people who don’t have a tech background are at an advantage when it comes to creating something innovative using no-code. They’re starting with a fresh perspective and recognize an opportunity, trend or a pattern sooner than people already immersed in technology. It was a great conversation because when I meet people who are passionate about teaching and helping others (especially about earning money), I tend to fall in love. 

“No-code is creating a new revolution in tech (and the world) because it's giving the power of software development to the masses,” 

                           Lacey Kesler, Head of Education at Adalo and Founder of Women in No-Code.

Tara Reed is another leader to watch in no code. While she worked for Microsoft full time as a Marketing Director, she learned how to build an app using no-code tools and created Kollecto, a personalized art app that she was later able to sell. Now she offers courses on how she did it and asks her students three questions in order to figure out what kind of app they should create:

  1. What do you do for work?
  2. What do you spend time/effort on at work?
  3. What alleviates that stress?

Once those questions are answered, she digs into the responses further to gain clarity and figure out if your app idea is a viable product. She has over two hundred thousand YouTube views and is now the Founder and CEO of Apps Without Code, a startup school that offers webinars, coaching and an intensive boot camp. She helps entrepreneurs turn their app ideas into viable businesses. Tara shared success stories from some of her students. One example was a music teacher who sold his app to schools to help alleviate music budget cuts and is earning over $30k per month. Tara emphasized that selling the app to an organization instead of direct to consumer may be a more lucrative option. Your app could also be “white labeled” with another company’s logo on it which would garner even more revenue. 

It is the best time to jump on to no-code train now. No-code is the future. If you become an expert now, you will be one of the most in-demand people in the future.

                               Arun Saigal, Cofounder and CEO Thunkable

Check out the resources below and try out different tools and watch different tutorials. So many people are taking advantage of no code who have zero experience building a tech company. Also, Lacey Kesler will be our guest on the illume hire happy hour on June 17th at 5pm PST so I hope you can join us. Space is limited so please reserve your spot soon. 

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E1148: Apps Without Code CEO Tara Reed teaches how to bootstrap no-code startups to profitability

3 Tips to Overcome a Bully in Late Career

3 Tips to Overcome a Bully in Late Career

Chances are, if you’ve worked or volunteered on a team, you’ve witnessed someone being bullied (or been on the receiving end of it). Criticism is a normal part of work life but criticism meant to intimidate, humiliate, or single someone out without reason is considered bullying. The Muse defines it as “a repeated health harming mistreatment of one or more people. It includes verbal abuse, intimidating, threatening or humiliating the target. It can, and often does, interfere with the target’s ability to get their work done.” When bullying happens, it throws us off. Our brains go haywire because it’s unexpected and typically we’re unsure how to respond. According to The Balance, more men (70%) are bullies and women are the most frequent targets of bullies (60%). Female bullies most often target other women (80%). And if you think you’re off the hook because of working remotely, bullying has actually increased from 30% to 47% during virtual meetings in 2020 according to the Workplace Bullying Institute.

A few years ago, a friend told me about an unsettling meeting she’d had with her manager and team. The discussion was about how their compensation was structured. The conversation wasn’t about salary - it was focused on how people were incentivized. Her new manager didn’t understand why a salesperson would push revenue to a month where they needed to achieve their number. As my friend started to explain why it’s beneficial for a salesperson to move revenue to a different month (hint: they get paid more), he became extremely agitated. He threw up his hand in her face and yelled, “I did not give you permission to speak!” What? Everyone was stunned and silent. She asked to speak to him privately after the meeting and never reported him to his boss. Why? She was 54 and was concerned about being retaliated against by him and she was concerned about finding another full time job. She knew his behavior had more to do with control and a sense of power than anything she said.  She learned some valuable lessons that day. Here are three tips on how to respond.

  1. Take a Meta Moment: Pause and don’t respond at all - even if your heart is racing. When you DO decide to respond, do so in a calm manner. This not only reflects how rational you are - but it also tends to highlight how irrational the other person is being.
  2. Confront it Privately or Report It: My friend addressed it immediately and asked to meet him privately. Although she didn’t feel reporting his behavior would help her in any way, asking him directly why he reacted that way felt empowering. Taking this action also set a boundary so he wouldn’t verbally harass her again (and he didn’t). At the time, she felt reporting it to the HR department or to his boss would have exacerbated the situation. Whatever you decide, do something instead of nothing. If you don’t say anything, the power imbalance and bullying behavior will continue. The Muse suggested the following ways to address it:
    - Call attention to their values: Try “I know that you really care about everyone feeling valued, and when you do X, it undermines that intention. Maybe we could try Y in the future?
    - Explain why it’s a problem: Try “I notice you X, and when you do that it makes it hard for us to foster a team environment.”
    - Say their name a lot: “John, I hear what you are saying but John, I need you to stop doing X. I treat you with respect, John, and I need you to do the same.” 

    Side Note: Some people have questioned whether or not his behavior was legally actionable. It wasn’t. The law does not require that your boss or coworkers be nice or fair. But such harassment might be illegal if the harassment is based on an illegal reason or motive. It’s only if you can prove that the person singled you out because of age, gender or race that it would be actionable. This could be changing, however, with the Healthy Workplace Bill.

  3. Compassion Builds Resilience: One thing that helped her get through the hostile encounter was compassion. She thought, “Wow. Something is really off with this individual. Maybe his wife asked for a divorce right before the meeting or maybe he learned he has cancer.” It sounds funny but it was her way of reframing the situation because she knew it was about his own mental state and low EQ. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review “One of the most overlooked aspects of a resilience skill set is the ability to cultivate compassion — both self-compassion and compassion for others. According to research cited by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, compassion increases positive emotions, creates positive work relationships, and increases cooperation and collaboration. . .Compassion and business effectiveness are not mutually exclusive. Rather, individual, team and organizational success rely on a compassionate work culture.”

So if it happens, pause, address it and then reframe it. A few months later, that manager was fired. While it would be great if all bullies experienced the same fate, it’s always good to build resilience and be armed with different ways to respond.

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Workplace Bullying: How to Identify and Manage Bullying

How to Deal With a Bully in the Workplace

Your Complete Guide to Dealing With Workplace Bullies

Nailing Your 60 Seconds: Elevator Talent Pitch

Nailing Your 60 Seconds: Elevator Talent Pitch

When interviewers or anyone in a position to hire asks, “Tell us about yourself”, many people either wing it and end up talking way too long or they only mention their job title and a few unremarkable things they’ve done in the past. In a workshop I attended recently, the instructors outlined the ingredients for a perfect elevator talent pitch. It’s an opportunity to give brief but powerful information with a few “wow” achievements. In a sea of job applicants and the need to impress connections, being memorable is even more important. Knowing your skill set, passion and the value you can bring to an organization will lead to an elevator pitch that’s natural instead of contrived or boring.

This can also be an opportunity to explain where you see yourself in the future and why, especially if you’re planning on pivoting careers. Explaining why you took the leap into a different field by talking about your transferable skills helps people understand where you’re headed. The first step is to prepare a short pitch about yourself that outlines three talents and ties them to the proof of your accomplishments. Keeping it to three skills is one way to keep it short and memorable. Second, practice it several times before your next interview. Try it on someone you know and see what their response is to it. My friend, JoAnne, was able to tell her elevator talent pitch to someone she met on a plane and landed a new job a month later because of her career storytelling ability. 

6 Steps To Create Your Highlight Reel:

  1. Write It Down: Kerri Twig, a career story coach, recommends setting aside 5-10 minutes a day for a week in order to write out your most amazing achievements. This helps clarify which ones you want to highlight. She also recommends writing your own job description/ad that you want. Keep it to three talents at the most.
  2. Time Box It: Try two versions. One is 30 seconds and one is 60 seconds. It will come in handy when you actually only have :30 seconds to impress someone casually. You may also want to have a few different versions based on who you’re talking to at the time. It will be more relevant for them and because of that - will make you more relevant and memorable.
  3. What’s Compelling? Anyone can say they are awesome but few can prove it. Have one or two lines with the proof. Consider including hard numbers and goals achieved so the other person can visualize how you can contribute to their company or who they’d want to introduce you to in the future.
  4. You’re the Product: Treat yourself, business or product like a brand. What’s the one thing you or your business can offer than nobody else can? How are you different? Think about your unique value proposition and what you bring to the table.
  5. Keep It Fluid/Revise It: Your elevator talent pitch should be a living, breathing thing - just like your resume. As you learn more and upskill, it will evolve and become stronger.
  6. Add A Tagline: Including a phrase at the end of your elevator pitch can help solidify a positive first impression in the other person’s mind.  Examples could be the following:
    • Building X has taught me
    • Leadership has recognized X 
    • I help transform X
    • I’ve been passionate about X

Since your “loose connections” tend to be the strongest in terms of landing a position, it’s time well spent practicing your elevator talent pitch.

Reviewed & Recommended:

Kerri Twig is an expert in career storytelling and has recently written a book: The Career Stories Method: 11 Steps to Find Your Ideal Career—and Discover Your Awesome Self in the Process

Kerri also has a huge YouTube following with loads of content on career storytelling: Land a job without applying | Career Stories Live Episode 10

How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself - the opening line