As Australians emerge from lockdown, there’s growing evidence the ‘Big Quit’ is heading to our shores.
Evolve’s co-directors, Practical Reconciliation and Allyship experts Carla Rogers and Aunty Munya Andrews, have observed the trend and believe a lack of cultural safety in workplaces is one of the driving factors. We asked them to explain how Allyship Training can help you avoid the Great Resignation.
HOW IS A LACK OF CULTURAL SAFETY DRIVING THE GREAT RESIGNATION?
“While lockdown has had its challenges, for many it has provided a welcome respite from the difficulties they face in the workplace,” observed Carla Rogers. “Asking some people to return to the office is a bit like asking the metaphorical frog to jump back into the pot of boiling water.”
Aboriginal Elder Aunty Munya Andrews adds, “When you are part of a minority group, it takes a lot of mental energy to ‘fit-in’ with the majority. Simple things, like making eye-contact, did not come naturally to me as it is not considered polite in Aboriginal culture. I had to teach myself to make eye-contact so that I would appear confident when working with Gudia (non-Indigenous) people. It can be really exhausting.”
“For too long, those in the majority, non-Indigenous people like myself, have expected those in the minority to fit in with them,” says Carla. “I think what we are seeing is that many people feel marginalised, for a variety of different reasons, and they’ve had enough.”
So what can we do to avoid the Great Resignation? Aunty Munya and Carla believe that Reconciliation and Allyship Training can play a critical role in your organisations engagement and retention strategy.
HOW DOES ALLYSHIP TRAINING HELP RETAIN EMPLOYEES?
1. Understanding Diversity and Embracing Difference
“Our Cultural Awareness training includes learning about diversity in communication style, culture and language,” explains Aunty Munya. “It opens people’s eyes to a wider range of perspectives and differences, not just between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and it teaches everyone how to be more understanding and inclusive.”
What we know from recent studies is that more inclusive companies experience greater staff retention and they are also more profitable.
2. Improved Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills
“Being an Ally is all about taking action, which often includes having courageous conversations”, explains Carla.
Our Allyship Training teaches the Evolve R3 Culture® approach. It’s a tool for resolving conflict and improving communication and relationships in the following three simple steps:
- REFLECT: Pause. Identify the issue. What’s really going on?
- RELATE: Without making assumptions, consider the other person’s perspective. What might they be thinking or feeling?
- RECONCILE: Co-design a solution. How can you move forward, together?
“We know from lived experience that this approach works,” explains Carla. “We use it ourselves and participants in our programs have shared many stories of how they have applied the three steps in their personal and professional lives.”
You can download a copy of the Evolve R3 Culture® guide here:
3. Greater Connection and Feelings of Belonging
“A lot of people come to us worried that Cultural Awareness Training might be confrontational or shaming,” says Carla.
“That’s not our approach at all. There is no place for blame or shame. That’s just not the way to go and it’s not how we do things in my culture,” asserts Aunty Munya.
“We want people to know that they can ask any question and they do! We often have a good laugh, but also frank conversations, in our open and honest yarning circles,” explains Aunty Munya.
Everyone leaves an Evolve program feeling deeply connected and inspired. But don’t take our word for it, here’s some of the feedback we’ve received from our participants:
“I now feel surrounded by a strong community of Allies in the workplace.” Kaedla
“It was so good for my wellbeing at a time when I needed it most! My spirit felt strengthened.” Roanna
“A very inclusive session – felt like family!” Dimity
“I have a sense of empathy and alliance I didn’t have before today. I think Aunty Munya is very special. Thank you so much.” Glen
Nobody is in a hurry to leave a connected, supportive and inclusive work environment. And that’s why we’re confident our Cultural Awareness, Reconciliation and Allyship training can help you avoid the Great Resignation.