Be kind to those who stuck around too.
I’ve seen variations of this image maybe two dozen times now. It is an incredible statement on many levels, really. But the short-handedness and difficulty of finding “fit” between position and person truly predates our post “pandemic pause,” and many a discussion can be found regarding “keyword resume searches,” “widening skills gaps,” and much more. Now I hear the term: “The Great Resignation...”
An advisor of my own once gave me an assignment as part of a challenge I had during the shaping of my business at its infancy. The assignment was to survey my customers to understand why my business was being chosen over another. Because there are many choices potential clients would have when it comes to consultants, coaches, advisors, “numbers people,” Business Gurus, specialists, freelancers, HR Partners and, of course, Fractionals, it is both a privilege and deep responsibility to be asked to be a temporal part of someone’s business and establish changes that will successfully outlast your tenure.
How then should we be thinking about the highest, best use (function) of a fractional (or any of the above descriptors)? Do Fractional Financial Services grow businesses? Not necessarily, but they can help—a lot. Do Fractional Operations Services run businesses? Not necessarily, but they can help—a lot. Do Fractional Human Resources Services build and maintain cultures? Not necessarily, but they can help—a lot.
It was one particular survey answer that was very unexpected to me at that time. I then thought this should inform not just my business “identity,” but also inform a solution for any business owner looking to find both an ethically correct and practical response for when the current state of their business threatens to outgrow the individuals who propelled the business from its start..."the people who stuck by you through thick and thin—success and failure, who sacrificed their time, piece of mind, potentially higher income, and much, much more to help make your crazy ideas come into reality."
I feel the answer is timelier and more necessary than ever...
...because Fractional work (or insert any of the aforementioned terms) combined with good coaching in today’s employment climate (within practically all categories of employee) applied to growing your workforce to close skills gaps...is now more relevant than ever in helping to prevent your employees from feeling the need to join this “Great Resignation.”
And (finally), the answer went something like this – the most qualified person available for a position may not always be the best employee or best fit for a company at a particular point in time, which is why "we love a fractional provider that allows us to empower our trusted/loyal employees to execute their positions well, without having to be the experts (now)."
In other words, this particular business prioritized fractional services because of the positive growth and experiences had by the team while they made the required positions skills available to both the company and the employee(s) as they grow – together.
I have always believed that if you can show a future of growth and opportunity to your employees (along with respect and a positive employment environment), they will stay with you and continually perform to the best of their abilities.
There are so many great Fractionals out there that you can/should always find a good fit in a fractional position to complete the work necessary for your business. Now more than ever, you will be far better served if you seek out a fractional that can be charged with working themselves out of their positions by completing that work in conjunction with helping you match and grow your employees to take over for them.
Possibly now more than ever, we need to refocus internally, and find every opportunity to honor and preserve our workforce.
If you’re struggling to find or keep your great employees, finding a fit for a fractional who believes their highest best use is to train his or her replacement should likely be your highest priority.
Image Credit: Tim van der Krogt-Revelstoke Review