Managing the Great Transformation:
Lessons Learned at JDA TSG

Alex Mortman, Jeff Givens, Ann Piccirillo
May 16, 2022

WHAT IS the great transformation?

What we refer to as, “The Great Transformation” began as The Great Resignation. It is part of a larger trend that began over 10 years ago as employees started to question their role in corporate America and wanted a chance to help shape how their employers viewed them and their work. . You have probably heard about the Great Resignation, and may even have seen evidence of it in your business. However, the Great Resignation is only a part of a larger trend that began over 10 years ago as employees started to question their role in corporate America 

JDA TSG has spent over 10 years interviewing thousands of potential employees and we have learned a lot about what employees are looking for in their job roles and what we need to do to update our employee retention strategies to keep the best employees after a successful recruitment.

1. We needed to embrace the great transformation

Many of our clients are faced with the challenge of how to find and keep great talent to ensure that their businesses continue to grow. But many mid-market and enterprise companies have processes and procedures in place that are based on pre-pandemic operating models. Those models do not account for large-scale changes such as remote work. Further, their employee retention strategies weren’t designed for the changes in employee attitudes.

When the pandemic hit and clients had to support their employees while they were working from home, the processes and procedures they’d relied on were no longer effective. Almost overnight, they had to bring in new technologies and develop new processes and procedures that would support a remote or hybrid workforce.

In addition, those changes couldn’t be stop-gap measures. They had to be incorporated into the culture of the company because hybrid work is the workforce model for the future. It’s a difficult and disrupting undertaking that is requiring ongoing refinement.

We’ve seen the Great Transformation evolving for over 10 years and we’ve structured our company accordingly, thereby avoiding the impact of the Great Resignation.

2. We needed to embrace remote work

JDA TSG has always been structured for remote work. Remote work is one of the big issues coming out of the Great Resignation and needs to be included in employee retention strategies. For a long time, employees have wanted more control over their work/life balance. One of the reasons we’ve avoided the Great Resignation is that we’re structured for remote work, so nothing has changed fundamentally. Here’s our philosophy about remote work.

  • As long as we’re accomplishing what we promise to our clients, we support our employees on a personal level.
  • We’ve always believed that when employees take the time to take care of themselves, it puts them in a better position to do the great work they do.
  • We focus on accountability without micromanaging, and when we get hit with something unexpected, we can manage it easily because the accountabilities do not change.
  • We needed flexibility to manage changing client expectations, so we built a lot of agility and flexibility into how we approach reporting, recruiting, and more.

3. We needed to treat employees with Understanding and Empathy

Employees have always wanted to be heard; the issue was just magnified by the Great Resignation. To be as successful as we are in talent acquisition, we knew that our culture had to recognize that employees have personal lives, and there’s no opportunity for separating work and family.

Companies that have not come to that understanding are being hard hit by the Great Resignation. Based on our employee interviews over the years, many women in the workforce have been frustrated because they felt as if they were only a number to their employers. There was no sense their employers acknowledged that they had a role in the workforce and a role as a part of their family. And, it was even more challenging for the women if they had children. Employers were not offering solutions such as flexible hours or remote work, which could be added to employee retention strategies.

And, the pandemic provided a spotlight for those challenges. Employees were trying to work from home while pretending that they did not have kids. They were mortified if one of their children appeared on a Zoom screen. Very few companies recognized that their employees would need to shift focus from time to time. Very often, companies and human resources were so far into damage control mode that they forgot to listen to their employees. So, the employees resigned.

4. We needed to Develop Streamlined Processes and Procedures

We realized early in the Great Transformation that standard approaches to operations were not going to work in our non-standard work environment. We developed expertise in business process improvement to ensure that our operations were agile, flexible, and poised to respond to changes in our clients’ requirements. We could also provide that insight to existing processes we encountered during client engagements.

Final Thoughts

While the Great Resignation took many by surprise, there have been indicators that something was happening to employee attitudes long before the pandemic hit. The pandemic may have been the final straw, but attitudes have been changing for years. Given the work that JDA TSG does, we have learned a lot about these changing attitudes and how to structure employee retention strategies to respond.

To learn more about the Great Resignation and how you can change your employee retention strategies to avoid or reverse it, download a free copy of our guide, “Is It a Great Resignation or an Ongoing Transformation?” The guide will also show you how many companies are using strategies now to address the issues raised by the Great Resignation while creating and implementing more far-reaching strategies.