Last week I was in a wonderful meetup of 50+ B2B CMOs.  As we discussed our biggest learnings from the first half of 2021, the topic of “The Great Resignation” came up.  The talent market for most Marketing roles is white-hot. Through the pandemic, people have become much clearer on what makes them happy, healthy employees.  Many in enterprise companies stayed in their jobs through COVID. They are now starting to feel excited about possible career changes with a newly informed need to seek out the types of roles and cultures in which they will thrive. I just hired an amazing team at Qumu and I know I want to protect and engage the team, so this topic caught my attention.

I did some reading on “The Big Quit.” A study by Microsoft reports that 46% of the workforce is planning a job change.  They now know they can work remotely and prefer this option to a commute-to-the-office routine. (Other sources list much higher percentages of people who will be in-market.)  Cultural fit and work-life balance are now things people are screening for as they evaluate new opportunities and decide whether they should stay or go from their current roles. What can CMOs do to ensure that they are providing the best possible experience for their employees as we contemplate how we work from here on out?  Here are three ideas.

  1. Create more time.
    In order to be happy and productive, employees need time to do strategic planning, deep thinking, AND tactical execution of our work products. No one seems to have enough time in our days and our calendars are stacked from dawn to dusk. Deep reflection, thoughtful analysis, and creative thinking happen in moments of quiet contemplation that are hard to come by in days filled with endless meetings. We can help create space for this important work time by reducing time spent in meetings. At Qumu, we help customers leverage video for bottom-line impact, so we model this behavior as well. One time-saver I love is that we record “watch-ahead” asynchronous videos that we send out prior to a scheduled meeting—this means that we spend less meeting time in a meeting staring at someone presenting.  We watch recorded content in advance and come prepared to ask questions. It makes meetings shorter and allows people to ingest the information when it makes the most sense for them. CMOs can encourage on-demand content consumption (like recorded videos) whenever possible and shorten planned meeting times to give employees time back for critical thinking and work.
  2. Protect deep thinking and work time.
    Qumu has also instituted a practice of no recurring meetings on Fridays—we call them “Focus Fridays.”  This time is so appreciated, that we have discussed including additional meeting protection on other days as well. This planned quiet time creates the space people need to move their work efforts forward. We encourage employees to turn off distracting notifications and guard this time to help them accomplish their goals, nurture their networks, and generally create more sanity and health in their week. I know my creative team derives inspiration from everywhere, so they need time to be inspired to support the innovation we need to be successful. In order to help their teams feel successful and sane, CMOs can help protect this kind of critical space on team calendars.
  3. Foster human connection.
    Now more than ever we have merged our personal and professional lives.  In the past year, we have seen inside each other’s homes, met kids and spouses during meetings, and have become used to dogs barking in every video chat. (I know mine does! Everyone knows Franklin.) I personally welcome and celebrate this merging of our work and personal lives.  We are multi-dimensional beings and one of the silver linings of this crazy period has been getting to know our co-workers more intimately.  We need to extend this new intimacy into the future—it feeds the soul. CMOs can model and encourage this connection in simple ways. Create intentional places for non-professional engagement (like coffee or happy hours for your team), openly calendar personal appointments on your calendar (to model that we all make time for these critical items in our week), and become more aware of and involved in the full lives of your teammates.  This makes us happier at work and feeds the visceral need for us to be in community with each other—even across distance.

Qumu is committed to our work from wherever whenever work style and are leveraging video to help us be productive and connected. I know there is a ton of creative thinking happening about how to connect across time and distance and how to create teams that thrive.  What are the things you have done to create a better experience on your teams? How are you attracting and retaining talent in this hot market? I would love to hear from you!