The Coming Sansdemic

Pandemic, as we all know by now, implies all people. Sansdemic, on the other hand, implies without people.

It’s important to understand the implications of a sansdemic for your organization, and here’s why:

The 2020 U.S. Census revealed three startling trends for the work place.
1.  A mass exodus of baby boomers from work. 
2.  The lowest labor participation percentage in years. 
3.  A huge decline in births. 

This simply means that there will be fewer people to do the work of the future. Thus, the word, sansdemic.

In some industries, take the service industry as an example, the sansdemic has already arrived. The War for Talent, as some have called it, isn’t a blip on the screen. The War for Talent is here to stay. (There are now more 80 year olds than 2 year olds in America.) And don’t forget point #3 from the U.S. Census: A huge decline in births.

One of my favorite quotes from John Maxwell is, “Team work makes the dream work.” For the dream to work however, there needs to be a team at work. It’s why this is shaping up to be the key challenge for organizations.

Recently, two non-profit leaders in different states in essence told me this, unprompted: “It’s so hard finding staff today.” When they said this, both times I thought, “There it is — the coming sansdemic.”

The bad news is that it’s only going to get worse. The good news is you can prepare for it by building a top-quality team culture.

Prudent leaders understand the time to win the War for Talent is now, because the coming sansdemic is headed their way. To help with that, I want to offer two thoughts from the FOR the Team section in my book, Know What You’re FOR.

1.  The best place to start is asking the question, “What do we want our team culture to be known FOR?”

For example, Ann and Sid Mashburn own one of the best clothing stores in America. They have two clear answers to the question above: Hopefulness and Helpfulness.

They want their teams to experience hopefulness and helpfulness because they care about their team, but they also care for their customers.

Ann and Sid know that the customer is eventually treated like the team is treated. If there’s a hopeful, helpful spirit among the team, a hopeful, helpful spirit will flow to their customers.

Note how simple yet clarifying and inspirational those two words are. What words would you use to answer the question, “What do we want our team culture to be known FOR?” What words would the leadership team use to answer this question? Are you in alignment? In fact, this might be something to discuss at your next team meeting.

This leads to question #2.

2.  The hardest place to start is asking the question: “What is our team culture known FOR?” 

The reality for all organizations is there’s a gap between these two questions. This question will reveal the gaps and shortcomings from how you answered the first question.

Thriving organizations of the future will prepare for the coming sansdemic by closing the gap between these two questions. Not only that, it also reveals a principle you can leverage to help you win the War for Talent:  “We attract those who aren’t here by developing and caring for those who are here.”

For far too long, team culture has been placed in the “important not urgent” category. The coming sansdemic is changing that. Team culture is both important and urgent. The future of your organization, in a very real sense, might not be how you weathered the storm of the pandemic. It will be how you prepared and led through the sansdemic.

Proverbs 27:12 says something about warnings like this: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

This week’s email isn’t here to just point out the danger. I want you to see there are practical, simple ways to take refuge and prepare for it.

The world needs more thriving organizations.
For this to happen, for the dream to work, it must have a team at work.

Without it, without the people, the dream most certainly will die.

FOR You,
Jeff Henderson

P.S.  If it’s okay, can I suggest a practical next step?  Download the audio version of Know What You’re FOR by clicking HERE. I think you’ll find helpful ideas, like the ones above, on how to be FOR the Team.

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