Hope Echoes

Evantext was facing an employee retention problem unlike anything it had ever experienced. The so-called Great Resignation following COVID-19 wasn’t the likely problem since most of Evantext resignations were young.

The President of Evantext asked Amy Worth what she thought. Amy had been called the Employee Whisperer for her ability to guide employees through both professional and personal challenges. Amy agreed to have a series of interviews with a sample of employees to see if she could identify the issue.

What she found was surprising. The concerns weren’t over the traditional employee issues such as pay, promotions, work hours, etc. The issues were in fact more challenging. Younger employees lacked confidence. They weren’t risk takers in an entrepreneurial culture. They weren’t good at doing their own self assessments. They questioned their own self-worth.

When she reported her results to the President she said, “The obvious answer would seem to be one of providing our senior managers with more guidance on how to nurture young employees. But you know how well that would be received. What we need to do is to develop self-assurance ability in our new hires. We need to teach them how to maintain hope and foster their own resilience.”

Amy was given the go-ahead to see what she could do. Her answer was a very simple app which she developed with one of their tech support. When employees had self-doubts they would open the app in a quiet time. The app would show them a series of photos of beautiful canyons. After picking one, the employee was instructed to make a self-affirming statement such as: “I’ve never failed before”, the app would then respond with an echo.

What Amy recommended was that each struggling employee select from 3-5 self-affirming statements based on the concerns from the interviews she had conducted. Next she tried out the app on 8 employees from the interviews who she was most concerned about.

While Amy had her own concerns about the app and its effectiveness, she was pleased by the results. Six months after the start of the trial, none of the employees had left. In follow-up interviews, she could sense a new level of confidence. But what really surprised her was how many of the eight employees shared with her how they recommended the use of the app with work colleagues, friends, and even family members.

What we knew about hopes is that they need sustaining affirmation. That may be hard to come by for many whose environment (work or life) may not be nurturing.  For many there is a need to learn how to be more self-affirming. The echoes app created that self-assurance mindset.

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“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince. Because one is content, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”  – Lao Tzu (Chinese Philosopher)

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