Huge numbers of people are leaving their jobs.

Last summer, immediately following the release of nationwide vaccines, a return to a "normal" workday for many Americans brought with it clarity of professional and personal priorities. What became known as The Great Resignation marked a tidal wave of employees voluntarily abandoning their positions, leaving a record breaking 10.9 million jobs open last July, with 3% of the U.S. workforce resigning later in October.

the great reshuffle

The Great Reshuffle

Since then, a shift in the landscape has led to fewer employees resigning altogether, but many switching jobs in search of positions that better suit their needs. It's being called The Great Reshuffle, and many are considering it to be the biggest transformation the job world has seen in modern history.

What is going on?

People want flexibility (or need it)

As a result of the Great Resignation, a decrease in available workforce has given knowledge workers the power to be choosy about their next steps. People are happiest when they have control over when, how, and where they work, and the personal life shifts caused by the pandemic have really clarified those realizations. 

School closings, mask regulations, and social-distancing recommendations have made daily life slightly more complicated, so it's no surprise that the employed workforce is attempting to simplify their lifestyle with flexible workdays. Since remote working was adopted by a large number of companies in 2020, employees are realizing a lack of employer flexibility can be a deal breaker. Many are leaving current positions or forgoing new opportunities if flexibility is not an option. 

Employers must differentiate themselves

Having hybrid working options is critical for employers moving forward, but the benefits cannot stop there. Companies are now competing for a pool of employees who are more particular than ever, with a need to stand out by investing in a "company culture" that is admittedly very different than it looked even five years ago. In this case, we're not talking about ping pong tables, office swings, and free snacks; we mean fostering a supportive community of team members, with respect for personal time and encouragement of open communication.

But, when a workplace has no central location for its employees to gather, how can connections be maintained and a workplace culture thrive?

Encourage open communication beyond meetings

Zoom is not the permanent solution to replace all in-office meetings. (After all, how many of those in-office meetings did we realize could be replaced with a single email?) To keep up colleague relationships, allow for quick calls, short chat messages on your platform of choice, or other means of communicating outside of a formal Zoom room. Only having cringe-y "digital happy hours"? Mentally set aside a few minutes at the beginning or end of a meeting to catch up before moving on to other work, so it feels like you're still connected to the people you work with.

Embrace "family-friendly" schedules

Being understanding of personal obligations will strengthen employee loyalty - just be sure to keep communication lines open and honest. A lot of trust needs to be built among teammates working remotely, and employees need their leader to be supportive and also transparent about expectations.

Allow "not camera ready" moments

Let's face it – we're not all donning a full suit and tie every morning anymore. Part of the appeal of remote working is the time saved without a commute or need to be presentable. Respect fellow workers habits and give some notice for a video call, or accept the fact that someone might keep that camera off.

Employers paying attention to this massive workforce migration towards flexibility will thrive if they invest in a company culture that supports the professional and emotional needs of their teams. Job seekers don't just hope for it anymore, they demand it.

Posted: 3/16/2022 5:10:49 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments