The Great Reshuffle — Who will win and when will it end?
BY BILL BENSON
I’m fully giving credit for this article name to LinkedIn and my astute marketer-researcher who handles our social media. The historic movement of employees that is taking place now is somewhat understandable. Let’s break down a few macro trends to help us understand where we are headed.
Most people were distracted and deterred from making a change during 2020 while the pandemic and lockdowns were at their height. Demand for changes were also building up on the employer side of the equation. This pent-up demand was exacerbated by significant changes occurring both within company dynamics, as well as personal circumstances. Employees were forced out of their apartments in New York to their parents’ basements. Some people relocated while working remotely. Retirements were expedited due to changes in priority – and a strong stock market.
Challenging Environment for Employers:
The LinkedIn article quotes what it is like right now running a company. “Building the plane while flying it” is what it feels like to be on the management side of all these changes. Companies are dealing with employee shortages, increased demand, supply chain issues, and Covid outbreaks and protocols. Oh, by the way your employees are now demanding a flexible and more inclusive work environment.
Hierarchy of Needs Changing:
Major events often create lasting changes in our society. Most of us witnessed the changes that impacted the US post-9/11. After leading a global board…I now understand that events that impact the US also impact the world. We are only beginning to understand the generational changes and cultural changes that will derive from the global pandemic. One immediate result is employees want more flexibility. If remote or hybrid is not practical, then employers will need to find other ways to demonstrate flexibility. Companies are also reacting to a more anxious work force by adding more wellness focused benefits and services. Additionally, issues with availability and cost of childcare have become a more pronounced challenge for working parents.
Who is winning?
We have a front row seat to who is acquiring and who is losing talent right now. Here are two winning company recipes and other ingredients to help you win the war for talent.
We have a client who is growing significantly, and they have made the decision to embrace remote work whenever possible. They understand their local market won’t accommodate their increased need for talent, so they have made the decision to go remote with a large share of the workforce. Obviously, many companies can’t do this for practical reasons, but imagine your potential talent pool times a thousand.
Purpose Rich Culture:
We have another client who puts its employees and the community ahead of profits. While they do donate and contribute to charitable organizations, this is not all that they do. They also pay employees to volunteer in the community, and by doing so, they put the community front and center of its culture. The employees have a sense of belonging that goes much deeper than most employee-employer relationships.
Other successful strategies include:
Winning Operating Recipe:
Smaller business utilizing EOS to drive communication, goal attainment and accountability have a high level of employee engagement. Talented people would much rather work for a company who is winning rather than struggling. Along with winning, talented people like to see managers along with non-performers, held accountable.
People often quit their jobs for the same reason that some students quit high school – they are not challenged. You will lose your top talent if you don’t keep them challenged and growing. This means focusing more on them and less on the under-performers.
Training, Employee Development, Safety:
Looking for hallmarks for your new enhanced culture? Companies who embrace these factors are investing in their employees and giving themselves an edge on acquiring and retaining talent.
Finding ways to communicate effectively through all the noise is critical right now. This is a goodtime to look at how you are communicating internally and how you are communicating your brand to the employment market. Promoting the good things occurring at your company will help you build pride within your organization – provided they are true.
When will it end?
Sorry, no simple answer here. Increased employee movement and workforce expectations will likely continue into 2022. It is important to remember that this is a spike in an overall talent shortage across several generations. Baby boomers will be retiring in record numbers over the next five years and priorities will continue to evolve. According to a recent Manpower Group survey, 74% of female Millennials are anticipating a career break for childcare, eldercare or to support a partner in a job. Also, we have known for a long time that younger generations see themselves changing jobs and careers more often than their predecessors.
One example of anticipating a future change is being promoted by Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO of iRelaunch. In her recent article in Harvard Business Review, she promotes Return-To-Work programs to attract and recapture those who retired early, or workers who have taken a break to watch a child or parent.
We know we can’t anticipate what is around every corner, but companies who succeed over the next five years will look to future trends to improve their ability to compete for talent.
Talent Market Drivers Since the Start of COVID: US Report, LinkedIn
High Quits Rates, Poaching: U.S. Firms Are Plagued by Turnover
Future-Proofing Your Organization, Harvard Business Review, September-October 2021
Return-to-Work Programs Come of Age