Employees take the lead in historically competitive talent pool

  • Meg Newhouse

    Meg Newhouse

 
By Meg Newhouse
Inspirant Group
Updated 3/30/2022 1:26 PM

Employees are driving the most significant change in the workplace as a result of what some are calling The Great Resignation or the Great Reevaluation, the biggest employment transformation since the Great Depression.

In 2021 more than 3.95 million workers quit their jobs each month, the highest monthly average on record, topping the 2019 average of 3.5 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A growing trend that was rapidly accelerated by the pandemic and work-from-home requirements, many realized life-enhancing benefits such as a lack of commuting time and finally the ability to tend to their families and themselves.

 

It's been a soulful awakening as millions discovered that work is no longer just a means of survival but a place for personal fulfillment beyond the 9-5 structure of the past.

With the world now competing for talent that can perform from anywhere, companies too should use this time to reevaluate and rethink how to treat and engage their current and future workforce in order to maintain their competitive advantage.

People first

I've always believed (and still do) that people are an organization's most important asset. Maintaining a people-first attitude in every part of the business shows team members they are valued and appreciated. By giving employees greater ownership of what happens at work, people feel more invested, enthusiastic and connected to the enterprise. I've also noticed that people tend to be happier and give more of themselves and want to be present because they are an integral part of the overall mission and feel valued for who they are as a person, and not just for the work they do.

Re-evaluate company culture

Culture determines how work gets done but values show how companies prioritize, make decisions and reconcile conflict. A culture may celebrate innovation, but values determine what gets sacrificed in the pursuit of it, noted the Harvard Business Review. Re-examine your organizational structure and culture to make sure it's flush with opportunities for people to flourish (think job crafting where individuals have input on shaping their roles), collaborate and contribute regularly. Establish, embody and talk about values often so they are fully embedded in the culture.

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Transparency in communication

Today's workforce expects to be communicated with consistently, in an honest and transparent manner. They have come to expect leaders to be more human and empathetic than ever before. Empathy, in fact, could be the most important leadership skill today, according to Forbes, as it forms an important human connection.

Flexibility

Remote work is here to stay, and with that, organizations need to figure out how to provide fulfilling remote and/or hybrid options to their team. Making technology and support available, reliable and easy to use will make everyone feel empowered to do their jobs well. Although teams may spend more time apart than together in person, there are plenty of creative ways to foster team spirit and connection.

Growth opportunities

Training and education opportunities are more in demand than ever, because the modern professional knows the recipe for a successful career is in ongoing learning, which may include reboarding, reskilling and upskilling. That said, companies more often than not underdeliver in these areas. Think about how your company can offer technical training as well as courses on emotional intelligence, leadership, and decision making to cultivate in-house talent.

• Meg Newhouse is the CEO and Co-Founder of Inspirant Group, the disruptive management consulting firm and home of the Unconsultants who guide clients from inspiration to transformation. Based in Chicagoland, Inspirant Group was honored with two 2022 Built In awards including Best Remote-First Places to Work in the US and 22 StartUps to Watch in Chicago.

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