The “Great Reshuffle” – A”Watershed Moment” for Employee Engagement

Do you know many of your customers and future employees are judging you on your company website? Many leaders looking for a new position will not accept a job with a company whose leadership team is not reflective of them.  This may not be surprising, but what is shocking is they are often basing their decision on your company website executive team photo. If it doesn’t reflect them, they will not even consider interviewing with your organization. This is just the start to get someone in the door and attract them to your organization. Now you need to focus on hiring and keeping them engaged.

Organizations wanting to grow are looking at how they can innovate to attract the best talent while the “Great Resignation” or “Great Reshuffle” is continuing into 2022.   According to federal data, “Nearly 4.3 million people quit their jobs in January, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s JOLTS report. That level is near a record set in November.” This is coming off 2021 when almost 48 million people quit their jobs, setting an annual record.

There is also a high labor demand. According to the Labor Department, there were 11.3 million job openings in February. This is challenging employers to pay higher wages and change their corporate culture to attract talent and keep the high performers they currently have.

LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report refers to this as a “watershed moment” for company culture. Employees want more attention to their well-being, safety, and more freedom on where and when they work. They want to be treated with care and compassion. Managing the mental well-being of your employees and creating a safe work environment fostering trust, collaboration, innovation, and purpose is imperative in this evolving climate.

Depression and anxiety have increased since the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.  Employees are preferring to work from home or have some hybrid work environment.  They are looking to balance their professional and personal lives.  Job seekers want work-life balance.  LinkedIn’s report found “63% calling it a top priority when picking a new job. In comparison, 60% cited compensation and benefits, and 40% pointed to colleagues and culture.”

Some companies moved to four-day workweeks when the pandemic hit and haven’t looked back.  Other employers now allow their employees to work from anywhere and some are planning larger pay increases this year.

As there are more shifts to our workplace, people are the focus – attracting and keeping talented team members is a top priority and a strategic advantage.

Heather McGowan’s latest book, co-authored by Chris Shipley, The Adaptation Advantage, starts with two quotes: “human beings are a work in progress that mistakenly think they are finished” and “we have an ease of remembering vs. a difficulty of imagining.”  Both those quotes from Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert really sum up where we are and how we got here.

I had the opportunity to work with Heather McGowan this month, and she explains the human capital workplace transforming the way we work in the following ways:

  • Where we work – Employees want a hybrid work environment, and they are looking for unique augmented experiences.
  • Who we work with – They want to work with a diverse workforce.
  • How we work They want to maximize human potential with less of a focus on clocking in a specific number of hours. Working smarter is more important than working harder.
  • What we do – They want to work to learn – there is an emphasis on collaboration and exploration.
  • Why we do it – They are more purpose-driven and want to believe in the company, leadership, and culture. Who they work for and why they are working is more important than compensation.

According to McGowan, “Our ability to learn, adapt, and create new value is hindered by our fixed view of ourselves. Job loss and change is actually, statistically, normal but we pretend it is not. Due to advancements in human longevity – coupled with a marked increase in the velocity of change – we will have longer and more volatile career arcs filled with more roles and we are not yet preparing for that.”

We need to help people adapt to this changing workforce. In fact, we all need to be continually learning and developing all the time.

Here are a few suggestions on how to be more adaptable and maintain an optimistic mindset utilizing emotional intelligence tools:

  1. Be open to new things, discomfort, and change – look for it in the work you do.
  2. Create shorter term goals for yourself and your team. Be agile so you can change your strategy if needed. Expect it and plan for a future shift.
  3. Be aware of being overwhelmed – practice SBA™ – Stop, Breathe, Ask.
  4. Build trust and show you care. Write a gratitude letter to someone at work and deliver it to them in person if possible.
  5. Switch your mindset. You can become relationship masters.  Stay optimistic and grateful and believe you have the power to change the situation for the better.

The next 3 months I will be blogging on different aspects of improving your relationships with your teams and sharing emotional intelligence best practices and tools to create a better life/work balance.

By Bobi Seredich