Navigating the Great Reshuffle
labor shortages produce the great reshuffle
The Great Resignation showed up as a coined term in April 2021 and now in 2022 is identified as The Great Reshuffle. Companies continue to experience grave labor shortages and are reshuffling their employment models to adapt. People who study employee behavior trends were not surprised at this crippling employee shortage trend. My message consistently has been, “We have seen it coming since the 2007 recession and we have focused on coaching companies to create an employee experience where employees become the most valuable asset.” Those few companies, like LinkedIn, Proctor & Gamble, Deloitte, and Cisco, saw the shift in employee power coming and they begin to reshuffle and focus on their employee experience, giving more value to their employees. As a result, they are attracting and retaining top performing employees in the middle of this labor crisis.
the labor shortage is expected to get worse
Due to an increase in online side hustles and the ease of tapping into them, many middle- and lower-income earners made this their primary source of income during the shutdown leaving the job market once people returned to work. When the shutdown shifted people’s mindset and behavior from needing a job to needing a happier, more balanced lifestyle, job openings became twice as large as job seekers; a difference of 5 million less people to fill open jobs. Most companies were thinking this labor shortage was just a temporary phase as a result of the Covid. Not so. Suffering companies must begin to reinvent their employee experience because the labor shortage is expected to get even worse in the coming years thanks to the pandemic-induced acceleration in baby-boomer retirements, lower birth rates and reduced immigration.
"What employees used to accept is no longer acceptable to them,” explains Jennifer Shappley, global head of talent acquisition for LinkedIn.
people don't want to work anymore
What does it mean to “reinvent the employee experience”? Shappley added, “When they [employees] aren’t feeling care and love from their employers, they are leaving.” So, does this mean we have to be babysitters now for our employees, spoiling them, and giving them what they want? Well, yes, if that is how you want to look at it and herein lies the problem - how you view your employee – what level of respect you have for them – whether or not you feel having employees is just the burden you have to bear to be in business. If you have said, “No one wants to work anymore - people have gotten lazy living off the government”, then you are the problem because this way of thinking is partially what is causing the labor shortage. People don't want to come work for you or anyone else with that attitude. Good employees are earning money with companies who value their employees or with sophisticated online side hustles. Many have ventured into entrepreneurial opportunities because the risk is now worth it since people’s priorities have changed.
employees want work-life balance
As it turns out, 63% of employees and prospective employees rank work-life balance as the top priority when picking a new job. Also top on the list, in LinkedIn’s survey of what employees are looking for in an employer, are compensation, benefits, and a healthy workplace culture. What is meant by providing a work-life balance for employees? That depends on your employees and your company operations. The best way to find out what your employee’s work-life balance needs are is to survey or interview them. When you begin to start looking at your employees, or prospective employees, as collaborative partners, or the company’s greatest asset, you will begin focusing on creating a great employee experience. When your company provides a great employee experience, you begin to attract great employees, your customer service increases, your employee relations become healthier, and your bottom line grows.
“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management.” —Betsy Jacobson, Author and Businesswoman
ideas to create a great employee experience
(1) Be flexible with schedules – what this means exactly depends on your company, your industry, and the experience you provide to your clients. Be creative. Try to think in measurable outcomes rather than the need to control your employees' time.
(2) Get to know your employees on a personal level – everyone is different and what is important to one employee may not be important to another. Providing for individual needs is imperative in today’s employer-employee relationship. We can no longer treat everyone the same because people are different. “Don’t assume that your version of whole wholeheartedness and boundaries and flexibility are how everybody else in your team would define it,” explains Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO, and cofounder of Casted.
(3) Help employees meet personal goals – understanding your employee’s personal goals and priorities can go a long way in creating a positive employee experience. An example of this is an employee I worked with who was going through a particularly stressful time in her personal life. After opening up to her supervisor and coworkers, they offered her 2 weeks off with pay that did not go toward her PTO. The co-workers happily agreed to divide up her work load for those 2 weeks. She came back rested mentally and physically and it did not cost the company any more is wages. In this case, everyone wins.
“If they feel comfortable enough to share those with us, we want to be a part of their journey and uplift them along the way.” Says Lee Rubin, CEO, and co-founder of Confetti.
it's now up to you
Any way you look at it, businesses suffering from labor shortages are at a crossroads when it comes to their attitude toward their employees. You can (1) choose to now view your employee as an equal when it comes to status or better yet, as the most valuable asset you have. When this shift in perspective happens, you will then begin to build a phenomenal experience while working for your company that, in time, turns your company profits upward. The alternative is to (2) hang on to your now antiquated ideas of employees and continue to see your bottom line diminish while your frustrations keep you viewing people as lazy bums who don’t want to work.
Imagine saying, “my company attracts top performers who show up and enjoy working for me” rather than “at this point, I would take a warm body that just shows up”.
Many years my friend, many years....