There is a battle for talent that is waging. Traditionally, the arms race was across companies, but within functions. Meaning, the efforts to attract and retain talent were confined amongst organizations within geographies. Now, sourcing talent spans time zones. Transferable skills are affording many opportunities, not only within new industries, but also in new functions. According to a Prudential survey, "if given the chance to retrain, 53 percent would take a job in a new industry altogether."
The "Great Resignation" also referred to as the "The Great Reevaluation," speaks to some reports that show more than 4 million people leaving their jobs each month. Who says that it's best to look for a job, while you have a job? Not everyone…a McKinsey study shows that 36% of respondents say they left their job without a new one. "After all, we were in an epidemic of burnout even before the pandemic, (according to an article from Thrive Global). What the pandemic did was give us time — a lot of time — to think about what we really value, and the place of work in our lives. We’ve had time to reflect on what truly makes us thrive, and which parts of our pandemic lives we want to take with us into our post-pandemic future, and which parts we want to leave behind. "
I recently participated in two in-person events for the first time in 2 years. One of which was a one-day HR symposium. One of their stated objectives was not to discuss the future of work, but instead the state of work right now. My 2021 president's message focused on communicating priorities. That's where I was last year along with many others. Where are we now…what would you call it? Jason Richmond, Founder & Chief Culture Officer of Ideal Outcomes, calls it a "Great Reprioritization." The mindset of many workers during the pandemic has shifted from work priorities to personal priorities. From the extrinsic benefits of increased comp and promotions to well-being and purpose, which are intrinsic benefits.
- A redefinition of success - money and status has been joined by well-being
- Money and status are extrinsic, while well-being and a connected purpose are intrinsic
As organizations, what can we do to stem the tide? We must nurture a culture of engagement and enthusiasm. Even in remote or hybrid environments, leaders must create energy around the work, employee contributions and successful outcomes. Gratitude should be genuine and consistent, especially in stressful working conditions. The re-prioritization is being headlined by the need for flexibility. Workers have become accustomed to it and some studies suggest that productivity has actually increased with remote work. The counterargument is that collaboration and innovation have declined…I'll save that debate for another time. Lastly, I would add that an engaged workforce is an equipped workforce. They are skilled, well-positioned, willing and able to succeed. We can't just ask them to do more, with less. We must give them more…more being tools and resources so that they can truly work smarter and not harder. We need to upskill (better ways to work) and reskill (new ways to work) our existing workforce. That ability is both engaging, builds motivation and the autonomy allows workers to find or align their purpose. At NAAAHR-ATL, we seek to be intentional about offering continuing ed opportunities to support our members in this re-evaluation. Moreover, we look to support the business community in its re-evaluation of the employer value proposition.
Troy Felder, MBA, SPHR & SHRM-SCP
President & CEO