Covid-19 has turned business life on its head, forcing people to revaluate their working lives.
With “the great resignation” now underway, a staggering 60% of workers are planning to leave their jobs through 2022 in search of workplaces that are more sensitive to their needs.
Generation Z are switching roles at the highest rate – 134% more so than three years ago, while millennials are finding a new occupation 24% faster than in 2019, and boomers 4%.
As a leader in HR recruitment, I know how priorities and expectations are changing. Job seekers want more challenging, more exciting roles at firms that align with their values.
Business leaders need to adapt to the new normal by reviewing their company’s value proposition, or risk being overlooked by the top talent.
Below are three trends that should dictate the approach:
Flexibility is fundamental
We’re now at a point where almost half of employees would go elsewhere to work post-pandemic if their bosses are not able to offer flexibility, EY research finds.
David Storey, EY’s workforce advisory leader for Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa, advises:
“A regime that meets the needs of the organisation and its people will support attraction and retention efforts and should be front and centre of future talent strategies.”
Inevitably, pitfalls will appear without careful management of hybrid. Over a third (37%) of surveyed workers still feel under pressure to be present in the office, while concerns of “proximity bias” exist for two-in-five surveyed staff who fear that less face-time with senior figures can undermine career progression.
“It’s vital that businesses have access to clear guidance, information and best practice resources to help them embrace the broadest range of remote, workplace and flexible working options,” says Jane Gratton, Head of People Policy at British Chambers of Commerce.
By appointing a Head of Remote firms can ensure that practice evolves in a way that eliminates bias and enables all personnel to work to their best, irrespective of physical location.
Policy informed by wellbeing
Before the pandemic, 68% of employers were using Employee Assistance Programmes to support around 13.8 million of the UK’s workforce, helping with issues such as debt, landlord disputes, family care and mental health.
As we emerge from the Covid crisis, it’s all the more vital that companies develop as ecosystems in which people feel safe and supported.
Technology has major role to play: Grokker, for example, holds over 4,000 corporate-level videos dedicated to physical fitness, nutrition, and other aspects of personal wellness. Through Welltok, employers can engage workers with customisable wellbeing and financial incentives.
The household name is showing the way once more, through its appointment of a director of happiness.
“It’s a commercial no-brainer. If people feel cared for, they are calm, relaxed and hardworking. They’re considerate towards each other and towards customers, Timpson’s Janet Leighton told the Guardian.
Flexibility and wellbeing are two keystones of company culture, which itself is rapidly evolving. IBM unites these concepts in a “Work from Home Pledge” which encourages employees to be “family sensitive” and reminds of ways to prioritise physical and emotional health.
The office has huge potential to champion culture, but executives must see beyond the walls of the traditional 9-5, to create spaces that accommodate working lifestyles and nurture diverse ways of thinking.
Layouts need to entice, with features that enable individuals to be productive and improve their day, whatever state of mind they may be in. Social interactions are integral here, so consider how you could get staff comfortable with sharing their ideas and concerns.
Regular team activities will boost morale and involve your personnel, while making extra efforts to recognise and reward will help to build a community whose members feel valued.
Make the change today
Over time, leaders can move away from outdated habits and structures to reimagine how work gets done, with a strategy that’s firmly focused on people.
Culture is constantly evolving. Companies that commit to intentional adjustments now will find themselves attracting the brightest talent, and will be best equipped for meeting challenges down the line.
At HR Spectrum, we know that through collaboration with individuals and companies who you know and trust, you can achieve smoother, more effective workflows and lasting success.
To find out more about the fantastic opportunities available through HR Spectrum, contact us today.