The Great Resignation: Do You Have What Employees Want Now?

  • Employee Wellbeing
Mark Fitzgibbons

Struggling to fill open positions in your organization? Me too.

According to a recent Global Talent Trends Report from LinkedIn, we may be struggling, because we’re over-emphasizing the wrong aspects of our positions. It turns out current jobseekers and job changers value work-life balance over excellent compensation and employee benefits. So, how do they evaluate work-life balance? They look at company culture.

Just a few months ago, I wrote about the Great Resignation and how to shape company culture to be more attractive to top talent. Some of the suggestions in that blog may have come across as too “fuzzy” to be actionable. So, courtesy of LinkedIn jobseekers and job changers themselves, here are three concrete steps you can take to improve your organization’s culture and attract (and keep) the talent you need to succeed.

Improve Flexibility

The pandemic forced many organizations to incorporate virtual work environments. At the time, it wasn’t about culture. It was about maintaining health and safety, but it opened the floodgates to a new era of remote and hybrid work that is continuing to grow.

LinkedIn reports that when employees are satisfied with their time and location flexibility at work, they’re 2.6 times more likely to report being happy and 2.1 times more likely to recommend working for that organization.

Some jobs, of course, can’t (yet) be done remotely. In industries like manufacturing, retail, and healthcare, employers are offering job shares, different shifts, compressed workweeks, and other forms of flexible scheduling to make sure onsite employees can also shape work around their personal lives.

So, if you don’t already offer employees a schedule outside of an in-office, 9-5, it might be worth your time to consider how a more flexible workplace could attract parents, caregivers, those with chronic illnesses, and the travel-hungry Gen Z and Millennials.

Address Employee Wellbeing

Companies are discovering that their success is inextricably linked to their employees’ wellbeing — mental, physical, emotional, and financial. Promoting wellbeing means offering employees much more than health insurance and yoga classes.

Today, employee wellbeing starts with care and compassion. LinkedIn suggests training managers to be empathetic leaders, improving access to mental health services, and using existing internal engagement tools to determine who’s logging an unhealthy amount of after-hours work. Peer-to-peer counseling and mobile apps may also provide needed support in this area.

Accept the “Great Reshuffle” as Our “Next Normal”

Resigning, reshuffling, rethinking (whatever label we use); there has been a massive shift in people’s career paths. It’s empowered jobseekers to ask for what they really want from current and prospective employers — more purpose, more flexibility, and more empathy.

Organizations that cling to their old ways may be inviting talent problems, but those that rethink and renew their cultures (and their employer branding) can win big in the battle for talent.

This “branding,” or getting the word out, will be key. According to LinkedIn data, jobseekers have become choosier, viewing nearly twice as many job posts before applying in 2021 than they did in 2019. So, rather than focusing on challenging work, hypergrowth, and unicorn ambitions, companies may fare better with messaging around flexibility, inclusive employee benefits, and internal mobility rates.

It starts with Communication Step One: Listen to your people. If you’re unsure how to do this efficiently or effectively, feel free to reach out to the team at ethOs or the Holmes Murphy team, and we’ll get you started on your path to a better, more successful future.

February 10, 2022