There is a trend that is becoming increasingly worrisome to many employers. And that is that in the past two years more and more employees are leaving the workforce. This trend is being made more evident as workplaces are trying to get employees to come work in the office once again. While this seems like a good way to get back to normal, many employees are realizing that they never liked normal in the first place and they are starting to push back.
Normal meant long commutes and extra time away from their families. Normal meant that employees constantly had someone looking over their backs to ensure they were “working” without ever looking directly at the outcomes from that staff member. Normal meant workplace gossip, long hours at the office, and even poor treatment from upper management. Working from home, or experiencing a layoff caused many of these employees to re-evaluate their priorities and to start looking for workplaces that would provide them with a better place to earn an income during the day.
Hence, the great resignation has begun and there are no signs of it slowing. Employees found other work options, started small businesses, and have developed the life they want to lead. Work is a part of it, but no longer is it the central part of living. The question is, can workplaces survive this great resignation? Can they continue to do work as usual or will they need to make adjustments to their processes to accommodate this shift in work environments?
Workplaces Need to Evolve
Modern times call for modern solutions and unfortunately, too many companies are locked into a hierarchical model of working that doesn’t offer any autonomy to employees. They are stuck in 1965 and this needs to change if they want to survive the great resignation and become a truly great place to work.
As one of the 100 best companies to work for, Nextdoor is leading the way in this area. Their focus on kindness both internally and externally is causing other businesses to take note. Where it was once considered a virtue to step on everyone on the climb up the ladder, more progressive companies don’t allow for cruelty in the workplace anymore. While harassment has long been an issue, more businesses are putting a stop to practices that don’t promote a warm and welcome work environment.
Workplaces need to evolve to catch up to modern trends in order to stay competitive and attract and retain talented employees.
Workplaces Need to Look at Outcomes
Why does everyone need to work 40 hours a week? Why is that the standard? What if staff could get more work done in 20-30 hours, but still get paid the same? Imagine the efficiencies if workplaces started to look at outcomes instead of just the time clock. Imagine what would happen if employees who finished their work early in the day could simply go home and take a break without eating into their vacation time. For far too long, the industrial model of work has prevailed and its evident that there is a new way emerging.
Working 40–60-hour weeks is seen as a virtue and employees who bend over backward for the company are rewarded. Employees who are content to do their work with excellence, but do not overachieve are not given the same rewards even if they are consistent and great in the workplace. The shift that is taking place is to focus on outcomes. Sure, it’s nice if someone wants to stay more hours, but if those hours aren’t productive, then they aren’t really impacting the company in a positive way.
Workplaces Need to Be Flexible
Let’s face it, if your employees have worked from home for the past two years with excellence, there is no need for them to come back to the office. They need supportive management who will continue to champion the better work-life balance that has come as a result of uncertain and scary times. For the companies that want to stay competitive and still attract new employees, they need to be flexible.
Give your employees flexibility to do their work from home if they want to, and watch them flourish. Some people get more done because they aren’t as distracted by other people and conversations. Some are more productive because they are already introverted and the workplace made them feel overwhelmed at times.