As the world gets accustomed to the new normal and changing work culture, work dynamics have evolved significantly. A recent survey by Randstad NV, a global provider of employment services - highlighted that 63% respondents said they would rather be unemployed than be unhappy in a job. This phenomenon, in addition to The Great Resignation - wherein employees across the world are resigning in search of better opportunities - has changed the employer-employee relationship significantly. Employees are currently sitting in the driving seat, making shifts in age-old practices futile. Times are changing and companies need to embrace this shift in power.
One major cause that can be attributed to this shift was individuals travelling back to their homes and having the flexibility to work from home. This trend coupled with technological innovations made it possible to continue work uninterrupted, which earlier was considered impossible. In addition to this, employers moved from wanting a job from a mere financial security perspective to wanting a job that fits into the life they aspire and resonates with their personal values. Employees realised that money is no longer the only motivator for an employee to stay at an organisation, they seek more than what it was before.
Personal growth skills and talent with more creative outcomes which eliminates a to do list on a daily basis has increasingly become a basic requirement that employees look for. Autonomy, purpose, culture, are few of the priority reasons that helps an employee feel a sense of belonging and also increase their productivity. Belonging - includes a sense of feeling respected and treated fair in the workplace, autonomy gives an employee the freedom to work in a way that suits them, purpose brings meaning to their work and make an employee understand the contribution they are making to the company and where as culture belongs to the character and personality of an organisation.
It is important to note that this shift needs to be seen as an opportunity for companies to build and enhance their brand. It is always assumed that the primary function of management should be coaching which has been tested since the pandemic struck. Developments in the last two years from employees and managers perspective have become more distributed, and their relationships to one another have become more asynchronous. A pool table, friday beer nights, high salaries at the cost of burnout are not the perks the employees are attracted to - they are looking for an inclusive, transparent and fair environment, which has tipped the scales in the employee’s favour. Hence to build and retain employees, employers need to further build their policies to attract individuals in the talent war such as:
Work-life balance: rework
Flexible hours or a hybrid work environment are the top changes employees are looking for from their organisation, while fully remote jobs are not required for most prospects - employers must find ways to offer more flexible schedules that allow employees more control over work hours through reduced commute times or schedules that accommodate children or other personal commitments. In today’s connected world, work doesn’t necessarily stop the minute you walk out the door, that’s why employees are looking for workplace flexibility that allows them to take time off as they need it, take advantage of remote work opportunities, and enjoy a culture of “unplugging” when needed. Employers must also explore hybrid locations - combining in office and remote workdays to get the best of both the worlds. The collaboration days when groups of employees are working together per week for two or three days when work-from-home is permissible is likely to be a competitive differentiator for employers in the war for talent.
What do employees really want is to feel more valued, more empowered, and more vocal about their experience in the workplace. Employees increasingly want their voices heard, and failure to adequately address that will likely lead to high rates of attrition – particularly among younger generations like Gen -Z and Millennials. Radically different from Millennials, Gen-Z has a unique perspective on careers and how to define success in life and in the workforce.
The Great Resignation caught the attention of many people because it ran contrary to everything related to traditional management. Resignation departures we are seeing is an (employee’s) decision to no longer accept the work goals which are not aligned to their personal growth.
Data from the past few years shows that India is moving towards a power shift where employees have an upper hand than the employer before joining a workplace and are aware of the kind of work environment they want to work in. In addition to financial benefits, employees now are seeking cultural, belonging, purpose, autonomy in an organisation.