Of all the dystopian nightmares brought to us by the pandemic, unprecedented workplace challenges perhaps affected us the most. However, the opening of economies after COVID-19 created some amazing new opportunities, which surprisingly resulted in the Great Resignation.
Employees were now aware that businesses could very well allow them to work remotely and give them myriad benefits to keep them on board. This awareness resulted in mass resignations. Employees prioritized their health and well-being, looking for employers who understood and catered to this newfound confidence among workers. Towards the second half of 2021, 1 out of 3 US employees reconsidered their jobs and thought of quitting, while 60% considered switching their fields.
But COVID-19 also left rising inflation and looming recession in its wake, creating another trend – Quiet Quitting. Quiet Quitting was first defined in a popular TikTok video as avoiding the prevalent hustle culture mentality. It involves doing the minimum work to avoid burnout and create some semblance of a work-life balance.
This new trend put the very idea of leadership at risk. It stopped displaying the ‘discretionary effort’ that all leadership books talk about.
Employment After Quiet Quitting-Covid-Great Resignation
Lack of job security, a monotonous environment, lower-than-ever pay, and other factors are some of the main causes behind The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting.
Of course, it doesn’t help that many employees were expected to work longer hours despite the challenges of working from home. And a general sense of malaise that overwhelmed everyone those days.
It is evident that the pandemic has had a profound impact on people from all backgrounds. The forced transition to more flexible working hours and the reordering of priorities has awakened a new mentality in the workforce, surprising many recruiters. But how has it changed it all for the employees?
Here are some of the most prominent long-term effects of Quiet Quitting and The Great Resignation:
Employees Feel More Confident Making Lateral Moves
The best workers have extensive business knowledge and can be helpful in various ways besides doing the jobs they were hired for.
As some employees fall sick, quit, or start performing at less-than-optimum levels, others step in to fill the void and make a move laterally within the same organization. Bosses also find new opportunities for old workers who have demonstrated their worth to the company.
In fact, employees who are willing to stay may find that their bosses are open to giving them better training opportunities and promoting them to the department of their choice.
It’s best to encourage employees on this career-change journey because when they are really interested in a role, chances are they’ll be good at it. This interest also means that they’ll likely have the perseverance to keep learning and getting better at it.
Work from Home Policies Are Commonplace Now
Over the past few years, many people have discovered that they can work from home, either full-time or occasionally. It saves time, money, and resources and is a win-win for employees and employers.
In fact, many countries, including Norway, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, and Ukraine, have created legal frameworks to facilitate remote work, mandating employers to allow their workers to work remotely and providing them with the necessary equipment and training.
This WFH policy also works very well as a solution for Quiet Quitting. A modern remote leadership strategy is needed to train leaders to reframe their perspective of what it means to work hard and give them the tools they need to inspire, engage and motivate distributed teams.
But, while employees feel empowered when they are allowed to create a virtual workspace at home, professional and personal life boundaries become increasingly blurred. And that may be an imminent threat to team cohesion and individual productivity.
Employers must actively invest in their employees’ well-being to help their remote teams deal with this.
Employee Wellbeing Has Become A Priority
The pandemic made it painfully clear that our well-being is in peril. More than 50% of US citizens say that COVID has negatively affected their mental health, resulting in greater demands for additional support from their bosses.
It turns out that fulfilling this demand makes good business sense.
A Deloitte report found that mental health interventions provide a 3x return of investment (ROI) for reactive support, 5x for proactive support, and 6x when made part of the organization-wide culture.
When workers leave the stress at work, they can be fully present in their homes. Additionally, it gives them time to reflect and put quality over quantity as a top priority. And once our employees trust us to care for their well-being, businesses benefit from an engaged and thriving workforce loyal to the core.
In the same vein, this improves their ability to present, communicate, and solve problems. This positive outcome makes well-being a business-critical skillset for recruiters.
Retaining Talent Is Now More Difficult Than Ever
The pandemic has triggered a battle for talent among employers.
Hospitals that are desperate for nursing staff offer up to $40,000 in sign-on bonuses. Wall Street firms have increased the base pay for entry-level analysts to 6 figures, and fast-food franchises offer retention bonuses to servers of up to $1500.
It’s an employee-led economy, and the rest of us are just living in it.
But there is a fundamental flaw to this approach. Throwing money into the problem may help fill out vacant positions quickly, but it won’t yield long-term employee engagement. In fact, it might inspire the ‘reluctant talent’ to hang around for longer. These employees would rather leave their job but stay for the benefits and perform poorly.
To deal with reluctant employees and the phenomena of the Great Resignation, leaders need to focus on creating conditions that promote intrinsic happiness among employees. More money is not a part of the solution. But there is a greater need to enhance their sense of fit and purpose, creating a support system at work to ensure employee well-being.
It also won’t hurt to create personalized compensation packages they’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
What Does the Future of Work Look Like?
Nearly 4 million people lost their jobs in July 2021, but resignations peaked in April and remained abnormally high, with a record-breaking 10.9 million employment opportunities available at the end of July.
Leaders of the future must understand that the solution to phenomena like Quiet Quitting and The Great Resignation doesn’t lie in forcing people to work. And it’s not to hire more motivated people in hopes that they’ll stay.
Instead, it’s time to start preparing for a future where employees understand their needs and prioritize their well-being above all else. You might accomplish this by offering workers lots of room for growth and meaningful benefits. Moreover, employee engagement is crucial for corporate success, mandating more investments in the workforce and giving them access to training and career prospects.
Although it is a very challenging time for businesses, this current era may end up being the most empowering for workers.
How Can TalentZök Help Prepare For The Future?
When it comes to the future, the specialists at TalentZök are planning ahead. We learn about current demands and then develop a strategy for staffing. Even when the odds are stacked against them, the specialists at TalentZök can assist a company in locating the best possible candidates for open positions.
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This post is made available for informational purposes only to provide a general understanding of the topics discussed herein. It is not intended to provide specific business, legal, or professional advice and should not be relied on as such. TalentZök is not liable or responsible for any damage or loss arising from any reliance placed on such materials.