Companies are returning to work and the biggest issue facing employers now is retaining employees, who are now ready to find new jobs and hiring new employees. I have spoken to two staffing agencies in LA and Ventura County who have over 600 open jobs and are having trouble finding candidates to fill those job opportunities.
During the pandemic, year-over-year turnover trends drastically reduced. Workers instead clung to their jobs as a way to maintain financial security, having seen countless others get furloughed or laid off. As the economy opens back up, employers are pushing employees to return to the workplace. A significant number of employees are unwilling to return to the status quo.
Instead, they are taking stock of their current positions and contemplating what they truly want out of their jobs. For some, the most direct path toward their goals is to find a new employer.
Experts are predicting a “turnover tsunami” coming in the latter half of 2021; all the turnover that would typically take place in a given 2 years is expected to come all at once.
Workplace survey data illuminates some commonalities between worker desires across industries. The following are some of the most coveted changes workers are looking for post-pandemic.
- Many employees were forced to work from home during the past year. As businesses reopen, employees are reluctant to return now that they have tasted greater flexibility and autonomy.
- Forty-seven percent of employees said they would leave their current jobs if their employers forced them back into the workplace, according to a survey.
- Forty-one percent of employees said they would take a job with a slight
salary cut if it meant having a hybrid work model.
Given countless surveys conducted in the past year, it is apparent that employees want at least some remote work opportunities. While remote or hybrid work is perhaps the most desired workplace benefit now, it is not all that employees want.
The pandemic has left many employees feeling burned out and overworked. According to an Indeed survey, 52% of employees are experiencing burnout, and 67% say burnout has increased during the pandemic.
Employee workloads are likely to increase rather than reduce because employers are having issues retaining and hiring new employees. Employees also want greater mental health benefits, time off and other resources for reducing stress levels.
Compensation has always been an employee motivator. Many workers are demanding better pay and benefits as compensation for their continued efforts—even walking out or quitting when their efforts are disregarded. In fact, 35% of surveyed employees said they would leave their current jobs for better compensation and benefits.
At this point, it is clear that a significant number of employees are feeling restless in their current roles. Only 21% of employees feel very engaged at work and 46% said they feel less connected to their workplace now than at the start of the pandemic.
Generally, employers should consider implementing some of the changes employees are looking for, such as:
- Providing remote or hybrid working arrangements
- Expanding employee assistance programs to help with mental health and burnout
- Increasing compensation or bonuses
- Having managers meet more frequently with employees about engagement levels and ways to improve them.
Employers should consider surveying employees about their individual opinions, helping to identify unforeseen opportunities and potentially give employers ideas for improving retention.