Shift your focus to your people

by | Jul 5, 2023

Folks, the workforce is changing, and while this isn’t a surprise, it’s well overdue.

Honestly, companies have needed to shift for a long time. Employers have been in the seat of power where they dictate what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. They have made demands, and employees have succumbed out of fear or capitulation.

Some enlightened organizations have been more people focused about their employees, but sadly they were few and far between. Other companies haven’t evolved at all, and COVID and other factors have forced them to look at things differently.

Now that they’re looking at things through a different lens, the result should be change. Otherwise, one is simply reacting, which is not a positive or powerful place to be in. As such, they’re at the mercy of forces and events around them.

Better is to scan the landscape and make good decisions with the information you have.

The Great Resignation is here. Some people are calling it the Great Reidentification or The Great Reset. Gallup calls it The Great Discontent as workers now cherry pick their ideal jobs, cultures, movements, and organizations. The balance of power is transferring to the employees, and companies can’t say, “You have to work when and where I say.” If they do, people will just quit.  And so they are.

Better to shift NOW as an organization while you have choices and options, rather than out of crisis.

It’s time to pay attention to your workforce. Are you taking care of your people? How? Is it how THEY want to be taken care of? What does it look like to take care of them? What makes them happy at work? What makes them unhappy? What do they love to do? What do they want?

Employees are willing to trade that traditional job for one with more meaning. It’s not enough to simply offer a salary and benefits. People want more. According to Gallup, “it takes more than a 20% pay raise to lure most employees away from a manager who engages them, and next to nothing to poach most engaged workers.”

According to several HR experts and research studies, here is what employees want today:

  • Flexibility
  • Well-being (including well-being benefits) and work/life balance
  • Alignment of their values and purpose with that of the organization they choose to work for
  • DEI initiatives and real efforts in these areas
  • Professional development and training
  • Skills-based work (meaning they get to use their strengths and hone their strengths, which goes back to the desire for training)
  • Hybrid and remote-based work
  • Technology and social platforms – the Millenials and GenZers live in a technology-based world more than any other generation. Your company needs to keep up.
  • Communication – in terms of feedback, acknowledgement, and functionality between coworkers
  • Emotional intelligence

The shift is happening, but probably not fast enough. (I believe that is almost always the case…. when we find we need to change something, go in a different direction, or adjust a little or a lot, we realize we should have done it sooner.)

You must start asking questions. Otherwise, you’re making decisions in the dark with only your frame of reference or that of your leadership team – but that’s not the full picture.

It is time to pull your workforce into the picture and turn the focus on them.

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