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How to win the war for talent by making the most of the hybrid office

You may have seen multiple headlines about ‘the Great Resignation’ spelling doom and gloom for businesses around the world. Introduced by associate professor Anthony Klotz from Texas A&M University in late 2020, the Great Resignation has now become synonymous with the millions of employees who are making large changes to their work-life balance after working through the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Government sanctioned restrictions have given society the opportunity to pause and reflect. Am I happy with the direction my life is taking? Am I focusing on the things that really matter to me? Am I doing right by my family? For some, the answer is a resounding no and many are quitting their jobs and pursuing economic opportunities that link more directly to their desired lifestyles. This trend is seen across all levels of employees, from frontline workers through to senior executives.

Research by Microsoft in March 2021 found that more than 40% of the global workforce are considering quitting their jobs within the year. This has forced company leaders around the globe, many of whom may have held onto rigid workflows and boundaries from a pre-COVID-19 era, to consider how they can shape a work environment that’s inviting for employees to remain within.


What are employees looking for?

Employees who are making moves to quit their jobs, pursue new opportunities, change careers or completely re-evaluate their work-life balance are questioning the social norms they’d previously agreed to with their employer.


More Money

Many employees are also looking for more money. Cheap money and government stimulus feeding into many economies have led to worker shortages in key industries. Despite this, wage growth has remained stubbornly low and the top-performing employees are aware that they’re in a position of bargaining power. For employers who are feeling the impacts of talent erosion, it’s a double whammy. They are losing their best people and the slack needs to be taken up by those that remain. Some have attempted to combat this by offering above-market salaries in order to secure the individuals necessary for their operations and business activities.

More Flexibility

A lack of flexibility is commonly identified as one of the main factors leading to resignation. COVID-19 has highlighted that work and life don’t need to take place with such clear constraints, with a Qualtrics survey highlighting that 51% of Australians would stay with their employer longer if the remote working policies were used throughout COVID-19 lockdowns became a permanent way of life. The need for flexibility around family and external commitments is a priority for a wide range of employees who are looking for a more holistic approach to their daily routines. In other words, the hybrid office concept is here to stay.

A Sense of Belonging

According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, two-thirds of employers are struggling to maintain employee morale and more than one third are facing challenges maintaining company culture. People want a connection to the company’s purpose, a sense of community and support and recognition for their productivity. Leaders will need to foster and nurture culture when people are working in multiple places.


How employers can prepare

If you’re an employer looking to retain or attract top-tier talent during the Great Resignation, adaptability is key. By thinking beyond the status quo, you can identify opportunities to increase your team’s flexibility, protect open communication and identify trends in the marketplace before they become threats to your team’s stability.

One unique way to strengthen your team’s connection to each other and the business purpose is to develop a Team Charter that defines the Why, What, How and What’s Next for the team. Putting the Team Charter to the test can be as simple participating in The Reach for the Summit virtual adventure. This Virtual adventure puts the strength and commitment of your team to the test as you climb in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The mountains reflect the ever-changing nature of the modern marketplace, where adaptation is key to survival and learning to live with uncertainty is a must.

Harness the opportunity presented by the Great Resignation. There are many talented individuals considering their options right now. Just paying more is not enough. Consciously build a robust cultural environment that’s attractive for long-term commitments. Learn more about how Red Leaf can help to future-proof your team amidst times of global uncertainty.

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