The Biggest “Aha!” for Companies from the Last Three Years
So much has been written and discussed about “the new world of work,” “the future of work,” “the new normal”…. basically what we’re getting ourselves into when it comes to our workplaces post-pandemic. If you google any combination of these terms you’ll get tons of articles on recent trends and how employers need to adapt if they want to retain their talent.
It’s funny how one thing is clear - most companies have the answer staring them in the face. It’s been there forever, but maybe it was the interruptions on Zoom meetings by babies, dogs, cats, and other family members, or looking into each others’ homes for the first time, but finally we’re seeing companies realize one key thing.
People are people.
Not numbers, not cogs in a machine. We have lives and feelings and families. We breathe, we get sick, and we struggle with our emotions and thought patterns.
We are humans with motivations, needs, and wants.
And yet, up to now, that hasn’t been how we’ve been seen.
If you look at the data, it’s pretty clear that if companies want to retain and develop their talent, they need to pay more attention to their human side.Here’s what you should know:
We are so. very. tired. And we need your help dealing with it.
- Google searches for“pandemic burnout symptoms” increased more than 500% between September 2020 and January 2022. (HBR)
- 53% of women say their stress levels are even higher than they were a year ago and almost half say they are burnt out. (Deloitte)
- 70% of executives are seriously considering quitting for a job that better supports their well-being. (Deloitte)
- 70% of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent burnout.(Deloitte)
We want you to trust us to make our own decisions.
- Flexibility ranks second only to compensation in terms of job satisfaction. (Future Forum)
- 52% of employees say flexible work policies will affect the decision to stay at their organization. In fact, if an organization were to go back to a fully on-site arrangement, it would risk losing up to 39% of its workforce. (Gartner)
- Nearly two-thirds (66%) of workers said they would consider resigning if they were prevented from working flexible hours, and 43% indicated they would consider a lower paid role if it gave them greater schedule flexibility. (Qatalog x Gitlab)
And it’s not just about if you work from an office or not. It’s about having agency to make decisions, to have flexibility on what you work on and who you work with. To feel valued.
We want to trust you and feel connected — to each other, to a higher calling, to the work we do, and to a company that cares about us.
- Will you penalize your people for actually taking advantage of the flexibility? 94% of women believe that requesting flexible work will affect their likelihood of promotion. (Thrive)
- A recent study by Qatalog and Gitlab found that 54% of knowledge workers feel pressured to appear online and visible while working remotely.
- Employees who DO feel cared for are 71% less likely to report experiencing burnout. (IBM.)
- Nearly seven out of ten employees are reflecting on their purpose because of COVID-19. Those employees who say that they live their purpose at work are six and a half times more likely to report higher resilience. (McKinsey)
We don’t want to feel like we’re falling behind.
- Almost three-quarters of executives believe that training is crucial to helping people work effectively in a hybrid world where they have fewer opportunities to ask the colleague next to them for help. (LinkedIn)
- 39% said they’re concerned about not getting sufficient training in digital and technology skills from their employer. (PWC)
- LinkedIn expects that skills for people on their platform will have changed by about 40% by 2025. They may need to learn three more new skills, on average, to keep pace with the changing nature of skills required for their jobs. (LinkedIn)
None of this should be surprising. If you think about the last few years, how our current economy is just plain weird (are we going into a recession or not?), and go back to some of the most fundamental theories about human needs and motivation, you’ll find it all makes sense.
Research shows humans have innate psychological needs for autonomy, mastery (learning and getting better at something), and connection. These are the ones that motivate us to act and strive to be better.
If you ask me, you can bring all of the facts above back to those very basic needs. We continue to be in uncertain times, so we need security, and for that we need to trust where we work. We are motivated to master something; for that we want constant learning and don’t want to feel left behind. We want autonomy — hello, flexibility.
If you start treating your employees as humans, you might surprise yourself and see them rise to the challenge. The talent is there — it’s just looking for the motivation to shine.