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Well-being and Flexibility Key for Employers as U.S. Moves from the Great Resignation to the Great Reshuffle

With Women’s Health Week in May, and Men’s Health Week following in June, now is the perfect time to make all forms of health and well-being a priority especially if you’re an employer. We spend the majority of our waking hours at work, so it makes sense to maximize well-being during these hours as well.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, workers are seeking balance in their lives as evidenced by numerous news stories on the Great Resignation and now the Great Reshuffle. Understanding what workers want and how employers can meet those needs will be crucial to attracting and keeping talent.

So, what are these two movements all about? And how can employers respond?

The Great Resignation and Reshuffle: Why people quit and what’s next?

The Great Resignation is the movement that began in the spring of 2021 when higher than normal quit rates were noticed among American workers.

A new Pew Research Center survey conducted between February 7-13, 2022 included 6,627 non-retired U.S. adults including 965 who say they left a job by choice in 2021. The survey found a variety of reasons people quit from low pay to limited opportunities for advancement. Another reason were childcare issues, lack of flexibility and a dissatisfaction with benefits and paid time off with a quarter of these respondents saying each of these were a major reason.

Research firm Gartner urges employers to adopt a more “human-centric” work model that includes better working hours, more productive meetings and greater flexibility to not only reduce the turnover but help as the country has morphed into the Great Reshuffle. The Great Reshuffle is the next phase of the Great Resignation where workers left their jobs and chose to find more meaningful work. As this trend continues, businesses need to be savvy in what they offer in order to attract and retain talent.

What employees are clamoring for

Clearly employees are done with work situations that don’t fit their needs for balance and employers are starting to realize the value in providing what workers want. Perks like remote work, flexibility and four-day workweeks are popping up in job postings to help employers stand out.

Microsoft conducted their 2022 Annual Work Trend Index Report and found that 53% of employees now prioritize health and well-being over work. The report states, “One thing is clear: We’re not the same people that went home to work in early 2020. The collective experience of the past two years has left a lasting imprint, fundamentally changing how we define the role of work in our lives. The data shows the Great Reshuffle is far from over. Employees everywhere are rethinking their ‘worth it’ equation and are voting with their feet.”

LinkedIn conducted a similar report to Microsoft called 2022 Global Talent Trends that showed the top priority of job seekers was work/life balance with 63% calling it a top priority when picking a new job.

What employers can do

Any small business and employer would be wise to take heed of the trends and consider what changes they can me to help workers find greater balance between work, home, health and wellness. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Survey your employees: Find out what’s important to those you employ. From there you can get a better understanding of what their struggles are, what they want and how to make it better.
  • Increase flexibility: According to Human Resource Executive magazine, “Employers that don’t offer flexibility will see increased turnover as employees move to organizations that offer a value proposition that better aligns with their desires.” Whether that’s implementing a hybrid, work from home or other work model that allows employees the flexibility they need, it’s worth investigating as the statistics we’ve shown demonstrate this is key to attraction and retention of talent.
  • Ways to incorporate well-being: There are a variety of ways employers can sweeten the pot to attract potential employees and let your current ones benefit from attending to their health and wellness. Some ideas include gym memberships, healthy cooking classes, an office cookbook with healthy recipes, chair massages, meditation breaks and yoga classes to name a few. Here’s some extra ways to boost your energy.

It’s important to note that wellness isn’t just physical, it encompasses both body and mind. Check out these ways to support your mental wellness.

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