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Employee attitudes have undoubtedly changed over the last few years as many people have shifted their priorities away from work. This has directly impacted hiring managers and human resources teams, making it difficult for them to both attract and retain talent.
To find out more about this trend and its causes, Michael Page conducted a study of nearly 70,000 professionals globally, the largest study of its kind. The results were staggering, uncovering a total cultural shift that we’re calling “The Invisible Revolution.”
We delved even further into this topic in our recent LinkedIn Live event — The 3 Keys to Engaging America’s Transformed Workforce. In this conversation, three of our experts at Michael Page discussed this phenomenon and how employers can respond effectively.
We found that at the heart of all this change is one stark notion: Loyalty has lost its luster. Most of the professionals we surveyed said they are willing to move jobs, even if they are satisfied with their current roles.
Read on to discover some of the highlights of this conversation, including our advice around how employers should respond to this new information.
What exactly do we mean when we say that employee loyalty is a thing of the past? Let’s look at some of the most significant findings in our Talent Trends: The Invisible Revolution report to explore this further:
From these statistics, we can see that the culture of long-term service to a single company is becoming an obsolete concept. People are increasingly open to exploring new opportunities, and job hopping has become the norm.
So, what do employers do with this information?
We can see that employee loyalty is waning across the workforce, but how can you tell exactly what is happening in your organization? After all, an employee’s intention to stay in their role is not the only meaningful metric you need to get a clear picture of worker attitudes and behaviors. It’s essential to understand what actions are necessary in order to safeguard what remaining loyalty there is and boost retention.
During the event, our panelists — Kurt Jeskulski (Senior Managing Director at Michael Page), Lexi Orphanos (Michael Page’s DE&I Lead for North America), and Kris Zelesky (a Michael Page Director) — discussed how important it is to take the temperature of employee attitudes in other ways.
“What I can recommend as a sense check is understanding your employees, what their value proposition is, and what their expectations are,” Jeskulski said. “More than ever, I think we need to level with our people to an extent that we never did before, connecting with them to know what’s important to them. Understanding what success looks like to them is going to be more important than ever before.”
It’s clear that having candid conversations with your employees about their feelings towards your organization is of heightened importance. But how do you do this effectively?
“Regularly going to your workforce and surveying their attitudes towards things like pay, flexibility, and career progression, and understanding what these things mean to your employees, is key,” Jeskulski said. There are many ways to gain these insights from your workforce, from surveys to focus groups.
No matter which avenue is best for your organization, the key to doing this successfully, according to Orphanos, is psychological safety. “You can only begin a conversation like this by letting employees know why you’re asking about these things, that you are taking their feedback seriously, and if someone has criticism that it will be received positively and constructively,” she said. Employees also need to be certain that there won’t be retaliation if they express unease or uncertainty about their intentions to stay with the organization.
Jeskulski agreed, adding, “It starts with employees feeling a certain comfort level, that they can take that survey for example, and know that they’re protected.” He also stressed the importance of ensuring employees know the survey or conversation is confidential and, crucially, what the next steps are for the company once they have that information. “The ability to embrace that feedback and become transparent with your employee population is critical,” he said.
Zelesky, echoed this sentiment: “It’s the vulnerability, as employers, to be open and realize that employees are a strength. Hearing your workforce articulate what is and isn’t working and being receptive to adjusting is crucially important at this time.”
Once you have this information, keep the conversation going by telling your employees what you learned, and what your actions will be to improve things. This shows that you’re invested in making your organization a better, more fulfilling place to work.
To see this full, insightful conversation, access the recording of this LinkedIn Live event. You can also download our Talent Trends: The Invisible Revolution report to learn more about this total culture shift in the workforce.
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