Now that the tides appear to be receding for good on COVID I am noticing a paradigm shift in how many people look at their careers, and more specifically their employers. The pandemic has provided respite in self reflection and evaluation. What are my goals and priorities? Have they changed? Do they align with my lifestyle, my family? also, Do I feel fulfilled in what I do?
For many people, the answers to those questions are coming back with “no”. More so than ever people are tapping the brakes on their careers, jobs, etc. Now, taking the time and effort to explore new and different opportunities. Some are wanting to flex up and pursue a higher-level position while others are seeking a change in career industry or job type.
Also, now more than I have ever witnessed employees are saying a hard no to minimum wage. Where I live in British Columbia the minimum wage was just increased to $15.20 per hour. That wage is still not a livable wage based on the costs of living, especially in expensive urban centers like Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, and the Okanagan to name just a few. Employees know their worth and they have sacrificed greatly during the pandemic.
Employers are facing some critical business decisions. While some business owners bemoan that they cannot afford to operate paying “so much” ($15.20 per hour) others are finding serious labour shortages. It is not that people do not want to work; they do. People in 2021 are putting their proverbial foot down and saying “hey! We deserve a living wage”. The labour markets in many areas are so plentiful that they do not have to settle anymore, and they are not.
One of the fringe benefits I see coming out of the pandemic is that finally, organizations and employees have a refreshed focus on work life balance and what it can and should look like. Remote working and tele-commuting became such a necessity that many companies are coming to terms with what a lot of HR experts have known for some time now. That a remote work force can be just as if not more productive than requiring everyone to show up at a brick-and-mortar office building.
Now is a prime opportunity for listening. What are your employees saying about their careers and what they think of your organization? Consider flipping the script and allow for greater flexibility in where and how work is done. Remember that people may come for a pay cheque, but when they are not happy, they quit their boss.
How is the attrition in your organization? And what is that telling you?
Stay well, stay happy.