Employees all over the world realized rather quickly of the course of the past two years that they needed flexibility regarding where they work. After this came a questioning of when they work, followed by how, with ultimate question being, “Do I really want to do this job?”
As though in response, about 4.2 million US employees quit their jobs ↗ in October 2021 alone.
It started off as the ‘Great Resignation’—throngs of employees driven by lockdowns and inspired by their own mortality to quit their jobs. But now the job market has morphed into something a tad less black and white. In the wake of a period of unparalleled instability, millions are leaving their jobs, but rather than resigning they’re in search of new roles more aligned with their values. Roles which offer a stronger work-life balance. This latest shift is being referred to as the ‘Great Reshuffle’.
What is the Great Reshuffle?
In short, the Great Reshuffle is an unprecedented talent migration of gargantuan proportions.
Employees are leaving their comfort zones to learn new things so they can stay relevant, be happier and make a better living. People are leaving their jobs in software, sales and operations, choosing to become photographers or writers or business owners in pursuit of more fulfilling roles. Add to this the fact that the ability to work remotely is more highly valued than ever before. Many employees want to retain that flexibility permanently.
As tedious an overhaul as it may seem, many see the Great Reshuffle as an overwhelmingly positive trend. After all, it’s emboldening more and more people to do work they enjoy and feel passionately about. This, in turn, leads to greater success for companies that treat their employees with dignity, respect and trust.
How the Great Reshuffle is impacting the job market
According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index ↗, over two-fifths of people are considering leaving their jobs in the next year. Since a growing pool of empowered employees means more job vacancies, companies need to do more to set themselves apart if they want to lure fresh talent.
A different survey by FlexJobs ↗ reports 58% of employees want to work remotely full-time, even after the pandemic, while 39% prefer a hybrid work environment. That’s 97% of employees who aspire to some form of remote work. It’s no surprise then that remote working opportunities posted on LinkedIn are five times more common than they were before the pandemic.
For companies struggling to find appropriate candidates, there is a bright side. The increase of remote work opportunities has opened markets up to candidates that might otherwise have been excluded, broadening the applicant pool.
Opportunities for career advancement represent another major concern for those seeking a reshuffle. Many employees feel their progression has stalled since COVID-19 took hold. Ensuring that employees have ample challenges and enough variation throughout their workday is one of the most important managerial tasks. It also happens to be underrated. But without the time and the ability to work on their development and gain new skills, employees tend to lose motivation fast. Then it’s only a matter of time before they start to look for a job elsewhere. According to a report by SHRM ↗, only 29% of employees are “very satisfied” with the career advancement opportunities available to them.
With vacancy levels high, more and more managed service providers (MSPs) are recognizing the need to take action and take charge—not just of recruitment, but of retention as well. Successful leaders are the ones willing to focus on building dynamic and flexible company cultures and championing continuous learning. The most successful companies also find ways to offer comprehensive benefits, or else get creative with them ↗. And competitive salaries never hurt anyone.
The silver lining: innovation
Fact: to retain and engage your employees, you need to provide a goal beyond simply making money. Provide it and instill it in your employees. That’s what innovation looks like these days.
If you care about work-life balance at all, you know this will be a positive thing; a silver lining, if you will. Employees, every one of them human beings, want to make as much money as possible so they can lead the full lives outside of work and retire without worry. While some believe this mindset to be a threat to competition and productivity, let’s face it: life outside of work is very valuable.
It’s time to reorient your company based on the understanding that meaningful work comes from having a mandate that transforms communities for the better. When all is said and done, your company is very much capable of vying for this kind of greatness and succeeding at it.
At this moment in time, the Great Reshuffle is separating those who work exclusively for money without regard for meaning, from those striving for meaning and a fulfilling life above all else. What’s the best case scenario? This reshuffle will create a job market catered to those who understand that money and meaning are both required for the continued growth of the economy in general, and your company in particular. They are not mutually exclusive!
Riding out the Great Reshuffle: outsourcing
While leveraging the Great Reshuffle to reposition your company as a nurturer of career development is undoubtedly an achievement to aspire to, at the end of the day you also need a strategy to ride out fluctuations in the labor market.
For MSPs, outsourcing time-consuming, high-touch activities like helpdesk services is a viable option for ensuring in-house staff avoid fatigue. Doing so will also allow you to devote more people power to achieving your big-picture business goals. Outsourcing means upping client satisfaction too, by offering them round-the-clock service ↗ in addition to traditional business hours. By delegating your helpdesk to an expert team, you’re giving your staff enough breathing room to refocus their energies on actively instigating the growth of the company.