There’s no denying that the pandemic has transformed the world forever. It has literally changed the way we work, shop and live. For businesses to be successful in this new world, it’s vital to embrace these changes and to adjust their business processes as necessary.
This shift is clearly noticeable in the workplace. When the pandemic hit, millions of workers shifted to remote work with little to no notice, while others were forced to work onsite in the midst of the pandemic or faced temporary layoffs or job loss. On top of this, many were faced with the obligation of homeschooling their children or caring for aging parents.
These pressures have left workers with a new perspective on work. For example, while a healthy work-life balance has always been important to workers, today it’s a necessity and these workers are willing to change jobs to maintain it. To avoid losing talent due to the ‘great resignation,’ employers must transition to meet these new workers’ demands.
The good news is that if your company has survived the pandemic, it’s already made it through a significant transition period. Just to stay afloat, your business likely had to adapt to new workplace processes, such as remote work and integrating new technologies that made remote work possible. In fact, during the pandemic, digital technology transformed at a five-year pace in the span of only 8 weeks.
If your company transitioned once, it can do it again. However, it’s crucial that your business transformation aligns with workers’ expectations. To help with this process, we’ve compiled a list of the top changes in today’s workplace.
remote work is an expectation not a request
Although workplaces across Canada are beginning to reopen, many employees are not willing to give up their remote work options. To avoid losing your top talent, it’s important for your organization to consider making remote work, or at least hybrid work, a permanent option. In fact, our Workmonitor report shows that 73% of Canadian workers want more flexible work schedules. Furthermore, 66% of employees are empowered to make changes to secure a healthy work-life balance, even if this means changing jobs.
If you have not yet done so, it’s crucial for your company to evaluate different roles and tasks within the organization to identify ways to offer remote work opportunities or to build more flexibility into the work schedule. When done successfully, more flexibility in the workplace can help to improve retention rates at all levels.
employee retention will be a major focus
Thanks to the Great Resignation many Canadian employers are seeing a significant spike in turnover rates. In fact, studies show that more than half of the Canadian workforce is currently looking for a new job. This massive migration in the job market is in direct response to the shift in workers’ expectations.
Fortunately for the workers, the growing skills shortage and increased competition in the job market have given them the power to negotiate the terms of the job offer. These conditions have also enticed workers to evaluate their current roles and employers to determine if it is still a good ‘fit’ for them. Most importantly, today’s workers are willing to wait for the next job offer or to change jobs to obtain the benefits they want.
To remain competitive in the years to come, your organization should ensure your job offerings, including salaries, benefits, flexible scheduling, training and career advancement opportunities, align with workers’ expectations.
hiring and training talent is remote, too
Even the way employers hire talent has shifted. Prior to the pandemic, organizations were already posting jobs and collecting resumes online. They were also using technology to filter through applications and to identify candidates that fit the company’s set criteria. Today, however, the entire process has gone digital and many employers are opting to handle everything hiring-related online by conducting phone and virtual interviews.
Many companies have also shifted to a full online onboarding and new hire training process. This is a practice that is likely to grow in popularity as remote work becomes part of the new normal. With this in mind, now is the time to optimize your hiring and onboarding process to allow new hires to complete a majority of this process remotely.
the skill sets employers need are shifting
Technology has been advancing rapidly for years, but the pandemic put this transformation into overdrive. As lockdowns took place, consumers were forced to turn to technology for shopping, entertainment and socialization. This factor has forever changed the way people shop, communicate and live. Your company literally cannot remain competitive in today’s marketplace without making digital transformation a top priority.
Along with this advancement in technology also comes the need to acquire related skills in the workplace, such as coding, digital and social media marketing, e-commerce solutions and cloud computing. Considering the competitive job market, many employers are turning to upskilling and training opportunities to secure these desired skills.
Workers are also feeling these new demands, with 53% of Canadians admitting that they need more training to be successful in their roles. It’s vital to put a training program in place that allows your company to acquire the skills it requires, while simultaneously providing the training employees want.
mental health support is a must
The statistics are clear, the pandemic negatively impacted the mental health of workers of all ages. Employees are feeling stressed and overworked. This problem is so profound that employers can’t afford to simply ignore it. Instead, it’s crucial for employers to take proactive steps to provide their workers with effective mental health support.
This step might include a change to company benefits, such as flexible work options, more paid time off and extended family care policies. It also might require additional mental health training for managers, department heads and senior-level executives as well as mental health supportive services, such as virtual counseling sessions. Providing this extra support can improve job satisfaction rates, reduce turnover and increase production levels.
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