It used to be organizations led with culture. Job descriptions and career pages heralded company values, and what drove recruitment and retention were things like career advancement, learning and development, teamwork, community, and shared purpose.
Today, we have become so deeply entrenched in where we work (remote, hybrid, office), we’ve lost sight of why we work. In the madness that is the “Great Resignation,” many jump from one job to another in search of overhyped and presumably “better” working conditions, only later to become a casualty of the “Great Regret,” a growing pool of employees who will discover that the grass isn’t greener after all (and that they want their old jobs back).
Companies are scrambling to accommodate employee work preferences but to what end? 81% of managers want their employees back in the office. Only 1% of them say they will not reopen their headquarters. While employees languish at home, many with a false sense of what is good for them long-term, very few are considering important factors like, are they growing their skills (soft and otherwise), making meaningful career connections, front and center for job promotions, and more.
Is it possible that what employees think they want and what is good for them, are two different things? Will the job market remain so competitive that companies will continue to be at the mercy of employee demands? The answer is a resounding no. Like every economy ebbs and flows, so will the levers of control in the hiring market. Organizations need what they need and subsequently, employees will have to align themselves accordingly because the reality is, the market will shift again, as it always does.
How do companies navigate this dynamic?
Create flexible environments that enable you to evolve quickly.
Reduce overhead and other risks associated with changing market dynamics. Abandon traditional office leases for amenity- and content- rich, short-term leases at coworking (and like) companies. Create a culture where you can provide employees a variety of benefits but at the same time, a set of expectations that push them beyond the comforts they’ve recently been encouraged to demand.
How do employees navigate this dynamic?
First, look beyond the latest job trends and headlines.
Think about the long game as you’re determining if you’re in the right spot currently, or as you approach the job search. A successful career takes planning and it is often those things that make us uncomfortable, that help us grow. Adaptability is an essential muscle to build and those who flex it regularly are more likely to be elevated to leadership positions.
It may very well be that the best job for you, at this stage of your career, is the one that does not meet your WFH preferences and it may also be that working from home is not the most compelling way for you to grow personally and professionally, right now. Don’t be fooled into believing in the “new normal” hype so much so that you think you can jump from one job to another without consequences to your career long-term.
Extraordinary opportunities await you – take advantage of the right ones now while they are still available.