Power Shift: How Employers are Responding to the Changing Needs and Preferences of Their Workforce
One term used to explain the high turnover rates following the pandemic is “shift shock,” a concern that your values are not aligned with the organization you just signed on with. A 2022 Muse survey of 2,500 employees found that 80% of respondents felt it was “acceptable to leave a new job before six months if it doesn’t live up to your expectations.” This search for more fulfilling work was driven, in particular, by Gen Z and Millennial workers. Questions about whether working from home is a privilege or a right speak to the realities that come with a tight labor economy. At Apple, employees wrote open letters in protest of in-person work and support for greater worker autonomy is just as often expressed by service workers or laborers with jobs that require them to be at the workplace. With job postings up 30% and a quit rate 50% higher than before the pandemic, questions about how power is shifting are often answered with examples of a new “workers economy” where employees are exerting more leverage via new benefits, stay bonuses, and flexible work arrangements. This HERO “power shift” Think Tank seeks to identify those methods and tools that assess the needs and values of today’s changing workforce. We will discuss changes in employee preferences related to demographics and changes in work arrangements and identify key factors related to employees’ sense of belongingness in organizations. In discussing drivers of disengagement and discontent, we intend to surface those strategies and approaches that increase employee satisfaction and commitment to organizations. We will explore how employee health and well-being initiatives can be organized in support of sustainable cultures of caring and trust that attract and retain a robust workforce.
After completing this session, participants will be able to:
1. List methods and tools that assess the needs and values of the workforce and discuss changes in employee preferences related to demographics and changes in work arrangements.
2. Identify key factors related to employees’ sense of belongingness in organizations and discuss drivers of social isolation, disengagement, and disenfranchisement.
3. Describe interventions, whether via policies, programs, or environmental changes, that improve employee satisfaction and retention.
4. Discuss novel strategies that have been designed to address changes in employee needs and preferences and the new ways we work.
5. Explain effective evaluation approaches that help organizations determine whether their employee retention and satisfaction initiatives are working.
6. Illustrate case examples of organizations that have improved their organizational effectiveness in adapting to changes in employees’ needs, values, and preferences.