According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in June 2021, more than 164,000 more unemployed people quit or voluntarily left their jobs. This data brings the total number of job leavers to an astounding 942,000 for the month: the latter figure a whopping new pandemic-era high for people who quit and remain unemployed. In other words, the country is going through an aptly titled phenomenon, otherwise coined as "The Great Resignation," - and employers are feeling it. So, how do we incentivize employees to go back into the office?
No longer should employers assume employees will be enticed back into the office because they miss perks like catered breakfasts or happy hours. According to an SWNS poll of 2,000 Americans, employees have realized they don't have to go back to the norm, and 57% said they would willingly give up free food for free mental health resources. All in all, more and more polls and research prove that the "new norm" is filled with employees who are jaded by the office "fun" and "high paced" atmosphere descriptions, as well as the "office ping-pong tournaments." In turn, they are demanding that employers forget all the fluff of corporate life and deliver more concrete and robust initiatives that will affect their daily lives like benefits, health insurance, and work flexibility.
In other words, to incentivize employees back through your doors, it's time to lead with the concrete facts of the job rather than "you get a solid 30 minutes for lunch" or you face being ghosted.
Research by Vida Health found that for almost six in 10 employees, health benefits ranked as the most crucial non-salary-related factor they consider. When speaking to employees, lead with what the company will do to provide that employee with health coverage.
Additionally, workers want a better work-life balance and scheduling flexibility. As we know, COVID-19 forced many businesses to offer remote placements, and now remote workers understand that having greater work flexibility is possible. It'll be hard to convince them otherwise. Therefore, workers increasingly expect the option for at least some of the time, and your company should consider what's possible to keep a majority of your teams happy.
This doesn't mean there will be a complete shift from office work to remote. But perhaps being willing to negotiate flexible scheduling with employees or temp staff when feasible (say, three times a week instead of all five) will help employees feel they are creating the work-life balance they've always wanted.
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