How is the Great Reshuffle forcing companies to change?
December 13, 2022
May 24, 2023
After the Great Resignation that occurred during COVID-19, it was followed by the Great Reshuffle post-pandemic. This major shift not only impacts people’s careers but it also causes a profound change in the entire work environment. Employees’ expectations evolve. Work-life balance, fair remuneration, work flexibility, purpose… These are all crucial topics that are shaking up the world of work and deeply affecting some organizations. To remain sustainable and succeed in this ever changing landscape, businesses can’t just wait for things to go back to normal. Employee-centricity, hybrid work, workplace connection, professional growth… These are the new normal. Are you ready for this big shift? This article explains where this major change in the workplace comes from and how it is impacting companies. It also gives you key tips to overcome one of the biggest challenges HR departments have had to face over the last few years: The Great Reshuffle.
What is the Great Reshuffle?
From the Great Resignation to the Great Reshuffle
In 2020, the lockdowns gave people time to think about their careers. Employees began to wonder: “Am I happy to get up in the morning to do this job? Is my career fulfilling and aligned with my values? What are my priorities in life?” and so on.
This led to a massive wave of resignations in the US and in other countries worldwide in the following months. This phenomenon has been coined the “Great Resignation” by Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University.
As we are now in the post-pandemic phase, we have not circled back to what life and work were like before COVID-19. Deep shifts are happening as workers’ needs have evolved and the Great Resignation turns into a Great Reshuffle. Changes are seen in every area of organizations, from leadership styles to office transformation and work model modernization.
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The main factors causing this profound occupational shift
What makes so many employees want this drastic change in their careers? Since the pandemic, people’s priorities have evolved. They want to focus more on their families, their well-being, and their health.
According to Anthony Klotz, “there is now a greater ability for people to fit work into their lives, instead of having their lives squeezed into their work”. Therefore, this is the perfect moment for workers to make this change.
They also aspire to do meaningful jobs and be aligned with their values. Work is no longer just a source of income, but also a means to grow professionally and personally.
COVID-19 has been a restarting point for many workers who desire to:
- align their personal and professional lives;
- find more purpose in their job;
- be better paid;
- climb the professional ladder (according to a recruitment firm Robert Half’s survey, 38% of workers think the pandemic has been a setback for their career growth);
- make a career shift (creation of their own business, application to a more fulfilling job position, start from scratch in a new job position or industry);
- have more flexibility and a better work-life balance.
How does the Great Reshuffle impact companies?
Loss of talent
The first consequence of the Great Reshuffle is the loss of high-skilled employees. Because they are looking for better working conditions, are willing to have a new start in their careers, or aspire to have a more meaningful job, people don’t hesitate to quit. The more skills a worker has, the less they will hesitate to resign. They know their skill set can help them easily find a position that matches their requirements. But there is another aspect that often goes hand in hand with employee retention: talent attraction. If your best staff is unhappy and chooses to leave, attracting new candidates to fill their position becomes challenging too.
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Not only do HR teams have to face a wave of resignations, but they also have to handle recruitment issues. On one hand, flexible work helps hire talent worldwide by removing geographical and time limits. On the other, the Great Reshuffle is making things even more difficult. Employees know what they want and many of them are determined to only work with companies that match their needs. Organizations have to rethink many aspects of their business to meet their expectations and HR departments have to fight fiercely to win the best talent.
Drop in performance and productivity
Not everybody can afford to resign and start from scratch. Some people don’t have the strength to do it, others can’t take the risk of having an unstable income to sustain their families… Reasons vary. But it doesn’t mean that the employees who stay by your side disagree with their colleagues who are quitting. The Great Reshuffle is being caused by a shared set of feelings by employees worldwide. Ignoring these issues increases employee turnover and hurts the performance of those that stay. When people are unsatisfied with their professional lives, it becomes very challenging to remain engaged and productive. In the long run, it can even cause employee burnout.
What can organizations do to minimize this change in the workplace?
Focus on a double objective: recruiting and retaining
To minimize the risk of being impacted by the Great Reshuffle you have to focus on both attracting talent and retaining your staff. To do so, understanding the current changes happening in the workplace, studying the triggering factors, and working on meeting your employees’ expectations are fundamental. To ensure your team members stay by your side and remain engaged, you must know your workforce’s needs. Do you want your organization to be appealing to new candidates? Then you have to be aware of the future of work trends (hybrid schedules, positive corporate culture, sustainability in the workplace, etc.).
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Understand the multigenerational workforce’s expectations
We are entering a new era in the world of work because of the different generations in the workplace at the same time. From Gen X to Millennials (Gen Y) to Gen Z, companies have employees with a wide range of experiences and skills all working together. As an employer, you want to retain your highly experienced Gen Xers as well as attract the new best talent from Gen Z with their fresh mindset and vision. To reach this goal, understanding your multigenerational workforce, being aware of their needs, and focusing on meeting them is essential.
Understand the fundamental changes to make
Is your company facing challenges due to the Great Reshuffle? You haven’t been impacted yet, but you want to prevent it from happening? There are a few fundamental aspects that you can always focus on to boost employee happiness and satisfaction:
- foster employee experience and well-being;
- enhance a people-first organizational culture;
- create a healthy and safe work environment;
- build workplace connection;
- encourage and make career growth possible;
- provide learning opportunities to your staff (upskilling, reskilling, cross-functional collaboration projects…);
- promote a supportive and positive management style;
- allow work flexibility such as hybrid work and flexitime.
In the beginning, the Great Reshuffle might look like a huge hurdle. But in the long run, companies can benefit from it as much as employees. Having a happy workforce boosts your brand image, improves workers’ performance, and gives you a better chance of success. As for any big change in the workplace, it might require some adjustment. Yet the end result is definitely worth it for everyone.
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