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    6 Wellbeing Trends that will Shape Work in 2023 and Beyond

    Nuffield Health’s 2022 Healthier Nation Index study revealed one in three adults claims their mental health has got worse in the last year. The same statistic is also true of physical health, with a third of UK adults reporting a decline over the last 12 months.
    Employers have a responsibility to help individuals manage their wellbeing. However, it’s clear targeted support isn’t commonly available to modern workers increasingly adopting flexible working approaches.
    With this in mind, Nuffield Health suggests six workplace wellbeing trends we can expect to see as employers look to create relevant and effective wellbeing offerings…
    Managing MSK
    The recent rise in remote working has delivered many benefits for employees, including a greater work-life balance and a reduction in stressful commutes.
    But it isn’t without its challenges – namely overworking and the physical impact of unergonomic home offices – with 72,000 individuals recently reporting a musculoskeletal (MSK) disorder directly caused or exacerbated by the pandemic.
    Despite employers’ responsibilities to provide comfortable home working set-ups, many aren’t meeting their obligations. However, they are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.
    While financial support should continue to be made available to employees for furniture and equipment – and employers should signpost to how to access these funds – we are now entering the age of the corporate physiotherapist.
    Businesses can invite musculoskeletal health experts to review the current office environment as well as offer general advice on posture, exercise, and nutrition to avoid injury at home.
    Employers may also choose to contribute financial support for private sessions, too, to avoid the greater financial burden of the £3.5 billion paid by employers each year to deal with workplace injuries. Plus, research suggests businesses can achieve an ROI of nearly £100 per £1 spent on physiotherapy for musculoskeletal health.
    The new work-life balance
    Our idea of ‘work-life balance’ traditionally involves unwinding from work stress at home after leaving the office. But what happens when home life itself becomes increasingly stressful?
    Research suggests the current cost of living crisis has been linked to a direct increase in stress. And with financial stresses showing no signs of letting up, employers have a responsibility to help individuals avoid burnout.
    This may include inviting a financial specialist to host a webinar for all employees on managing money, as well as offering relevant workplace benefits – such as grocery vouchers – that directly address some key drivers of financial anxiety.
    Self-help support
    Despite efforts to challenge the stigma around ill health, Nuffield Health research suggests a third of employees still wouldn’t feel comfortable disclosing a mental or physical health issue to their employer.
    So, businesses have a responsibility to offer tailored support to those who may feel uncomfortable asking for it.
    This may include making remote support offerings and self-help platforms available to those who would prefer to work through advice and specialist help at their own pace, away from the office.
    For example, telephone CBT services and online self-help management programs – such as the Silvercloud platform – allow employees to access remote support and guidance on understanding symptoms of distress and learning relevant coping mechanisms.
    A focus on prevention
    There is no one-size-fits-all intervention for the unique physical and mental challenges facing employees. However, businesses can embrace technology to access instead of data-led, personalized interventions that make a difference for the individual.
    Digital platforms featuring AI technology can analyze behavioral data provided by the workforce to predict future challenges, allowing businesses to action interventions before symptoms become unmanageable.
    For example, Nuffield Health’s PATH tool gathers data from both a comprehensive physical health exam, alongside behavioral data from questionnaires to understand employees’ unique risk factors and suggests relevant interventions.
    Employers able to take a proactive approach to employee health not only nurture a healthy and engaged workforce but avoid the impact of presenteeism, which can cost businesses up to £4,000 per employee per year in lost productivity.
    Employee power
    Recent workplace trends, including ‘the great resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’ suggest power is shifting away from the employer, with employees no longer willing to go above and beyond for their employers.
    So, businesses – especially those guilty of encouraging unhealthy workplace cultures in which employees are expected to be ‘always on’ – must rethink their relationships with employees to retain their brightest talent.
    Managers have a responsibility to lead by example when it comes to widescale cultural change. This means clearly outlining employee expectations, like working hours and contactable obligations, as well as being seen to leave the office on time each day.
    Similarly, employers should welcome and seek regular feedback to understand better the challenges facing staff and how the business can tailor its support. This can be done through regular one-to-ones with individuals as well as anonymous feedback surveys for those who may not feel comfortable communicating in person.
    Family focus
    A shift towards flexible and remote working has somewhat blurred the lines between work and home life, with mixed results. Some of the negative consequences include employees working longer hours to compensate for not commuting, while others have enjoyed the benefits of spending more time at home with family.
    These lifestyle changes must now be a key consideration for businesses. As employees continue to mold their work lives around personal habits – often familial responsibilities such as childcare – these challenges must be reflected in the support offered by businesses.
    The workplace must remain flexible in terms of shift patterns and remote opportunities to meet the needs of those with busy family lives. However, we will also start to see businesses extending benefits to the family, for example, private healthcare and medical benefits for partners and children and familial mental health support.
    This may include parental mental health advice hubs or CBT platforms that provide advice and resources for parents on managing children’s emotional wellbeing.
    By Marc Holl, Head of Primary Care at Nuffield Health.
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    How Can Managers Beat ‘Productivity Paranoia’?

    New research shows many managers still have issues trusting employees who work remotely, with this disconnect being coined as ‘productivity paranoia’. It’s the concept that even if employees are working effectively, managers won’t believe it if they are out of sight.
    This is worrying because trust is one of the most important components of every work environment. Without it, staff may feel uncomfortable communicating their thoughts and ideas and struggle to support each other.
    Negative work environments can exacerbate behaviors like overworking and presenteeism and it’s well-reported these, in turn, can lead to heightened stress states, which impact physical and mental well-being.
    Embrace change and eliminate ‘micro-management’
    For productivity paranoia to end, managers need to recognize their experiences as leaders, are not the same as their teams. Employees want their managers to be empathetic, and supportive and show an interest in their work, without feeling like they are trying to interfere.
    While checking in with staff was common at the start of the lockdown, it seems to have become less of a business priority, with managers feeling depleted and emotionally drained from it. However, check-ins are vital in a remote working world, especially because many employees view their managers as the most important link they have with their company.
    There is a difference between checking in and micromanaging though. Good managers are enablers, not enforcers.  Regular meetings shouldn’t focus solely on results or exhaustive checklists. This is what undermines trust and makes employees feel patronized and disempowered.
    Discussing goals, praising accomplishments, and analyzing any gaps in work schedules are more effective measurements. Open conversations about these will ensure teams feel supported but also accountable for their work.
    Enhance communications and outline expectations
    Effective remote work requires a suite of communication and collaboration tools to empower hybrid teams too. Selecting the right tools that work for everyone is essential to enable effective communication between colleagues and teams.
    Finally, business leaders looking to support their team in a remote or hybrid working world must understand the stresses posed and help to alleviate them.
    For example, if employees feel they are not trusted, remote working can lead to issues like ‘working from home guilt’, when employees increase their working hours to compensate for the benefit of home working.
    It is important for businesses to outline remote working expectations clearly to ease these worries. Let individuals know they aren’t expected to work longer hours just because they’re not commuting.
    Support emotional well-being
    According to Nuffield Health research, 1 in 3 said their mental well-being got worse over the past 12 months. Even more concerningly, two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said they would not feel comfortable raising a mental or emotional well-being issue with their employer, which shows there is still a significant stigma attached to poor mental health.
    The key to raising awareness about mental health in the workplace is creating a culture in which these conversations are welcomed and expected. Employers should signpost individuals towards the emotional well-being support available to them.
    This may include Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) or cognitive behavior therapy sessions, which give individuals direct access to a specialist who can help them understand and break unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviours and enhance their ability to cope in new and uncertain situations.
    Digital or virtual therapy solutions can be effective too. Remember, for many people, the notion of sharing a vulnerability or admitting a problem, is a barrier in itself. However, some research suggests counseling conducted online is as effective as face-to-face sessions. During 2020 Nuffield Health therapists delivered 3.7 million minutes of therapy remotely with outcomes comparative to therapy delivered face to face.
    By Marc Holl, Head of Primary Care, Nuffield Health.
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    Future Workplace Trends and Hashtags

    I won’t ask you if you’ve heard of “quiet quitting.” I refuse. In the last half of 2022, the trending hashtag started a movement on TikTok that mysteriously went on and on like a bad case of food poisoning. Long after the topic had passed its expiration date, employment bloggers (including this one) continued writing about it, while the rest of the workforce debated whether quiet quitters were valiantly setting work/life boundaries or justifying their poor work ethic.
    A few months later, “quiet firing” began trending, and we learned how the term had been applied to employers who intentionally mistreat or neglect employees in order to prompt them to quit. Now, even “quick quitting” has replaced “job hopping” in the online workplace vernacular. For all the drivel TikTok has churned out, suddenly the platform has become a powerful tool for employees, giving them a voice they’re using to let employers know the tables have turned.
    As we head into the fourth year the world has lived with the coronavirus, the workforce shows no signs of returning to its pre-pandemic state. Regardless of how much some employers would like it to, the job market is too strong, and qualified candidates are in too high demand. But if the past year is any indication, we may very well see more catchy hashtags in the near future. After all, if we can’t control workplace trends, we can at least watch them go viral. Let’s look at a few possibilities.
    In 2021, 47 million people quit their jobs in what we now know as the Great Resignation (one of the few trending terms that bores us even more than quiet quitting). Many expected these employees to come rushing back to the workforce in 2022, but it hasn’t happened. Instead, the resignations have continued, and though the pace has slowed, it’s done little to help employers who have faced an uphill battle restaffing their businesses in order to stay productive and profitable over the past two years.
    Many employers are now faced with a difficult decision – hire fast or close up shop. For some businesses, this means relaxing their hiring requirements to accommodate a dwindling candidate pool. For others, it means not being able to provide the level of customer service they have in the past. And for nearly all, it means increased turnover rates as employees job hop their way to a higher income or better incentives offered by other employers desperate to fill roles.
    More exiting and more hiring require more recruiting. But there are now nearly twice as many job openings in the U.S. as there are unemployed people, and the old “help wanted” sign doesn’t generate applications like it used to. This is where experienced recruiters and candidate sourcers will continue to prove their value to employers. As the strength of the current job market makes active recruiting (i.e., posting on job boards) less effective, employers will turn to the experts to passively recruit candidates who are currently employed in order to fill roles that once filled themselves.
    More and more employers are now realizing what GM recently learned the hard way – try to get employees to return to a pre-pandemic work model and they’ll object…loudly. Insist that they return and watch them run for the door. Employees have been working remotely or hybrid for almost three years now. During that time, they have stayed productive, enjoyed the perks of a commute-free lifestyle, and prioritized work/life balance. Employers are awakening to the fact that the “new norm” is now the old routine, and those who disregard employees’ needs will soon find them working for competitors.
    None of these trends are new (at least not since the pandemic), but then neither is quiet quitting, which was known for years as employee disengagement. Regardless of what happens to the job market in the near future, two facts remain: people will continue to consume news through social media, and catchy, memorable hashtags make it a little more palatable and easier to follow and share. Will the next few months bring an #UnemploymentExodus, a #JobSeekerSurge, a #GreatRestaffing? Keep an eye on trending topics to find out!
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    How Startups Can Create an Unbeatable Culture

    It’s undeniable that there are many benefits of great work culture, although they can be difficult to pin down as each organization has its own unique mission, history, and personality. Albeit extensive, it’s almost impossible to create a ‘one size fits all’ list.
    A strong team is the driving force of success. In the early days, attracting talented individuals and aligning them all with your company’s ideals is crucial. But just as important as finding a great team is holding onto that talent. There is no point in onboarding a team of great people to just lose them around the corner.
    Almost 40% of job hunters say that a “positive working culture” matters to them, so nurture one, and shout about it.
    According to PwC’s 2021 Global Culture Survey, 72% of business leaders say that culture helps successful business initiatives, and 67% argue that culture is more important than strategy and operations.
    Providing a great working culture and an environment, whether it’s remote, hybrid, or in-person, that staff genuinely want to be part of will make them think twice about looking elsewhere. Being a great place to work is a powerful tool for plucky young companies competing with more established businesses with the capital to offer bigger salaries. It boosts morale, productivity and, perhaps most importantly, builds trust. All of this naturally leads to longer, more fruitful tenures.
    Become unbeatable
    Today’s startups come in all shapes and sizes. Businesses born in the pandemic may have continued with remote working, transitioned to hybrid, or maybe back in office right now. Almost 40% of people now work from home at least once a week, and as the demand grows, startups will have to adapt.
    For remote startups, providing time for people to get together is a great way to break free of work-related Zoom and Teams calls and kick-start real interactions.
    In-person get-togethers naturally build relationships in ways that aren’t always possible virtually. Even though there are costs involved with getting these events together, the bonds forged are priceless, and it still costs much less than having a permanent office space.
    Re-imagining work perks
    Everyone enjoys a work perk, but it’s time to provide benefits that are meaningful. We organized a study asking for the most desirable bonuses people think about when looking for a job or deciding whether to stay in their current role. The results showed that fewer people valued typical new-age perks, such as games rooms and pool tables, beer on tap, and sleeping pods.
    We found that:

    70% of people valued the option to work remote/hybrid
    33% said free lunches reigned supreme
    33% also wanted to be involved in employee share schemes

    Share schemes are a great way to get people literally invested in the success of the company beyond just their day-to-day job. By offering bespoke schemes that have different vesting schedules, the required time or performance can be adapted for specific conditions.
    Employee share schemes have been around for a while, yet their benefits are only just being noticed. In fact, the number of companies with an employee share scheme has gone up by 80% in the last decade.
    For startups, having a large cash pool to dole out flashy rewards, hefty bonuses, or invest in pay rises is not realistic. So it’s important to instead be creative. And while everyone may love a day in lieu of heading out for lunch, these don’t foster an unforgettable culture.
    Instead, startups can capitalize on what they do have and give employees skin in the game. Not only does this give a deeper sense of commitment from the company but can also be a great, and often very tax-efficient way to give congratulations to the whole body of a business, creating a sense of unity. Providing a gift which, with their continued hard work, and granted the company is successful, could amount to a life-changing sum.
    Adobe’s recent acquisition of Figma for £20bn means that those employees with a 0.1% share could be banking more than $20,000,000. Although those numbers are rare for such a young company, Figma was only founded in 2016, demonstrating a high-level example of the potential returns from success.
    What we did
    I truly believe that retention begins at the recruitment stage. In competitive sectors, the reality is that applicants will have interviews with multiple businesses simultaneously. For cash-strapped startups, a great culture can be their secret weapon.
    Interview stages are just as much about the candidate liking you as you liking them, so, we prioritize honesty and transparency over expectations. I also ensure I personally meet all final-stage applicants to ensure that they are a good fit culturally for the team. And that the people we onboard are aligned with the ethos and mission at Vestd.
    Establishing this trust leads to more fruitful relationships between colleagues at all levels. Startups benefit from less obvious hierarchies, but the fact that ideas from lower down have fewer hoops to jump through doesn’t always mean that they will filter up. By providing safe spaces, through catch-ups and one-to-ones, startups can quickly nurture an open culture where people feel free to contribute.
    At Vestd we also have invested in twice-yearly in-person meetups. As a remote business, our company retreats are a time for team building and connecting with one another on a human level. On top of this, it shows our staff that we are willing to invest in experiences and their self-development, as well as performance.
    And, of course, we give equity to all our employees.
    For startups, tight on cash and time, getting the most from building a good culture can make all the difference. Implementing an equity scheme is a great way to not only supplement liquid cash for incentives but also incentivize staff to make the most of longer tenures, resulting in unbeatable work culture.
    By Ifty Nasir, founder and CEO of Vestd.
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    4 Trends Shaping Learning & Development for Multinational Companies

    The pandemic and the economic downturn in recent months has forced many business leaders to reconsider their approach to Learning and Development. A report by TalentLMS reveals that 67% of HR managers have an increased L&D budget in 2022 while LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning report states that L&D leaders are twice as likely to have a seat at the C-suite table today, compared with during pre-pandemic times. With international talent management being one of the most challenging areas in the post-pandemic era, there are four trends that can help L&D pros reframe this new pressure.
    1. Upskill & Reskill
    The pandemic has pushed forward digital transformation across many industries. In the public sector alone, 34% of jobs are expected to be replaced by automation by the early 2030s. Companies willing to keep up with the rapidly evolving digitalization while also keeping down their recruitment costs need to focus on upskilling the employees they already have. Building in-house upskilling and reskilling programs might thus be a great investment in helping your business grow sustainably. Many prominent MNCs like IBM or DHL have already launched such programs to make sure they have all the skills they need in the future within their company.
    2. Create Ecosystems
    Given the pace of digitalization mentioned above, organizations should rethink the ways to encourage their employees across different regions to acquire new skills more actively than before. An effective and easy-to-use learning ecosystem could be a great help in engaging the staff in new learning programs. At Milengo we define a learning ecosystem as a digital environment that brings together three training content, learning analytics, and feedback tools, and is available to all the employees regardless of their geographical location. Fortunately for L&D managers, there are plenty of companies providing ready-to-use non-code solutions for creating a learning ecosystem, such as Leapsome, 360Learning, and many more.
    3. Emphasize Video Content
    CIPD research says that the usage of video content has increased over pandemic, and continues to be the most successful and engaging format of corporate learning, followed by curated content, and microlearning. This is definitely a reason to consider making multimedia content a cornerstone of your employee learning strategy. However, video content has longer production cycles and higher costs compared to traditional text formats. This might be an even greater problem for multinational teams that need to deliver their L&D materials in multiple languages and adjust the content to multiple markets. So, make sure you maximize the use of automation tools for video creation, editing, summarizing, and transcription to optimize your production cycles.
    4. Localize L&D Materials
    With cultural and language barriers being a big challenge for many remote multicultural teams, standardizing all your L&D materials in English might not always be a way out. Depending on the industry you are in, your employees might not all master English well enough to complete an upskill or learning course. Also, there’s evidence that using English as a shared language between non-native speakers may lead to “invisible errors”: situations when both the speaker and the hearer misunderstand each other but neither of them realizes that they get something wrong. At the same time, employees who are addressed in their native language have more resources to identify and resolve misunderstandings. If you are following the pathway of multilingual learning content production in your company, services like AI Voiceover might save you time and costs on localization and editing of your learning materials.
    The fact that L&D is gaining more attention from organizational leaders is great news, considering the number of tasks L&D managers are facing in 2022. Now L&D leaders should ensure they are using their time and budgets in the most effective way with a good deal of outsourcing, automation, and upskilling themselves.
    By Julia Staszak, Head of People and Finance at Milengo.
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    Why the Best Leaders are Also the Most Authentic

    I attribute the positive impact I’ve been able to have on the teams I work with and the business itself on leading from a place of authenticity. Being openly gay in the workplace is an important part of that.
    The concept of authenticity, and bringing your true self to work, has been the subject of much discussion in recent years. There is often a fear of showing vulnerability in leadership, leading many to feel as if they cannot be honest about who they truly are.
    I have been fortunate to experience the opposite effect – being my authentic self has helped me feel less vulnerable and more impactful at work. As an openly gay man, I experienced the difficulty and immense reward that can come from this, particularly as a leader.
    The stress around ‘authenticity’
    Staying true to oneself in the workplace is not always easy and I’ve found it has often been a tough climb. When I was hired as a consultant by McKinsey out of university, I was thrilled to have my dream job. But I was then faced with the decision of whether I should be openly out in the workplace or do what many have done and refrain from being myself to avoid the judgment of others.
    Remaining in the closet throughout my time as a student had taken its toll on me. Everyday life felt high-risk. Not knowing if I could discuss the life that I shared with my partner at the time made it difficult to truly connect with those around me. Casual Monday morning conversations left me unsure as to whether it was appropriate to bring up my personal life with my partner if, for example, we’d gone away for the weekend. The lies and vulnerability placed immense stress on my soul.
    Leading with courage and integrity
    My experience at university and the problems caused by being closeted led to me making a personal pact to be truly open about myself at McKinsey from day one. I became the firm’s first openly gay consultant in Germany when I joined in 1993. This experience of being able to be a truer version of myself in the workplace has been an undeniably positive one as my honesty meant I was able to truly feel connected to others around me, instead of feeling like a fraud.
    The direct link between my own honesty and successful leadership is clear to me. Inspiring others to follow you and having a clear view of how to shape the future are key ingredients of leadership, and by being open about your identity, you encourage honest connection with your team which helps build a strong foundation. I truly believe that people are quick to spot leaders who try to represent themselves as something they’re not, and that lack of authenticity can lead to toxic workplace culture.
    In my own situation, I found that being genuine about my life to my team members and colleagues led to them seeing me as someone with courage and integrity – qualities that are invaluable in leaders. Whatever their views on homosexuality may have been, everyone saw me as both real and relatable.
    A leadership challenge for everyone
    Regardless of your sexuality, exhibiting authenticity can be challenging for any leader. Our goals at the C-suite level may well feel at odds with being vulnerable about our authentic selves. To the skeptics, I’ll offer that the points of commonality that openness facilitates can generate real business value.
    While working with a client’s CFO, I noticed a rainbow flag on the wall behind her chair. The mutual respect we quickly felt resulted in a successful partnership, which may not have been solely due to her allyship, but it was a shared bond that helped make negotiations more productive.
    I won’t pretend that this process has always been easy. Due to my sexuality, I’ve faced my fair share of setbacks. For example, I once reported to a boss whose homophobia created a lot of problems. I eventually found a way to report to a different executive, choosing to focus on areas in which I could succeed, rather than getting caught up with forces I couldn’t change. But it was tough having to deal with a person who did not accept who I was as a person.
    On the other hand, I’ve been fortunate to have had some amazing moments too, where it was clear to me that authenticity was the right choice in the grand scheme of things. On a visit to a delivery center, I noticed a cubicle decorated for a wedding and offered my congratulations to the associate. Unaware of who I was, he proudly showed me the photo of himself and his husband, saying, “we have this CFO who is out, and it sends a wonderful message.”
    More often, rewards are smaller in nature. Employees who see open and authentic leadership feel more comfortable bringing forward both the bad news and the good, which can improve buy-in for programs and strategies. Not only this, but it encourages a positive workplace culture, one built on empathy and understanding.
    The bottom line is faking it doesn’t cut it – and it can even interfere with the ability to lead. Authenticity isn’t the only quality that helps leaders make a difference. Integrity, fairness, commitment, and being approachable and able to share all help us to have a greater impact. My experience has shown me that my team members and other colleagues have concluded “I can work with this guy because I know who he is” and that’s truly the highest praise a leader can get.
    By Jan Siegmund, Chief Financial Officer at Cognizant.
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    The Pros and Cons of Quiet Quitting for Employees and Job Seekers

    If you have read any business website or career publication lately, you have likely heard about “quiet quitting.” This ubiquitous hashtag that originated on TikTok features employees proudly touting their rejection of the hustle-culture mentality that blurs the lines between work and personal life. The online community quickly found its new cause to champion, and the next viral trend was born.
    For years, these employees were simply known as “disengaged,” not willing to cater to employers that demanded far more than the duties printed on job descriptions. But add an alliterative name and a little hashtag heroism and suddenly, hundreds of videos and millions of views are generated by those willing to put employers on blast for trying to squeeze a few extra drops of productivity at employees’ expense.
    Deprioritizing work/life balance in order to maximize profits is nothing new. Additionally, the pandemic normalized remote work, and where work life had once occasionally bled into home life, it began hemorrhaging. Quiet quitting is simply the next step in the post-pandemic work evolution, riding the Great Reshuffle’s coattails.
    While the benefits of quiet quitting are more predictable, the drawbacks are less frequently mentioned, particularly with regard to future job prospects. Once the trendy buzz wears off, what’s in store for employees and job seekers? Let’s look at both sides.
    The Pros
    Two more topics that have taken center stage since the pandemic are burnout and mental health, both prompted in part by employee overwork and fatigue. For years, we’ve looked to the startup culture of Silicon Valley as the pinnacle of success. We’ve heard about the 130-hour workweeks and watched 20-somethings become billionaires after dropping out of college. We’ve heard stories of young professionals literally being worked to death only to say, “Well, I guess that’s the price of success.”
    But it took a worldwide pandemic to realize the ridiculousness of it all. No amount of success is worth sacrificing one’s physical and mental health, family, friends, personal time, etc. Unfortunately, some employers have yet to realize this, and workers are now pushing back. It’s a relevant topic that’s been a long time coming, and it took a short-form video app to bring it to light. As the trending hashtag racks up more views and expands to other platforms, perhaps these employers will finally give some thought to work/life balance.
    The Cons
    One thing social media has taught us over the past decade is that the internet doesn’t forget. Old posts will come back to haunt you, no matter how much you regret them and try to wipe the slate clean. Social media has also become a powerful recruiting tool, with 70% of employers researching candidate profiles during the hiring process. What kind of message does quiet quitting send to prospective employers?
    Nobody knows what the future holds. Quiet quitters may get laid off, or simply decide to change jobs as their career progresses. When employers view the quitters’ viral posts, their first impression will be what these candidates are NOT willing to do rather than what they are to help the company succeed. As mentioned earlier, quiet quitting originated from employers pushing boundaries, but not all employers are guilty. Some are sensitive to employee needs and provide a supportive culture with plenty of work/life balance. The chances are slim of any employer extending a job offer to a candidate who makes a bad first impression. Perhaps the boundary-setting rants should be postponed until after an offer is received, a work schedule is established and a two-way conversation can be had.
    Social media trends are like pop songs – there’s always a new one about to be released that will take the attention away from the last. But every few years, buried among the dangerous challenges and choreographed dances, a trend surfaces that actually brings attention to a worthy cause. #Quietquitting has accomplished this, but time will tell if it inspires positive change. Until then, it’s a candidate’s market, and job seekers have more choices than they have in years. A little due diligence on employer review sites and company social media pages can help them find the work/life balance they seek while sending a strong message to employers still unwilling to provide it.
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    What Candidates Want Most, According to New Research

    The labor market continues to favor candidates. With more than 11.4 million job openings and two positions for each unemployed person, according to the latest BLS data, most organizations are scrambling to keep up with the rapid volume of hiring. Workers are leveraging this power to secure new jobs, higher wages, and better benefits. According to Employ’s 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 45% of workers are actively looking for a new job within the next year and one-third feel comfortable quitting a job without having another lined up.
    With worker confidence at an all-time high, companies continue to see significant turnover and face a tight labor market in acquiring new talent to fill those open roles. Forty percent of workers have reported high employee turnover at their organization and the same number report increasing workloads as a result and higher rates of burnout.
    Employers must adapt quickly to this reality and align their workplaces with the expectations and preferences of job applicants today. Or they may struggle to attract top talent for their business going forward. According to Employ’s latest report, here’s what candidates want most from employers today.
    Higher Compensation
    Job seekers are well-informed and know what they want from employers. At the top of their priority list is higher compensation, with half believing they could make more simply by switching jobs. Applicants also want more transparency during the hiring process, so be open about the salary or hourly pay for a role. A whopping 82% of candidates reported that they wanted compensation listed in a job description. For companies that can’t compete on salary, stay competitive by competing on speed, transparency, and responsiveness.
    Remote Work & Flexibility
    The shift in the job market has shown that most candidates want the option to perform their jobs remotely, with 65% believing it’s important in their decision to accept or reject a job. The report also found that nearly half of workers are willing to accept a lower salary to work remotely, and 30% said their ideal workplace setup is 100% remote.
    Although there’s an increased desire for more workplace flexibility, company culture also remains critical. More than half of workers believe that culture is just as important in an increasingly remote work environment, and one-third of workers who left a job in the first 90 days said it was due to poor company culture.
    Overall, it’s essential to set the expectations for remote work policies at the beginning of the hiring process and reiterate them during each step—this helps to inform candidates to make the best decision for their needs.
    A Positive Candidate Experience
    High-quality talent is increasingly difficult to find, and it is even more challenging to convert top candidates into applicants. That’s why a seamless, positive candidate experience in every interaction is key to attracting and converting top talent. Candidates want an easy, fast, intuitive application process, and they want technology that will match them to the right roles and answer their questions throughout the recruitment process.
    According to Employ’s report, 35% said the most frustrating part of the job search was dealing with non-responsive employers and hiring managers. They also want recruiters to focus less on cover letters, resume gaps, and their social media pages, and work to shorten the feedback loop.
    In addition, candidates want an honest look at the daily responsibilities of the role, what the company culture is like, and how much the position pays. Increased transparency during the hiring process helps accurately manage expectations and can help more quickly find the right candidate for the role.
    Companies that fail to be transparent during the hiring process may struggle to retain talent. The latest Employ report revealed that one-third of new hires surveyed leave jobs within the first 90 days due to misaligned expectations, poor onboarding experiences, and bad company culture.
    Mental Health Support
    While the pandemic inspired 63% of workers to focus more on their mental health, employers have been scaling back on making these resources and benefits available to workers. In fact, only 40% of workers say that their employer provides mental health benefits or resources—the lowest level in the past three years.
    The need for mental health resources has never been greater. Increased workloads for employees, especially if they do not receive the compensation to reflect additional work, is taking a toll on workers. Companies must ensure they prioritize mental health resources and leverage them as a competitive differentiator as part of their talent acquisition efforts.
    Change Is the Constant
    In a labor market that’s constantly changing, it’s important to stay nimble, especially when it comes to attracting, nurturing, and connecting with candidates. And while adapting to this state of constant flux should come as no surprise, it can still feel daunting. The best organizations will continue to rise to the occasion by meeting the needs of candidates based on their own terms. Make sure to stay current on what workers are looking for, or risk losing out on top talent who will bolster the organization’s performance for the short and long term.
    By: Allie Kelly, Chief Marketing Officer, Employ Inc.
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