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Employment trends to review as employers miss the obvious

Info-Tech Research Group has released its 2022 trends report on the IT talent market.   Quoting from Channel Futures, “Info-Tech’s research indicates that to compete, successful organizations will need to incorporate new ways of working. This is beyond simply having a remote work policy. The IT talent market will never be the same. Organizations must re-evaluate their employee experience from the bottom up to weather the shift to the new normal successfully.”

Research conducted by Time is Ltd. illustrates that holding on to workers currently employed has still not become priority despite a major turnover among many enterprises.   just 39% of HR leaders say improving retention is a top objective in their businesses. By contrast, 94% of HR leaders believe that employees’ experience at their company to be important, but a disconnect exists between the hiring department and the current state of the workforce. This discrepancy between the views of hiring managers and executives leads to unsustainable amounts of brain drain, as employees look for work elsewhere when experience at a company is deemed unsatisfactory.

By and large, the unsatisfactory employee experience is leading to high amounts of turnover within several companies around the U.S. as 61% of HR executives believe that retention rates for those hired during the pandemic will be lower than pre-pandemic rates. Of the businesses included in the survey, 76% stated they were experiencing more year-over-year employee departures and 68% of enterprises have a turnover rate higher than 10%.

Insider makes my case too with a series of interviews of employees doing exactly what I expected – pushing back and saying “no thank you” to returning to the office.      Google, too, getting pushback. Per more reporting in Insider, Googlers pushed back on the company’s return-to-office plans, asking why all employees weren’t able to choose to be permanently remote and arguing that the rules around remote work were being applied inconsistently.  This at a recent company all hands.  

Even some governments are figuring this out – in Connecticut, there’s a pilot project at the state level that’s halfway completed to test some IT staff at 100% remote work, only coming into the office if absolutely necessary.  That from StateScoop.  

And in an interesting survey of UK workers, the majority support laws that include a right to disconnect from their employer.   More than half of UK workers deem it unacceptable for their employer to expect them to respond to emails texts, calls and instant messages sent by their boss during private or leisure time, the survey found.    two-thirds of UK workers said they participate in work-related communications outside of their working hours, with just 30% abstaining completely from communication with their workplace outside of their contracted hours. 

Why do we care?

The old way of work is dead, and not enough companies have realized that.  Here’s my other data for that — 75% of executives want to come back to the office three or more days a week, compared with just 37% of rank-and-file employees, according toa Slack Future Forum report

And, it’s happening that way.   Data from Kastle systems showing the weekly occupancy rates for offices is at just 39.5% — and even at the worst of the pandemic, it was at just under 20%… a far cry from that near 100% in the before times.

The sooner businesses wise up and recognize what is happening, the better off they’ll be – and when I can point to governments as figuring this out before many executives,  

Leaders with no one behind them are just on a walk.    Standing stubbornly with arms crossed that you can force workers, combined with this lack of investment in retention, shows the space for agile smart organizations to pull ahead, and a range of opportunity to help organizations be those winners. 

This is playing out as predicted.