Work looks dramatically different in 2022.
The real question is whether it will ever change back again to where it has been.
I don’t believe in things changing back to where they were.
With every change, progress was made, opportunities emerged, lessons were learned, and people moved on.
So in my head, by definition, when things change, the status quo is left behind and will not return.
Hard pillow to swallow for those who resist change.
Well, work has changed.
Many people have found different careers. Covid has forced them to look elsewhere, and they like it. At least for now.
Many people do not want to go back to the office permanently. They have created new habits and love to work from home as well.
Many people do not want to work full-time anymore. Working a few hours often does not mean significantly less income.
Many people have seen that a new normal has emerged and is also possible in their lives.
Add to the equation that the latest generation joining the workforce sees work dramatically differently and has different values.
Freedom is, in most cases, the key driver.
And then there’s the economy.
“It’s the economy stupid,” famous words were spoken when Bill Clinton was running for president.
War is back; a cold war is looming again, and a recession is a matter of months.
The employee market is becoming an employer market again.
Or that’s what most change-resistant owners and CEOs are hoping for.
It would give them reasons to restructure their businesses, keep their best talent, and return to previous work habits.
Everybody back to the office, or else.
So the great resignation has ended, and those looking for other jobs are staying where they are for now.
They have already quit their jobs, but they’re still where they are, silently receiving their salaries.
The Great Resignation has become Quiet Quitting.
You’re still there, but you’ve already left.
I’ve witnessed it myself a few times in the past months. I’ve seen people going through the motions. I’ve talked to people who were open about their not-so-public and not yet executed resignations.
“I’m just staying where I am until there’s more clarity.”
The clarity they’re looking for often remains unclear.
There are far more Quiet Quitters than you can imagine, also in your company or close surroundings.
Can you imagine the disengagement?
Can you imagine the loss in productivity?
And still, there are more examples of companies that don’t do anything about this phenomenon than companies that do.
Because work is predominantly transactional.
“I show up and make an effort (at least you think I do), and you pay me.”
At this point, I really feel like shouting because the solution is so (curse word) simple.
The only thing you have to do is to start a collective conversation. First with your leaders, then with every employee in your company.
That’s what leaders are for.
To talk to their people.
To inspire them to do their best work and deliver on outcomes.
Engage them around the purpose of your company and connect their purpose to it.
Talk to them when you feel they’re quitting.
Because if you’re a good leader, your observation skills work, you follow your intuition often, and you know how to ask questions and have a conversation, then you know your people are about to quit.
Quietly or not.
Your turn: Are you that leader?
Do more of what makes you happy!
What are you waiting for?
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