For those who are two decades into their careers, the workplace has changed dramatically in that short amount of time. When they got their first job, it was still the “first one in, last one out” mentality of how to be successful and how to get recognized for that next-in-line promotion. Employers wanted to see employees “eat, sleep, and live” their brand, and whatever life looked like outside the office wasn’t anything employers needed to know.
Focusing on the shift in today’s workforce, there are new demands from candidates and employees that request more support on success inside and outside the office.
Flexibility Is Not Just for Gen-Z
Flexibility has so many meanings since we started the pandemic in 2020. There has always been a small discussion around flexible work hours. As we accommodate benefits for the new generation, the Xennials (late 1970s to early 1980s) are looking for that same flexibility. Childcare, fitness regimes, or basic self-care – this specific age range is also realizing the benefit to custom workday hours.
Flexibility also includes where the work gets done. Organizations are either fully-back later this year, hybrid, remote, or they’ve given employees the option to choose what works for them. PwC published their findings from summer 2021 to understand what employees preferred, and the results are all over the map. While it may please any employer to see that 22% wanted their regular office week back, we encourage you to find what your own team prefers and adjust accordingly.
Mental Health Outside the Box
It’s been a long road so far, and in the grand scheme of things – employers are just now making mental health and wellbeing a priority. True, there has always been an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), but companies are being asked to find additional and more effective ways of offering support in these areas. This has been a welcomed introduction to the group who began their careers with little focus on life outside the workplace. The reason also goes beyond employee-only.
As their dependents seem to be hitting new stages of life every four or five years, employees are looking for resources to provide emotional and mental health support for children, spouses, and partners as well. Between a sea of technology and mental health subsidies, organizations should find plenty of opportunities to help employees feel supported.
Learning + Development = Leadership Satisfaction
Candidates looking toward the next step in their career have most likely experienced an organization that did little to support their growth and development. Currently, a major focus from employers is setting up managers for success – whether that means communication tactics, training materials, or leadership development courses. There are many managers out there feeling ill-equipped to be a successful leader for their teams.
The definition of leadership has gone beyond skillset and knowledge in the industry. Now, employers also need to develop up-and-coming leaders so they can harness empathy and understanding while also supporting their team members for individual success.
As soon as employers feel comfortable about advancing toward the next big thing, something else has been introduced that is equally or more important than the last initiative. It’s difficult to keep up, but through the power of business networks, internal focus groups, and rapidly expanding technology, organizations have the opportunity to create positive change and provide their mid-level management with the tools they need to succeed.
What are you doing to provide support and guidance?