A new report argues that the coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest reshuffle of workers in modern history, fundamentally shifting the balance of power from capital to labor in the process.
Bain/Dynata survey titled The future of work: more human, not less 20,000 workers were examined in 10 countries (United States, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria) that account for approximately 65% of global gross domestic product (GDP).
The survey looks at job transitions between February 2020 and February 2021, highlighting how previously worker-company relationships were shaped in a world very different from the one we live in today.
“A year of in-depth research has helped us identify the broader implications of the future of work, and the steps companies need to take now to stay ahead of the changing battle for talent,” the report concluded.
American workers are increasingly confident about their job prospects. Organizing, unionizing and protesting worker conditions has become a phenomenon in recent months.Employees dare to challenge big companies like coffee machines Starbucks and grain manufacturers Kellogg.
The data underscore the shifting balance of power. About 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs in October and 4.4 million in September. This phenomenon has been dubbed the “big resignation” by economists, many of whom are scratching their heads.
Ringing the bell: Now what?
What’s driving the big resignation? These vary from fears of contracting COVID-19 and parenting challenges to baby boomers retiring early and workers using their entrepreneurial spirit to start their own businesses.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, workers find themselves in a good bargaining position — and the effect is evident in average hourly earnings, which rose 4.8% in November from a year earlier.
“It’s not just input, workers are a fundamental part of the modern company. Yet our understanding of workers — their hopes and aspirations, their untapped potential, their emotional states — is often superficial,” Bain said. /Dynata survey said.
Millions of Americans are using the job market disruption and unprecedented disruption of everyday life caused by the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to reassess what they want from life and how their jobs can achieve those goals.
The Bain/Dynata report also found that work motivation has changed considerably. Today, fewer workers are blinded by dollar signs. According to the survey, while 56% of respondents rank compensation as their top three priorities, only 22% of employees rank a good salary and benefits as their top priority at work.
Advances in living standards, at least in the developed world, mean workers are raising their expectations of what jobs should offer. The tragic picture of an unhappy worker hitting the clock and going to work 9 to 5 without any heart or soul in his/her day job may no longer be an acceptable way of life.
Work-Life Balance: The Battle for Talent
About 58 percent of the 10,000 workers surveyed by Bain/Dynata said the pandemic has forced them to rethink work-life balance.
Workers are increasingly reluctant to continue working in jobs they don’t think fit their new goals and ambitions. This makes it difficult for companies to fill positions and operate at full capacity.
And the problem is unlikely to go away anytime soon. U.S. workers aren’t afraid to tell their bosses “I quit,” data shows.
In addition, younger generations, especially in advanced economies, are under increasing stress and increasing psychological stress that spills over into their working lives. The quest for work-life balance is only going to get more intense, the report said.
Bain/Dynata said a human touch could help the company continue to compete for talent. That means investing in employees, providing them with learning and training programs that make it easier for them to move laterally in their careers, and fostering a winning mentality within the organization.
It also means respect. Bain/Dynata believes that the way managers, executives, and business leaders view work and employees must evolve. Companies must stop managing workers like machines and instead support them in developing personal abilities and creating careers that are more in line with their ideas of fulfilling lives — not the dreary, soulless black-and-white picture.
Yes, employees have work to do, but managers also have a new responsibility to help employees utilize their skills and talents.
At the heart of an organization or company that wants to win must be an environment that provides employees with a sense of belonging and opportunity. A shared vision and shared values maintained and driven by company leadership will be key to boosting morale and retaining the people who move the wheels.