If you haven’t already had enough surprises and challenges this year, get ready for another leadership challenge: Your workforce’s composition will change more than you expect in the next 18-24 months.
Your workforce’s composition will change more than you expect in the next 18-36 months.
Why? Your team is tired. You’re tired. The past several months have been exhausting. The rapid shift to no or remote-work status, the endless Zoom meetings, the additional work required to communicate effectively through digital means, the heightened workloads being carried by some team members when others are not allowed to return to work, the sheer vastness of not knowing what’s going to happen next, and now the racial unrest have all converged to create a frustrated, fed up, tired workforce. A workforce that is polarized in its beliefs on the validity, severity, mitigation of and return to work plans due to COVID 19.
I’ve talked with almost every one of my clients over the past two weeks. Every one of them is tired. Yet, with the highly polarizing U.S. presidential elections coming up in November, every one of them also agrees: It will take at least 18-36 months for their workforce to feel ‘united’ and positive again.
It will take at least 18-36 months for your workforce to feel ‘united’ and positive again.
Why? There are several highly polarizing, important, emotional, scary, business changing, culture changing, and society changing issues in play at the same time. And, most employees don’t like one major organizational change happening, much less many happening at the same time. The 2017 Work and Well-Being Study conducted by Harris Polling for the American Psychological Association found:
Workers who reported being affected by organizational change - current or within the past year - reported lower levels of job satisfaction than employees who reported no recent, current or anticipated changes (71% vs. 81%).
If just one organizational change can lower your employees’ job satisfaction, how satisfied will they be two months from now, six months from now, or 12 months from now? Let’s face it, as leaders, in the next several months, we face the very real likelihood that many of our most-knowledgeable, experienced, and effective employees may well decide - they’re done. They’re tired. They don’t want to deal with leaders or coworkers who don’t have the same beliefs and values as they do. They don’t want to work in an environment where their beliefs and values are not supported, reflected, or lived. They don’t want to do their old jobs in new ways. They don’t want to work differently in their old environment. They don’t want to deal with more change. They’re done changing just to keep their jobs. They’re not happy. So, they’ll leave. How they’ll leave will vary. They may retire sooner than expected. They may move to a different organization. They may change careers. Regardless of their next step, they will be stepping away from your organization, and they will take their knowledge, skills, networks, and relationships with them.
Regardless of their next step, they will step away from your organization, and they will take their knowledge, skills, networks, and relationships with them.
If talent and workforce mapping, cross-training, mentoring, and succession planning haven’t been high priorities for you, I suggest you recategorize them as both ‘Urgent’ and ‘Important'. Your workforce’s composition is going to change. Why not get ahead of this next change?
Copyright MMXX - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!