Are Managers Calling it Quits?

Summer is over, the kids are getting ready to go back to school, and it’s that time of year when the job market starts to feel some heat. The last two years took business leaders into new territory. In this unpredictable environment, leaders experienced more employee turnover and burned-out employees than ever before. Managers are being impacted in big ways, and according to Gallup 54% are looking and open to new opportunities. The thing that struck us in particular (okay, my jaw dropped when I read the study this week) was that only 22% of managers felt their companies cared about their wellbeing- a decline from 47% in 2020!

This season’s trends show that organizations will continue dealing with significant challenges – especially when hiring and retaining top talent. In addition to an exhausted workforce and an incredibly competitive landscape, a possible economic downturn adds another level of complexity to the current job market.

Preparation is vital as leaders approach an ever-changing market. Here are the trends you must consider as we enter the 2023 fall employment market.

Quiet Hiring
Quiet quitting made waves late last year as employees refused to put in extra effort regarding the roles. Coined “quiet quitting,” this bare-minimum approach resulted in the company’s retaining talent but losing the skills and capabilities they provided.

In 2023, forward-thinking executives turned this trend on its head and introduced “quiet hiring.” This approach shows leaders focused on introducing new skills and capabilities to current employees rather than seeking new hires externally.

Flexibility: A Key Driver For Talent
The desire for hybrid working conditions is here to stay. Today’s employee emphasize and prioritize their need for a more conducive work-life balance. As a result, organizations continue to invest in new ways to improve the experience of their employees.

Increased flexibility comes in many forms, but some of the most important aspects of this trend include:

– Ability to work from home
– Increased employee control over scheduling and hours
– Stability in their schedules
– Paid leave
– Projects they work on
– Who they’re working with

Organizations demonstrating a commitment to flexibility and effective coordination are seen as more competitive and desirable to potential talent.

The Gen Z Skills Gap
Social isolation is one of the most damaging lingering side effects of the pandemic, and it has hit Gen Z the hardest. According to a report by Gartner, 46% of Gen Z employees surveyed said that the pandemic has made it more difficult to pursue their education and career goals. Additionally, over 50% agree their education has not adequately prepared them to enter the workforce. Without the proverbial water cooler connections, informal mentoring in many companies has also taken a dive.

So, what are these skills the up-and-coming workforce is lacking? In short, soft skills. Many employees to lack skills related to:

– Negotiation
– Networking
– Public speaking
– Social stamina
– Attentiveness
– Verbal communication

…. and social anxiety is playing a central role for many of all generations.

Addressing this challenge is no easy feat. Companies will need to reconsider their views of professionalism, rethink employee engagement and wellbeing initiatives while providing the training and resources required to positively impact today’s workforce.

Final Thoughts
Many current challenges are historic, meaning today’s leaders face problems that don’t have an existing playbook regarding the solution. Of course, this is to be expected as we move on from a life-changing and generationally shaping event such as the pandemic. Being open, prepared, and flexible offers leaders and business executives the best solutions and results.