101. The Corporate Challenge - Shifting Baseline Syndrome, Part 5
Employees are happy and you better deal with it
I shared some insights about employee burnout and the five ways to avoid it over here. If you’re not already subscribed and able to read it, you can do that below… or not. Your choice.
Stockholm COVID Syndrome is a real thing. Kind of. I mean, I made it up but I did it based on real things.
When offices first closed during the pandemic, we were forced into the often uncomfortable position of exclusively working from home. It was as if we were held hostage in our own homes, where some of our fellow prisoners were drinking out of sippy cups and just wouldn't leave us alone. We became defiant and quickly got fed up with all the shenanigans.
Somewhere along the COVID way, however, our concept of normal slowly changed until working from home transmogrified from being outside of our comfort zone into being the very definition of our comfort zone. Instead of feeling like a hostage, we realized we actually had more freedom.
What was once our captor, became our savior.
In the end, our new normal seems so much better than the old. In fact, according to a study by the New York Times, 86% of workers were satisfied working from home, with only 1 in 5 wanting to go back into the office full time.
So why, pray tell, are people quitting their jobs in record numbers?
What’s The Rush?
Nearly 8 million people quit their jobs in April and May 2021 (combined). This number is a dramatic increase over any time within the past 20 years. According to studies, between 26% and 40% of people are expected to quit their jobs this year
Yet didn’t we just talk about all the freedom we now have?
Herein lies the problem.
We keep hearing our politicians, our leaders and community members talking about “getting back to normal”. Many companies are reassuring their employees that we will soon be back to normal.
Unfortunately, many companies are not fully absorbing the concepts we discussed above - that our perception of normal has dramatically changed. So “getting back to normal” isn’t so reassuring after all.
In the words of author Dave Hollis, in the rush to return to normal, [we should] use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.
Companies are telling employees that they are finally able to come back to the office, but employees are telling companies that they’d rather quit than return to the office.
Remember the amygdala? Sudden change from the norm can trigger fight or flight. Our new normal is working remotely. Being forced back to the office is a big step out of our comfort zone. So employees are fleeing, en masse.
Company Culture Trends
In order to thrive, the post-COVID breed of company must match their concept of “normal” with their employee’s new lifestyles.
According to a report by OC Tanner, 77% of employees believe their workplace culture will never return to pre-Covid-19 normal.
Meanwhile, some 42% of employees said they would look for another job if required to return to the office full-time (here's the Ipsos poll).
So why the heck are company leaders expecting us to “get back to normal”?
If a company isn't already rethinking their culture, they are in for a surprise awakening.
Over the past 18 months we’ve all had an opportunity to explore how we can stay the most engaged, productive and happy. And now millions of employees are seeking companies that can meet those needs.
On LinkedIn’s job board, there are already 532,000 job opportunities listed with the location as “remote”.
Today, approximately 57% of companies anticipate “major” changes to their culture as a result of the pandemic. I would expect so because, well, they owe it to their employees - but that's a whole different subject.
“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life."
SaaS-aholic. If you’re into SaaS and like statistics, this report by Blissfully is pretty cool. It has the most popular companies and neat facts like how the average company uses 185 SaaS products(!!!) (read the report)
Buh-Bye Email?. In a 2015 article, Inc Magazine predicted that email will be obsolete by 2020. At least they were correct about business cards. (read it here)
Make it Stop. If you’re anything like me, your fascination with this site equals your frustration with it.
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