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What's next for the future of work?

Sharn Kleiss 22 October 2021

Future Of Work

Great re-evaluation. The big quit. The great resignation. The Talent Tsunami. These are the pithy titles and buzzwords that encapsulate the macro people trends of 2021. But what next for the future of work in 2022?


Over the past two years, our expectations of work have changed. We re-evaluated our work/life priorities, while the rise of remote working minimised the inertia of shifting jobs: finish at a company on a Friday and start a new job on Monday without leaving home.


Now, about 40% of UK workers across industries say they’re likely to quit in the next four to six months, and the UK now has the lowest ratio of unemployed people to vacancies since records began in 1971.


It’s no wonder then, that two thirds (63%) of business leaders have said they are struggling to recruit as candidates lack the specialist skills and relevant experience they need: with just 1.45 unemployed people per vacancy.


That means 4 in 10 of your employees want to leave, and to fill that gap you’ll need to appeal to new candidates who are already in employment – possibly with your competitors.


As the great attrition turns into the great attraction, now is the time to take stock, address what’s causing the exodus of talent, and put your best foot forward for 2022.


Why are employees leaving?


The top three reasons for employees leaving their jobs, according to a recent McKinsey study, was because they didn’t feel valued by their organisations (54 per cent) or their managers (52 per cent) or because they didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work (51 per cent). Personio also found that 21% of employees were leaving due to toxic culture.  


What do candidates want?


Studies suggest that beyond flexible working arrangements (now par for the course), employees are looking for a renewed sense of purpose in their work. They want social and interpersonal connections with their colleagues and managers, and to feel a sense of shared identity. They want jobs with better, stronger career trajectories, and to feel valued by their organisations and managers.


What can we do as a business?


The good news is, a costly company-wide pay increase isn’t the answer. Instead, a smaller, more targeted investment in one of the employee experience levers at the crux of the issue may help you stand out, attract and retain talent through 2022 and beyond.


With the current candidate’s market, it’s never been more crucial to articulate your employee value proposition accurately, and actively cultivate the employee experience to help you compete for the best and most diverse talent.


Questions to ask yourself

  • Is our D&I strategy and narrative inspiring people to feel like they belong?
  • What can be done to make inclusion actionable for everyone?
  • Is there a clear path for progression, and is it hybrid-proof?
  • Are our job descriptions and career pages communicating our offer accurately and inspiringly?
  • Is our employee handbook or code of conduct a true reflection of our culture?
  • Does our comms strategy and content plan work across in-office, frontline and remote populations?
  • Do our leaders and managers have the tools they need to communicate?
  • Are our ways of working in the office vs. at home clearly articulated?
  • Are we telling our CSR story consistently?
  • Is our organisational strategy suitably engaging, motivating and enticing?
  • How are we actively rebuilding social capital and culture?


Don’t know where to start?


We can help you answer the above with a light touch audit that’ll get you future work ready for 2022. Get in touch.