During the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020, a lot of people stopped working. Some lost their jobs due to budget cuts, others just felt burnt out and needed some time to find themselves. Now, as the world is opening back up, a lot of people who stayed employed through 2020 are looking for new opportunities.
All of this has created a radical shift in the job-hunting landscape. Employers are struggling to fill open positions like never before, and many skilled workers are juggling multiple offers. What we’re witnessing is a rebalancing of power. In previous years, employers called the shots, and job seekers had to play along. Now, it’s the job seekers who wield the power, and they’re now able to demand the things they’ve wanted all along.
We can see how this might be frustrating for some companies and organizations, but at the same time, we do think of this as a positive shift. For far too long, employees have been dissatisfied with their jobs, feeling helpless to do anything to better their situation. Now, they can be comfortable asking for some of the things that will improve the quality of their lives.
Employers should take note of this, as employees who report higher quality of life tend to be more productive. According to a very detailed study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, while it’s difficult to quantify the relationship between quality of work life (QWL) and productivity, a close look at the data makes it clear that higher QWL has substantial benefits for employers, such as clearer goal-setting, better communication, lower misconduct rates, and more.
When you’re stuck in a world of short-term thinking, it can be difficult to break out of that to focus on the bigger picture. And the bigger picture is that workers have been growing more and more dissatisfied over time. A reckoning was bound to come, and COVID has made manifest what was already lurking in the imaginations of disgruntled employees around the nation.
If you’re looking to maximize your short-term profits, then focusing on your bottom line over the wellness of your workers seems like the smart financial decision. However, with the long-term success of your organization at stake, you really can’t afford to be so short-sighted.
Back when the pandemic was first gearing up, we published an article called “Why Your Business or Organization Should Embrace Change.” The general idea behind this piece is that the landscape is shifting. While that presents new challenges, it also presents new opportunities. If you want to survive – and even thrive – in this new world, then you must embrace change. When the tide shifts, you can exhaust yourself fighting against it or you can ride it somewhere new.
We apologize if you came to this article expecting advice on how your organization can take back the power it once had. We’re not here to help you do that. However, we do hope that this helps you clear your head and start thinking about this shift as an opportunity for long-awaited change rather than as a short-term inconvenience.
When the world experiences great change, you can change along with it or be left behind. The world is changing radically right now; don’t get lost in the past when the future has so much potential.