Surviving the New Talent Landscape
The forecast of talent trends, accelerated by the pandemic, paints a grim picture for industry. Conventional approaches to talent management will not be enough to survive, let alone thrive, in the new reality.
Organizations fortunate to emerge from the global pandemic intact are finding a new set of challenges waiting on the other side. Post-pandemic, workers have shifted their priorities about what is important in their careers and in their lives.
Workers are re-evaluating what they want to do and where they’d like to do it—and for how much. Workers are more transparent about what they want. According to SHRM’s 2021 Navigating COVID-19 report, 52 percent of workers want to stay permanently remote, and 35 percent would accept a pay cut to keep working from home. In many ways, the pandemic has accelerated talent trends that were already in play. Before the pandemic, workers were asking for flexible work schedules and remote-work options; today, they expect these arrangements.
Organizations find themselves competing to hire new workers to backfill open positions as operations expand and replace workers who have left or are leaving. Survival is at stake. Organizations are realizing that without sufficient skilled workers, they cannot operate. Yesterday’s approach is woefully insufficient to meet these immense challenges. Head hunting and talent searches are not enough.
Organizations are now finding themselves competing for a seemingly shrinking pool of available talent. As business returns to work, workers are focused on the exit, with 1 in 4 U.S. employees planning to leave their employer as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. The “turnover tsunami” is cresting. Workplace culture plays a vital role in identifying common ground that attracts the right people and keeps them plugged into the work.
At its core, workplace culture reflects the organizational values; it is essentially the will of the organization. Culture touches every element of the workplace. We must be intentional about creating a workplace culture to attract, engage and empower talent. Activating talent, the human capital, enables organizations to expand their potential to perform and adapt.
To understand the current state of your culture, find out what your reputation is. What do your workers, clients, partners say about you? When you listen, their voices articulate a vivid description of your culture. We can see if an organization is putting the things it preaches into actual practice. Culture sets the table for how work gets done, how the workforce operates. It acts as the connective tissue of an organization, bringing separate entities together to perform collective effort.
As workplace leaders, we have the responsibility to shape the organization around a mission. Workplace culture extends from the C-suite all the way down to the front line—and beyond. To survive, engagement at every level must point toward a common vision. The people we empower contribute to that vision and ultimately propel performance.
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP
CEO and President of SHRM