These resignations are occurring across industries, with leisure, hospitality and retail seeing the largest losses. Given the surge of the Delta variant, some economists point to ongoing concerns over safety or disrupted school reopenings as a cause for the uptick in resignations. While those are no doubt contributing factors, employers shouldn’t dismiss the substantial toll Covid has taken on our collective mental health; people are reexamining what is important to them and making life changes accordingly. Similarly, the pandemic is forcing businesses to reassess how they operate and treat employees. In fact, one of the leading reasons people cite for leaving their jobs is mistreatment from employers throughout the Covid crisis.
People are seeking new opportunities, increased flexibility, better treatment and more money, particularly as compensation has stagnated over the past several decades despite a surge in worker productivity. Employers have an unprecedented opportunity to attract and keep quality talent, but only if they’re willing to provide the necessary flexibility, opportunity and compensation demanded by their employees.
Closing the Empathy Gap
In a recent study from EY, a staggering 90 percent of U.S. workers say empathetic leadership—the kind that emphasizes transparency, fairness and follow-through—leads to higher job satisfaction; 79 percent say it decreases turnover. Although these numbers are new, it’s no surprise that people want to be treated with dignity and respect, to feel valued and like they’ve got room to grow. The current situation has given job seekers leverage, and employers are adapting as a result. For example, many in the restaurant industry—infamous for low wages and long hours—are attempting to address hiring issues by offering signing bonuses or additional base pay; others see the present moment as an opportunity to address root causes of attrition by making major operational changes focused the needs of employees. Industries across the economy are making similar shifts as more businesses consider The Great Resignation an opportunity to attract the best talent by giving people a more supportive, employee-driven work environment.
“We have to give people the tools they need to do their jobs,” said Amy Stromberg, Host’s Global Talent Director. “Understand and value their contributions, communicate that you know their worth and help them grow professionally. You have to invest in your employees. Typically, people don’t quit their jobs—they quit their managers.”
Empathy and flexibility from leadership is key to attract and retain quality hires, and forward-looking organizations must adapt to ensure continued success.
The Role of Experience
At Host, we think a lot about the workplace experience and how to make it better for our clients and employees alike. We also take a people-first approach to hiring, emphasizing opportunities for career growth, an empathetic and collaborative culture, the necessity of work/life balance and organizational stability. We focus on helping people feel empowered, valued and understood in their roles because experiences are important. They determine how we interpret and understand the world, impacting our individual decision making and risk assessment throughout our lives. Personal economic experiences—from wide-ranging crises like Covid to individual job losses—also inform the economic decisions we make, affecting our choices on everything from home purchases to consumer spending. Experiences alter neural connections and influence future outcomes, shaping our outlook and decisions long after an event has passed.
In short, our experiences stay with us and influence how we choose to live our lives. Given how much time most of us spend doing our jobs, workers now have greater opportunities to assess workplace cultures and seek out employers who emphasize positive employee experiences. Employers who are slow to put their people first risk missing out on the best candidates and falling behind their competitors.
The pandemic necessarily shifted how we live, work and organize life in the short term. Some of these changes will no doubt create lasting impacts on companies and their cultures. But crucially, Covid also led many to reassess where work fits into their lives overall, further highlighting the effect of experience. People want to be invested in the job they do and feel like they’re making a difference. Work is important, but it’s not the only thing that shapes and inspires us. We have a rare opportunity to shift the way we do business to be more adaptable to life’s demands, and create a healthier, happier and more productive approach to how we work.
Overwhelmingly, workers agree that empathetic leadership inspires them to stay at their companies and do their best work. Managers can make positive changes by maintaining open communication with their employees, emphasizing a fair working environment, following through on promises made and promoting a climate that values diverse perspectives. As hybrid work becomes the norm and employees demand more flexibility, empathy and experience will continue to drive growth and innovation, giving companies more opportunities to cultivate quality talent and build strong, capable and future-focused teams.
Entering the Tween Years of Smart Workspace
Digital Solutions & Strategy Lead
January of every year seems to bring out the crystal ball gazers of every tech industry. A new year – and some would argue (incorrectly, but maybe that’s just me and Seinfeld) a new decade – gives rise to reflection as the last year closes and the annual cycle begins anew.
Education From Afar: Perspectives on Virtual Learning
Host’s goals of providing increased digital and virtual learning options have been on the agenda for some time. However, with a global pandemic shuttering offices throughout the world, our learning and development professionals have had to expedite these options to ensure that new hires receive the same level of expert training, even if the training isn’t performed in person.
Leading Virtual Teams
Leading virtual teams can become untenable if you expect the virtual world to correlate perfectly with a traditional office environment. According to a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, 82 percent of virtual teams fell short of their goals. With that said, everything that makes for a strong leader in an office is twice as important in the virtual landscape.
Bringing a New Member onto Your Remote Team
Director, Global Hospitality Operations
New employees join organizations every day, including during this unprecedented time where many are working remotely during the COVID outbreak. While it's a best practice to spend face-to-face time when onboarding, right now that's just not an option most of the time. Employee onboarding lays the foundation for the success of new hires at your company and provides a baseline to make connections going forward.
The Leader's Role in Fostering New Social Norms as Workplaces Reopen
By now, almost all organizations around the world are somewhere on their re-opening journey, whether starting to plan, bringing employees back to the workplace, or assessing “what’s next” for the future of their work environments. Companies and organizations are appropriately focused on a range of activities such as resetting the physical work environment to achieve social distancing, installing signage, adjusting building systems, securing sustainable quantities of supplies, and adapting service levels in areas such as cleaning and food service.
The Double Shift Juggling Parenting and Working During the Coronavirus
Director, Deployment and Operations
Working parents are facing a particularly challenging time, as the boundaries between work and home have completely broken down, resulting in the need for parents to juggle between parent mode to work mode and back again each day. The “double shift” is now the “double double shift.” Between putting three meals on the table, homeschooling, hosting Zoom meetings and conference calls, doing laundry, cleaning the house and trying to be present as both an employee and a parent, working parents are struggling and facing burnout.
Patrick Goes to Work
Global Hospitality Lead
When I’m focused on exciting new projects and things are going well, it’s always a surprise when they go awry unexpectedly. However, surprise doesn’t adequately cover our collective reaction to the rise of a global pandemic.
Customer Service Keeps Us Connected, Safe and Well – Let’s Celebrate It!
Global Hospitality Lead
I think it’s worth our time to reflect on what customer service has meant to us in the past, what it means right now as our social lives are stunted by pandemic concerns, and what it will look like once we finally navigate our way through this challenging era of our lives.
The Employee Experience Formula That Inspires Innovation
Host Labs Lead
It will likely come as no surprise that our evolving workspaces, enabled by technology, outfitted with the most coveted amenities and served by hospitality experts, are designed to make employees feel valued, signaling to them that the work they do is important and impactful. But what about when the workspace provided by an employer is removed (even temporarily) and placemaking becomes a virtual endeavor?
Delight in the Workplace: An Opportunity for Limitless Value
Host Labs Lead
As surprising as it may seem coming from a commercial real estate company, the Host team obsesses over enriching lives and creating delight for people who work in the buildings we manage. We consider the daily journey of our customers and map both their current and best experiences in the workplace.
Why Workplace Experience Platforms Need the Human Element
Thoughtful Reads: The Importance of In-Between Moments
The Value of Authenticity
Thoughtful Reads: Guide to the Hybrid Workplace
What We've Learned: Host Conversations #1
What Is the Workplace Experience Anyway?