How your business can cope with labor shortages

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Most people thought that the “Great Resignation” and the labor crisis would be a temporary problem. But the situation has not only not recovered, but is getting worse.

Although 428,000 jobs were added in May 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, labor force participation fell to 62.2% in April and 363,000 left the workforce, exacerbating the labor shortage crisis.

Most people blame, at least in part, the global pandemic as a cause or at least a catalyst for mass displacement, but as Harvard Business Review (HBR) noted in March 2022, “a record number of workers have left their jobs in 2021 … If you look at this number in the context of total employment over the last ten years … You can see that what we live in through is not just a short-term turbulence provoked by the pandemic, but rather a continuation of a long-term trend. “

Related: How entrepreneurs can find great talent despite labor shortages

This is not a pandemic issue

The reality is that this is a problem that has been steadily deteriorating for more than a decade, and the disproportionate focus on the impact of the pandemic is not only wrong, but also prevents employers from understanding the real reasons for these trends – reasons that for the most part are many in their sphere of influence.

It is very easy to feel helpless in a situation where it seems to be caused by an international health crisis that you cannot influence, change or control. But when you realize the real reasons why this trend is not only intensifying but gaining momentum in recent years, most of the reasons are aspects of work experience that employers can change.

If you look at the top 10 reasons why American workers quit their jobs in 2021, according to the Pew Research Center, they are (in order of priority): wages were too low, there was no opportunity for advancement, they felt disrespected for work due to care problems for children, there is not enough flexibility to choose when to invest hours, the benefits were not good, they wanted to move to another area, they worked too many hours, worked too little and the employer demanded a vaccine against Covid-19.

Going back to 2015, Business magazines shared that five reasons that research shows that they make people leave are that they do not grow professionally, are dissatisfied with the work they do, do not feel important, lack support to do their job well and are not were paid enough.

And looking back 10 years to 2012, Leader Chat shared that the 10 biggest reasons people leave were limited career opportunities / promotion, the manager has no respect / support, compensation, boring duties / no challenge, the manager has no leadership skills, working hours, unavoidable reasons, supervisor bad relations with employees, supervisor showed favoritism and was not recognized for their contribution.

Related: How leaders can overcome the labor crisis

So what is the real reason?

When you look at the patterns and trends of the last decade, the big picture becomes clear – employees have realized that they no longer want to work in roles for employers who are constantly compromising their universal needs. They no longer want to do work that is detrimental to their physical, mental and emotional well-being.

So what are just some of the universal needs that underlie this deteriorating labor crisis?

  • Need for foundation / function: These are the needs that are primarily related to the things we need to be able to function in our society. So when there are problems with compensation (especially in the context of maintenance pay), benefits such as health care, child care problems and working too many hours, the needs of the foundation / function of your employees are affected.
  • Need for value: This is the need that is associated with our sense of value, importance and self-confidence. When you see people leaving because they don’t feel important, they feel disrespectful, lack of support, favoritism, and non-recognition of their contribution, your employee’s value needs are affected. Compensation and pay issues can also affect an employee’s need for value, as they are often an indicator that staff are not valued in a monetary way that reflects their contribution to the company.
  • Need for growth: This is the need that is related to our growth and development. So issues such as boring / unchallenged responsibilities, lack of professional development, career development and lack of opportunities for advancement are strong indicators that the growth needs of your employees are negatively affected.

Related: Record high: The US already has 2 jobs for every person who is unemployed

What can I do to protect my organization?

All of this means that tackling the labor crisis is not a matter of finding more people, but rather a matter of creating a culture and environment that people actually want to be a part of. Work experience that not only does not negatively affect these needs, but actually helps your employees meet them.

The reality is that there is currently no such thing as a labor crisis if:

  1. You have employees who are happy, committed and loyal, whose experience is that working with your company not only does not sacrifice their universal needs, but actually supports them in meeting them.
  2. Other people actually want to work for your organization (which happens when you gain a reputation as an employee whose universal needs are maintained by working with you).

An organization that meets these criteria is the way we define a workplace destination, and it is the most powerful antidote to the labor crisis, both now and in the future.

When you start putting your focus there, it not only gives you the opportunity to do something to stop your business from being affected by the labor crisis in the short term, but it gives you the plan to create an organization where people want to be part of what is the only thing that will protect your business from future labor trends, which according to the figures will only continue to deteriorate.

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