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Beyond Fear: How HR Executives are Thinking about The Great Reshuffle

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Written by PJ Diamond

Across industries, Human Resource (HR) leaders in the post-pandemic world are dealing with unprecedented attrition rates brought on by the “Great Resignation,” which some have dubbed the “Great Reshuffle,” and now, the “Great Regret.” Companies are seeing record high turnover, due in part to factors such as employees not wanting to return to the office (or come in for the first time), being recruited away by better offers, or taking early retirement. HR leaders are faced with the challenge of striking the perfect balance of compensation, benefits, and culture to support their organizations’ hiring and retention efforts.

What’s clear is that one size does not fit all, and the new face of work can look very different depending on the industry and the kind of work an employee does. So, many executives are asking: in creating and functioning within the hybrid workplace, can companies maintain their “stickiness” and workplace culture? And if so, how do we cultivate loyalty an affinity to the organization in this hybrid world?

Many HR leaders are choosing to answer these questions with a mindset shift. Some are piloting creative ideas to bring people into the office such as bringing in food trucks and providing warm and welcoming office space, surveying associate-level employees to determine what they want as well as piloting cross-pollination opportunities among different business lines to promote internal career development and job growth. In our most recent HR Executives Network Exchange, one executive shared that their company had been successful in piloting a project which opened recruitment opportunities to current employees in an effort to engage and retain them. The CEO fully supported the process, which reinforces that this mindset shift must come from the top down, or it is likely to fail.

Not only is it imperative that leadership understand the evolving workplace, but the era of the Great Reshuffle has also changed hiring practices and compounded the HR challenge of bringing in multiple candidates for one position as so many have proven they will take another, competing offer. Beyond pay, employees are demanding flexibility. And with that flexibility, HR leaders are seeing unintentional internal workplace inequalities caused by the hybrid workplace. For some, video platforms like Zoom or Teams were the great equalizers, and HR Executives are now asking: What does it look like when bias starts to seep into the workplace environment because some employees are in-person and others are on the screen? Workplace culture now exists in multiple spaces, on multiple platforms.

So, as some creative solutions are finding success, questions remain. As one executive reflected on our recent Exchange, they asked: are we becoming over-accommodating and allowing employees to dictate terms? And as we look beyond the Great Reshuffle, how does this model bode for a healthy organizational culture in the long-term?

At the end of the day, HR leaders continue to find value in connecting with their peers and knowing that while there might not be a silver bullet to solve for hiring and retention, they are not alone in tackling macro-employment shifts. Building a stable culture that serves the employees while also navigating compensation and benefits is no easy task – especially today.