It can take a big push to make a drastic change. And when it comes to people’s work lives, there has been perhaps no greater disruptor than the COVID-19 pandemic. “People are really trying to figure out a way to keep the best parts of what the pandemic gave us, which is this slowed-down, home-centric, connected pace of life,” said Kathy Robinson, founder of the Boston career-coaching network Turning Point.
Job openings, a measure of labor demand, jumped 597,000 to 8.1 million on the last day of March, the highest since the series began in December 2000. The surge was led by the accommodation and food services sector, with 185,000 vacancies opening up in March. There were an additional 155,000 job openings in state and local government education.
In the arts, entertainment, and recreation industries, vacancies increased by 81,000 jobs. Unfilled jobs also increased in manufacturing, trade, transportation, and utility industries as well as in finance. Job openings increased in the Northeast and Midwest regions. But vacancies dropped in the healthcare and social assistance industry.
(source Reuters: U.S. job openings vault to record high in March, Published by: Lucia Mutikani)
With the arrival of vaccines, employers across the world are taking their first tentative steps towards normality. The pandemic sent leaders into survival mode – with companies scrambling to stay afloat in such uncertain and unpredictable times.
And now, it’s unclear if there will be an onslaught of resignations as things ease back to normal, said Thomas Kochan, codirector of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research. But employers who haven’t treated their workers well will surely suffer. “The companies that did a really good job of managing the workforce, showing flexibility, showing concern, staying in touch, are going to be rewarded with loyalty,” he said. “Companies that seem to have just focused on, ‘How am I going to keep my business going?’ and lost sight of their workforce responsibilities are the ones who are going to pay the price.”
(source BostonGlobe.com: ‘I want to do the things that matter to me’: Pandemic spurs search for jobs with purpose)
Women, who experienced major upheaval during the pandemic as child-care demands soared, seem especially ready for change. One in four women had started setting up a business, and more than 60 percent were hoping to switch careers, according to a survey last year by the professional women’s network, AllBright.
But when we begin to talk about getting people back into the workforce or returning from furlough, there are some serious considerations ahead.
“From a skill development perspective, COVID-19 has changed everything. People are now in a position where they have to be able to adapt and adjust quickly. On top of this, we’re all dealing with both work and family pressures – uncertainty and upheaval. Flexibility will really be key here in helping employees not only survive but thrive this year” says Siobhan Calderbank, director of talent management at LCBO.
(source Human Capital Magazine: LCBO director of talent: ‘This year is all about inclusion’, Published by: Emily Douglas)
Industry analyst and founder and editor of HRExaminer, John Sumser, shared recently at the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference that there’s still more change ahead if we know what’s good for us as employers. Hailed in a recent HRExecutive headline Sumser says that he’s been watching the shifts in the benefits space and believes that he has a unique viewpoint that should be considered as we go forward.
Overall, the social contract between employers and employees changed [during the pandemic], Sumser says, evolving from that of the parent and child into one that recognizes all parties are adults and should have a voice in decision-making.
In the coming years, the benefits space will have responded directly to those trends. He sees health and safety as table stakes, along with enhanced childcare and education benefits. He predicts new efforts to restore equity for those on the lower leg of that K-shaped recovery, along with the continuous reduction of mental health stigma. With more workers remote, that will give way to coaching opportunities for networking and community building.(source: The ‘golden age of benefits’ is coming. Here’s what it means, Published by: Jen Colletta)