Just go and get a better job! Pixabay Image by John Hain

2022 CXO Workforce Playbook: Moving from “Great Resignation” to “Great Hiring Reset.”

Today, over 90% of the SME workforces won the in-office debate for new hybrid-flexible work models. Last year, almost 50 million US workers walked off the job to do something else, aka over-hyped “Great Resignation.”

It’s a perfect storm for workforce turnover! In February’s US labor marketplace had over 3 million open jobs. Thus, the labor shortage should continue throughout 2022.

CEOs/CXOs continue to have stressful workforce conversations on too many open skilled positions and “innovation delivery risks.” 

From now on, CXOs must understand that the workforce is redefining their relationship with employment for a better work-life balance. Here’s five key CXO actions to the Great Hiring Reset. 

CXO Takeaways

  1. Reshape corporate board strategy and CEO employee messaging to link innovation strategy and its workforce value to attract/retain talent
  2. Reset Workforce Hybrid/Flex Work-Life Balance Policy/Plan
  3. Craft an Employee Policy for “Right To Disconnect”
  4. Right-size Workforce Benefits including child care
  5. Expand Workforce Career Advancement Playbook including skills from everywhere

Start with CEO corporate strategy communications, linking the workforce to its purpose.

Over 75% of the SME workforce, especially the frontline workers, support the corporate strategy but fail to see how it ties back to their efforts and value-add. This missed corporate communications opportunity leaves the employee without a sense of purpose and culture to buy-in for a long-term career.

First, the corporate board must articulate the strategic vision for the future value of its savvy innovation leadership. The messaging must include a solid strategic linkage supporting the importance of having a workforce work-life culture to attract hard-to-find talent and help retain workers.

Next, CXO’s communications must continuously flow from the CEO and CXOs to the workforce and link priorities and goals for collective buy-in success. The outcomes should be a more robust employee culture and purpose working toward the shared mission and connected value-added work.

Don’t Fight the Hybrid Workplace; Focus on Work-life Balance Now.

Most corporations are finalizing a hybrid/flex work model. Two or three days (Tuesday-Thursday) in the office are widely accepted. Since about 80% are global frontline workers, the flexibility option allows and works out for both the business and workforce. Let the Wall Street players burn out their new employees within two years.

One of the key reasons many employees quit their jobs is better Work-Life BalancePost-Pandemic, employees need a better life/work balance in their everyday lives. Research shows that retention can improve up to nine years, with employee happiness supporting home and workplace norms and culture. Notably, flexible working can help reduce gender inequality by enabling mothers to stay in the workforce.

Lastly, CHRO crafts a Workforce Hybrid/Flex Policy with Work-Life Balance/Playbook.

Let Employee’s Workday have a Daily “Hard Stop.”

In the pandemic, many corporations were in flux and reset the workforce for flexible ground rules or lack thereof while working remotely and helping the business survive. Employees met the challenge to work from anywhere – just about any time and day when everything was urgent. 

Researchers found that corporate expectations push employees to expand the daily workday into their personal lives. So, they quit and got a better job. Employees must have the “right-to-disconnect” schedule agreed to in advance by their manager for their Work-Life Balance. Without it, the research predicts were employee burnout and a lack of quality work-life balance.

At any opportunity, CXOs should communicate and enforce employee rights for family-life boundaries with a new CRHO “Right-To-Disconnect” Workplace Policy.

Right-sizing Benefits minimizes Talent and Women Turnover.

CXOs increasing pay is essential for workforce retention with double-digit inflation expectations, especially for all skilled workers. Still, the rights-sized benefit package of individual needs will keep many others, especially most women and minorities, in your workforce when offering affordable, quality child care. It’s a key business issue!

Suppose CEOs give women the opportunities to work from home and flextime with good child care. In that case, extensive research finds that mothers, especially minorities, can maintain their labor market position after having children. 

“Now, full-time working mothers spend more involved time with their children than housewives in the 1960s”.

However, if CEOs don’t offer these quality child care benefits, up to 50% of mothers will leave to stay at home or move to another corporation.

Beyond Wellness: Expand Workforce Career-Life Balance Playbook 

Last year, the importance of employee wellness required a revised 2021 Employee Benefits Playbook with measurable outcomes.

Today, SMEs should address an expanded Workforce Career-Life Balance Playbook.

Most SMEs offer well-diversified career training programs for workforce job-skills development, leadership, and advancements in their field, such as finance or technology. However, SMEs are hesitant to embrace lifetime career/life training. Why? It does not relate to a directly defined job-skill value and increases indirect costs. 

First, CXOs should work with employees on both career-life advancements. Today, it’s not uncommon for employees to have four different careers over their working life. Why lose them, exceptionally talented, to someone else. You can find incredible value in the long run!

The CHRO talent and training playbooks should leverage a broad training portfolio. It must augment the enterprise-specific skills to make it cost-effective with engaged employees’ career/life progression. Furthermore, there are many cost-effective options with community partnerships, universities, community colleges, trade schools, vendors, and a vast number of online courses. Most of these courses are free/low-cost opportunities. These career life-shaping actions mitigate corporate innovation and other talent shortage risks and minimize turnover.

Lastly, MIT’s research sees corporate innovation investments leveraged in creating new and reshaping good quality jobs, speeding up talent growth, and supporting competitive challenges at any level of the workforce.

As CXOs Advance

The hybrid-flex work model is here to stay. It offers a valuable upside for improving work-life balance, more equitable and quality jobs, and worker happiness for life balance to remain longer at your company.

If CXOs address head-on the career and work-life development of the employee using flexible benefits, CXOs will be in the “Great Hiring Reset.”

Selected Research

Harvard Business Review. Business and Society, Modestino, Alicia Sasser, et al., “Childcare Is a Business Issue,” April 29, 2021.

MIT. MIT Press, Autor, Davis, Mindell, David, Reynolds, Elisabeth, “The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines,” January 25, 2022.

MIT Sloan Management Review. Altman, Elizabeth J., Kiron, David, Jones, Robin, “The Future of Work is Through Workforce Ecosystems,” January 14, 2021.

Disclosure

The views and opinions in this analysis are my own and do not represent positions or opinions of The Analyst Syndicate. Read more on the Disclosure Policy.