Recent events have initiated deep reflection and assessment of previous lifestyle decisions. This has resulted in a new set of criteria that job seekers are establishing for targeting prospective employers. Since these factors are high on the list of priorities for evaluating companies and job opportunities we are seeing rapid change. And moving forward, top consideration will go to companies with leaders who demonstrate that they are prioritizing the physical and mental health of their employees.
That means workplaces and leaders will need to adopt updated practices and adapt to the new workforce demands if they want to hire the best and brightest talent. Companies that support leading with purpose-driven intent and offer balanced lifestyles will be sought after as the best places to work.
Changing the SOP
As restrictions lighten and businesses slowly start to re-open we are facing decisions about our expectations for our personal lives and our careers. It’s evident that we aren’t “going back” to standard operating procedures. And it’s also clear that burning the candle at both ends, constantly being “on”, and letting work come before taking care of ourselves and our family really wasn’t leading to anything good. So, where do we go from here?
The workforce recognizes this time of transition as an opportunity to review what wasn’t working. It’s also the right time to design a new path forward in the evolution of workplaces. With that in mind, job seekers are asking questions such as:
- Do I want to return to the old ways with a business as usual approach? Or do I need to put boundaries in place that shut out work after business hours – prioritizing family over after-hours conference calls?
- Will I be able to limit meetings, screen time, and social media in order to complete work tasks more efficiently so I can cut back on the number of hours worked each week?
- What can be done to limit travel to only what absolutely requires physical presence instead of traveling half-way around the world for a 2-hour meeting that can be conducted just as effectively with Zoom?
- Can I continue to work from home full-time or part of the week?
- How can I prioritize self-care, walking my dog, and getting out in nature into my daily routine?
Leading by Example
To remain competitive and attractive as employers, companies will need conscious leaders who are purpose-driven. Leading by example begins with the highest levels of authority in every organization. They’ll need to demonstrate and participate fully in the creation of environments that employees love to work in. They will also challenge the status quo, providing inspiration and motivation that will allow successful navigation through disruption.
The new way of leading fundamentally creates a balanced work and lifestyle. That means incorporating and prioritizing downtime. This includes respect for family time, evenings and weekends off, true vacations, and dedication to a philosophy that supports the overall well-being of staff.
Walk the Talk
Successful C-Suite Leaders and Corporate Executives are setting the stage for cultural changes as we transition into our new mode of operations. As companies are ramping back up, current and prospective employees will be observing leadership behavior. The workforce is looking for a change. Not a return to the old grind by jumping right back into 55+ hours a week in the office and ending in another round of job burnout.
Company culture is a critical factor when developing a target list of prospective employers. So, consideration should be given to preferences on topics such as company size and environment (fast-paced, formal corporate, casual, collaborative, creative/trendy…). But it’s also important to understand the philosophy and practices of the company’s leadership.
Will they be leading with purpose? Do they practice what they preach?
We are about to see who is going to walk the talk.