Meeting The Needs Of The Reimagined Workforce


Summit Ghimire is the founder of Outpace, a Search Engine Optimization company. His clients range from startups to Fortune 500 companies.

The Great Resignation. The Great Renegotiation. The Great Reimagination. The Great Reset. The Great Realization. Label it how you want; there’s no denying that 2021 saw one of the most significant upheavals of the workforce in generations.

Workers throughout industries from all sectors of the American economy reached their personal limits, finding the point where the balance of their personal lives and work identities needed to be recalibrated. Millions of individuals made the choice to resign en masse, and this wasn’t simply a call to action for businesses. It was a generationally defining shift for American society, a zeitgeist-rupturing moment.

The lessons drawn from effective adaptation to the evolved identity of the workforce will significantly impact the effectiveness of businesses for years to come.

Businesses must adapt to new workforce realities to grow.

Several significant reasons workers have consistently cited throughout The Great Resignation highlight factors that may be paradigm-shifting concepts for businesses. However, the companies that successfully integrate these freshly realized workforce realities will find long-term stability that those stuck in outdated modalities will miss.

Workers report that low pay, lack of opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work were significant factors in their desire to find change. Similarly, crucial aspects include:

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• Childcare issues

• Lack of flexibility to choose their hours

• Not having sufficient benefits (such as health insurance and paid time off)

In their new employment? Workers found better pay, more opportunities for advancement and recalibrated life-work integration focused on balance and flexibility.

In a paradigm-shattering world, in which more than four million workers resigned every month during the second half of 2021, business leaders have no choice but to reevaluate their operational practices to improve pay, benefits and flexibility.

Ineffectual change will dampen positive recalibration by employers.

While many companies have rushed to implement practical improvements, such as raising wages and adding cash bonuses in the battle to attract applicants, these changes may not be enough. Slapping a new coat of paint on an old car or home doesn’t improve the antiquated engine underneath the hood. Slapdash sweeteners do not change the structural integrity of the building that is failing to meet industry codes.

The segment of the workforce seeking change in their environments reflects not just a need for higher wages (including present pay and potential pay), but a desire for healthier lives. Workers are seeking to escape burnout and to find more meaning in their jobs and healthier work cultures. A significant segment of the workforce in upheaval is seeking to change their industries or to maximize the benefits of their investments in education, reflecting a broader desire for better life-work integration and better overall quality of life.

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Employees know better pay doesn’t automatically mean a better job.

More than anything, beyond the persistent desire for better pay, in a broader sense, The Great Resignation is an opportunity for employers. It is a chance for them to reorient company philosophies to better appreciate and integrate the importance of life-work integration for their employees.

With more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror, employees face an uncertain future of variant potency, the potential for global war sparked by the conflict in Ukraine, perilous inflation and the ongoing climate change crisis. A positive work environment counterbalances the security of better pay on the pendulum of life-work integration.

Adaptive employers recognize the importance of life-work integration.

A large swath of the workforce is attempting to draw a line in the sand, a difficult task in such chaotic and unpredictable times. Businesses can strive to meet their employees in the middle, adapting operational practices specific to their industries that improve the employment aspect of successful life-work integration.

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Doing so reflects not just a dedication to improving the bottom line, a cornerstone for any business seeking to survive long term, but a commitment to being an employer conscious of the integral role of a positive work environment and job satisfaction. Trying to improve retention through increasing compensation won’t be enough. Companies must respond with authenticity with regards to transparency, fairness and equity, delivering opportunities for fulfilling work in a healthy culture.

Workers responded uniquely to the ongoing reality of the pandemic and the global trauma that we have all been experiencing. They took a collective step back and the time to recalibrate the values they assigned to different elements of life. They then took this new evaluation and applied it to their current employment, and with that, the evolution of The Great Resignation began.

How the next chapter unfolds will be defined by how deftly employers adapt to the increased importance of life-work integration for the workforce, whether they implement the lasting change needed or slap on a different color paint.


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