As the technology industry continues to evolve, tech leaders face increasing pressure to drive innovation, lead complex projects, and foster a positive work environment. The dual demands of remote work and the changing expectations of the workforce have exacerbated poor management.
In the long run, if not dealt with, the effects of weak leadership and poor workforce management can be very costly for the organization. This is the period of massive resignation. Many employees have tied the absence of purpose at work to the leading causes of their exit.
Perhaps, you’ve been noticing unusual changes or even a drastic reduction in your workforce’s productivity level. It’s probably time to take a step back and rethink your management approach. Here are five urgent signs that suggest something may be wrong.
1. Lackluster Team Performance
Anil Mohanty, HR head at Medikaba says “When a significant portion of team members are underperforming, particularly over 60%, it’s often a sign of a leadership issue within the organization.” ¹
If a small portion of your team isn’t meeting expectations, it can be easily attributed to those individual team members. But when a large majority of your team is underperforming, it’s a call to investigate the reason. Largely, underperformance stems from lack of motivation and engagement.
Improving your team’s productivity is a multi-faceted process that requires patience. It needs devotion to listening and allowing team members to provide feedback.
Denise Brinkmeyer, head of Jump Technology Services, highlights the issue of a manager taking on too much work, which leads to a lack of time for coaching and feedback for the team. This creates a vicious cycle where the manager becomes overburdened and the team becomes dissatisfied.
She says, “A manager may need to admit they’ve found their leadership lacking. When the leader commits to change and follows through, the team may find new respect, which yields improved attitudes and performance.”
2. Undervaluing Female Contributions
This issue is particularly prevalent in the tech industry, where women are often underrepresented and face significant barriers to advancement.
According to research by McKinsey, Only 87 women and 82 women of color are promoted for every 100 men promoted from entry-level roles to managerial positions. ² There’s a mass exit of women from their workplaces. The answer is simple. These women want merely to perform their work responsibilities and they want opportunities to advance their careers.
When a company is not fulfilling this purpose, several things can be expected. Either their motivation to work reduces, or they switch jobs to get the advancement they seek.
In McKinsey’s report, a South Asian woman was quoted saying “I’ve asked several times what I can do to advance my career, but I’ve never received a satisfactory response. I’m considering leaving. And it will be my company’s loss because they did not provide me with opportunities to advance. I hit a ceiling that wasn’t necessary.”
Companies that are not perceived as being inclusive and supportive of women may find it challenging to attract top female candidates, and may also struggle to retain the women already on their teams. This can hurt the overall diversity and competitiveness of the organization.
3. Excessive Employee Exit
Revolent Group President Nabila Salem highlights that high staff turnover is a clear indication of poor leadership. According to her, the main reason for this is the lack of empathy from leaders toward their employees. ³
If employees don’t feel that their leaders care about them, they are unlikely to be passionate and dedicated to achieving the goals of the organization.
After the pandemic, many employees experienced a shift in priorities. Their viewpoint of the world and their jobs changed. They have begun to question the lack of connection to their jobs, hence the decision to quit. For most, staying with their current employer is solely dependent on whether the job brings them fulfillment or a sense of purpose.
Aside from other leading causes of high employee turnover such as a search for better working benefits, many people will voluntarily quit their jobs for a better work-life balance, career development opportunities, or to escape ineffective workforce management. Without a purpose-driven work culture, more employees will be out the door.
Leadership essentially covers the responsibility to hire, promote, and retain staff members. If employees leave the company to seek better career opportunities, it means the leadership is not providing adequate support.
4. Poor Communication
Poor communication has been recognized as a major indicator of inadequate or poor leadership in several studies and surveys. Research by Pumble, found that 86 percent of employees surveyed reported poor communication as a significant problem in their organizations. ⁴
This highlights the widespread impact of the issue on employees causing misunderstandings, demotivation, subpar decision-making, and decreased productivity.
Generally speaking, employees often look to their leaders for guidance. Top-down communication motivates employees to be more productive and innovative. A good leader can communicate objectives, goals, and visions clearly, while also capturing employees’ goals in a larger framework.
Managers who are unable to answer questions or clarify points may result in poor communication and bad leadership, leaving their employees even more confused and frustrated than when they began.
In some instances, poor communication can escalate into increased conflict and tension in the workplace, as employees may become disillusioned with their leaders or with each other.
Creating two-way communication where employees can provide feedback is key. Tech leaders must foster open lines of communication with their employees by being responsive to their concerns and feedback. This way, employees are well-informed, motivated, and involved.
5. Uninspired Workforce
A lack of empathy, over-reliance on decisiveness, failure to support professional growth, and unrealistic expectations can lead to low employee morale.
Employees who feel unsupported and undervalued will be less motivated to perform at their best. Similarly, setting unrealistic expectations for project timelines without considering your team’s skills or the availability of resources will soon burn them out.
To inspire and retain a dedicated workforce, tech leaders must prioritize their employees’ well-being by providing clear direction and support, alongside a positive work environment.
In doing so, you may need to actively listen to what your team is saying. Critically consider if your expectation is causing your team to burn out, or have less motivation towards work.
Are your deadlines or work hours feasible?
Set achievable goals based on the availability of resources and team capabilities. In finding solutions to the problem of motivation, you may need to push for a collaborative culture, promote work-life balance, and encourage employee participation in decision-making processes.
What Good Leaders Do
Good leaders see themselves as career developers. They know that an uninspired team is a disaster recipe for low motivation and reduced productivity. They don’t wait till things get escalated. Instead, they address any conflicts or concerns that may contribute to poor morale, and find ways to create a more positive work environment for their employees.
For example, in many organizations today, the traditional 9-to-5 work week has been replaced by hybrid hours best suited to individual needs. It was found in research by the London School of Economics that working during unusual work hours, such as weekends and holidays, reduces employees’ motivation to work. ⁵
TAKE OFF SOME OF THE BURDEN AND LET US HELP
As the business landscape and job market continue to expand, it’s always an easier route for employers to partner with staffing firms. Being a tech leader, you’re most likely already burdened with so many responsibilities.
Take some weight off your shoulders by reaching out to the Fox Search Group, a women-led IT staffing company. You can be rest assured to be working with a leading staffing firm that shares your values and is dedicated to delivering effective results. Take the next step towards a more successful future in your business by contacting us today!
You may have noticed that your most enthusiastic employee of the last few years has started to distance themselves. They may have been refusing to take on the extra tasks the office desperately needed handling and will no longer give the same effort they used to when they were first employed. The online community has identified this trend as quiet quitting, one of the current causes of worry for organizations.
Quiet quitting is when an employee’s performance drastically shifts to the bare minimum.¹ It was recognized that certain individuals do this to avoid burnout. These behavioral changes are most noticeable in productive and proactive employees—those who always say yes to overtime and gladly volunteer to take over tasks. You can take these obvious changes as a sign to make meaningful adjustments in the workplace and engage individuals in more rewarding activities that rekindle their sense of purpose.
Burnout: What Quiet Quitters Are Trying to Avoid
According to Mayo Clinic, burning out is a form of work-related stress that causes physical and emotional exhaustion.² Among the possible causes of this stress is the lack of control over schedule or workload. On top of this, dysfunctional dynamics at work, the lack of support, and the imbalance of work and life can drive a person quicker to burnout.
Millennials and Gen-Z workers are some of those who are prone to burnout. They are among the people who stretch themselves thin to prioritize their impact on the world and society as they struggle to establish a more stable income. This was reported in a Deloitte 2022 survey, where 29 percent of Gen-Zs and 36 percent of millennials who responded are concerned about their cost of living. Such a situation pushed them to take on several jobs to cover their day-to-day expenses.³ These circumstances may also escalate into worse problems in personal areas of their lives, such as poor mental health, high blood pressure, and alcohol or substance abuse.
Quiet quitting can be seen as a call for help to address the needs of your workforce. Take it as a fresh start to stand with your employees in enriching the work environment you currently share. Here are some steps you may take to improve their experience:
1. Create a Sense of Ownership and a Purpose-filled Environment.
Work is no longer about how many tasks you can finish fast and how long your overtime will take. Today’s workforces have developed a yearning to create an impact on the world and the lives of others. Be mindful that the work you assign to them impacts the sense of ownership in your employees, develops their empathy, and makes them realize that what they do is worth their time.⁴
The first step toward helping them reach their ideal state in the workplace is to lead with a purpose. According to Joseph Solis of Chicago Hub, workers are now looking for genuine and compassionate leaders because they also aspire to be the same way someday.
You don’t have to be that boss who always stays beyond your shift for the sake of assisting your subordinates. You can practice compassion by making yourself available within a comfortable schedule. Giving insightful feedback and offering mentorships on a regular basis is enough to guide your member.
ou don’t have to be that boss who always stays beyond your shift to assist your subordinates. You can practice compassion by making yourself available within a comfortable schedule. Giving insightful feedback and offering regular mentorship are enough to guide your member.
To help them improve their sense of ownership:
Step back and see how they take charge of their tasks.
Observe how they adapt on their own and stretch their creativity.
Check on them afterward and discuss their learnings.
Remember also to keep yourself open to learning from them through reverse mentorship.
The next phase to building a purposeful environment is to give your people the power to make meaningful changes. This can be accomplished through efforts that align with your company’s mission and values. For example, in a Gartner survey last October 2021, 56 percent of the 3,500 employees who responded said that the pandemic urged them to contribute to society more.⁵ You can drive purpose for your employees by implementing simple principles such as zero-waste or more people-oriented activities like charity work.
You may also ask them about their advocacies and how they think these can be made possible through your current work setting. This can help them understand their intentions better while allowing them to create more imaginative ways to contribute to the changes they want to make.
2. Envision The Company’s Future With Them In It.
Setting goals in the company should intertwine with your members’ desired futures.⁶ Involve your people in collaborative discussions about the brand’s milestones to remind them that they are integral team members.
Make sure that your targets are clear and relevant to them as well. You can do this by highlighting their current strengths and suggesting the succeeding steps they can achieve together with you.
Motivate them to have their milestones as well. Encourage them to ideate new projects they would anticipate working on and then give them advice on how to make each possible. You may also recommend a potential career growth they can pursue. Giving them a future to wait for can reignite their joy toward their role in your organization.
3. Consider That Switching Career Tracks May Be More Beneficial Than Upskilling.
Now that you’ve made your vision clear, you may want to consider that your quietly-quitting employee may also be looking for a new role to fit in. They may be a multifaceted individual searching for ways to maximize their other talents within the office. Reskilling may be the answer to address their current needs and inspire new hope in them.
Placing them in a different job allows them to challenge workplace traditions they see from another angle. An example is how a previous sales employee can elevate strategies in their new marketing position by knowing which products can best be promoted together.
This is where you step in to guide them. Acknowledge what they have done for the company so far and see what more they can do. Provide them training to qualify for a different career path when circumstances would allow it. Reskilling gives them a chance to find a new sense of purpose as the company continues to nurture its pool of professionals.⁷ Encouraging them to take on a different role also shows your worker that you appreciate their skills and trust their contributions.
Kindness Can Help Keep Your Team Together
The keys to keeping your workers well and away from quietly quitting are understanding their needs, managing everyone’s expectations, and upholding acts of kindness. Start communicating clearly and build a place of hope for an attainable future for your workforce.
FOX CAN HELP YOU FIND GREAT PEOPLE TO BE PART OF YOUR TEAM.
Meet your next candidate through Fox Search Group. Our team will help you reach out to potential applicants who share your desire to create an impactful workplace that’s rich in values.
More than 90 percent of employees will stay at their jobs for reasons beyond paychecks. ¹ In today’s competitive job market, candidates are more likely to be satisfied and engaged when they feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment. They don’t just want to work. They want something more profound—to feel they’re making a meaningful impact at their jobs.
Many businesses devote time and resources to determining why employees leave their jobs but are they missing anything? It’s probably time for you to start paying attention to other actionable strategies like creating a purpose-driven work culture.
So, if you’re committed to retaining your employees, keep reading to learn more.
The Interdependence of Purpose at Work and Employee Retention—Why One Can’t Exist Without the Other
Organizations that understand the importance of retaining their employees know that any effort invested into improving their staff experience eventually yields a productive work environment.
You can use different metrics in measuring employee experience in the workplace. The purpose at work is increasingly becoming a significant determinant of whether an employee stays or leaves their current employee.
Gartner’s study revealed that more than four million people in the U.S. resigned from their jobs willingly. In response to the research conducted in 2021, 52 percent of the respondents strongly agreed that the pandemic has made them question the purpose of their jobs.²
According to McKinsey’s research, more than 69 percent of employees feel their sense of purpose comes from their work.³ If your answer to whether employees are proud to be associated with your organization is ‘yes,’ you’re probably on the right track.
Typically, people who live their purpose at work outperform those who do not. Chances are that they’ll have a sense of loyalty and commitment to work because they clearly understand how their roles impact the company.
A sense of purpose is what drives an individual. It’s what gets them up in the morning and keeps them going. When you take a deeper look at the subject matter, nothing last long without a sense of purpose—why should your employees?
When employees feel that their work is meaningful and aligns with their values, they are more likely to be motivated, engaged, and committed to their jobs. They tend to go above and beyond to perform their job responsibilities. This is because they’ll see their work contributing to something relevant.
Employees with strong motivation to work are more satisfied with their jobs. This, in turn leads to higher retention rates.
Strategies to Achieve a Purpose-Driven Work Culture
With the benefits that accompany creating a sense of purpose for employees at work, you probably don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to retain your staff. Here are five ways to go about it:
1. Communicate the Company Mission and Values
In a study by Gallup, four of 10 employees attested that the mission purpose of their organization makes them feel their job is important.⁴ The study also revealed that the first obligation of an employer to team members includes providing a compelling vision of the company.
Clear communication of the company mission and values involves helping employees understand their role in achieving its goals. One of the key ways to start is through the employee onboarding process. During orientation and training, hiring managers can use interactive exercises, such as Q&A sessions and in-house tours, to help new team members align to the company’s mission and values.
2. Encourage Employee Involvement in Decision-Making
Employees become more self-aware of the organization’s values when employers set corporate goals that align with their personal goals—for example, an invite to a team’s goal-setting and solution-finding meeting. Please provide them with opportunities to take on leadership roles and encourage them to give feedback on subject matters relating to the organization. This way, employees understand the bigger picture of their work and feel they’re making a meaningful contribution to the organization.
3. Recognize and Reward Employee Contributions
The decision of employees to stay with their current organization largely depends on how well their employer recognizes and rewards their contributions to meaningful work. In Achievers’ survey on employee recognition and engagement, more than half of 1,700 respondents indicated that they might leave their jobs because of the lack of recognition for their efforts by their current employer.⁵
Tech leaders looking to create a sense of purpose for employees can incorporate meaningful recognition such as praise in meetings, bonuses, or personalized awards. While incentive programs may mean extra costs, there are inexpensive ways to show employees that their contributions are recognized. Saying simple words of acknowledgment, such as “great job” or “well done,” can make employees feel that they’re making a relevant impact on the organization.
However, in recognizing teams’ efforts, it’s vital to ensure that you equally distribute incentives, rewards, and acknowledgment to prevent bias.
4. Encourage an Inclusive Workplace Culture
Inclusivity promotes a healthy work environment that embraces diversity among employees. This system rules out the fear of not being accepted at their workplace. It creates a welcoming environment that values and respects differences in race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and other characteristics.
Here, individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, and identities are all equally welcomed. Rewards and recognitions are less likely to be associated with favoritism. This makes it easier for employees to make contributions and advance their careers.
5. Offer Opportunities for Growth and Development
Offering opportunities for growth and development is important for keeping employees engaged. By investing in staff development, employees may likely feel they matter to the organization. Here are some helpful tips:
Provide on-the-job training: Offer on-the-job training programs, mentorship opportunities, and job shadowing programs to help employees develop new skills and advance their careers.
Encourage cross-functional training: Offer cross-functional training programs that expose employees to different areas of the business and provide opportunities to learn new skills.
Support professional development: Provide financial support or time off for employees to attend conferences, workshops, or courses that support their professional development.
Offer career advancement opportunities: Encourage employees to take on new challenges, seek promotions, and advance their careers within the organization.
Foster a learning culture: Encourage a culture of continuous learning by encouraging employees to pursue their interests and offering opportunities for them to share their knowledge with others.
Provide performance feedback: Offer regular performance feedback and coaching to help employees identify areas for growth and improvement.
Encourage self-directed learning: Provide resources, such as books, online courses, or training programs, for employees to pursue their learning and development on their own.
While creating a sense of purpose is key to increasing employee retention, it’s essential to consider how the goals of every very candidate align with your organization’s mission. Finding the right employees whose goals are aligned with your company’s is key. It ensures you won’t waste your efforts in providing a purpose-driven work culture for your employees.
FIND CANDIDATES THAT ARE ALIGNED WITH YOUR COMPANY GOALS WITH THE FOX SEARCH GROUP
Unlock the potential of your workforce and build a culture of purpose. The Fox Search Group is a staffing solution that connects businesses with employees who align with their mission, values, and goals. With a supply of technical expertise, you can be confident that you’ll work with a team that shares your passion and drive. Contact us today to learn more.
Cybercrime has been so rampant in the last few years that CEOs and other C-suite executives already need to press the panic button.
According to analysts, loss revenue inflicted by cyberattacks and data breaches is projected to hit USD 10.5 trillion yearly beginning in 2025.1 These cyberattacks are so vast and sophisticated that the annual cost of all cybercrime damages can be comparable to the Japanese economy or a major European nation.
This shows that a well-planned cyberattack can put your company out of business and even paralyze an entire city or country. As seen in Allianz’s yearly Risk Barometer, cybercrime tops all other threats and risks to the global economy, with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and ransomware attacks dominating the list of cybercrimes in organizations.2
In fact, one of the world’s richest businessmen, Warren Buffet, identified cybercrime as the topmost problem of today’s global economy. Buffet even sees it as much more worrisome than the threat of nuclear weapons.
To deal with cyberattacks, in the United States and Europe, more and more companies are taking out cyber insurance to try to insulate themselves from the threat of a cyberattack and other cybercrime damages.
Where does this leave organizations and businesses?
While cyber insurance is a must for all organizations, it’s not the only answer to the threat of cybercrime today. Beefing up your company’s cybersecurity is the ultimate solution.
So, how is your organization doing when it comes to cybersecurity? Are your cybersecurity ventures sufficient or not?
State of Cybersecurity Today
When the COVID-19 pandemic went into full swing in 2020, more than half of the workforce in the US was forced to work from their homes as lockdowns and mobility restrictions were implemented in full force. When the pandemic waned, a significant portion of the workforce retained a remote setup.
Because of this, as employees access, generate, and share more data remotely through the cloud, the number of cybersecurity risks also increases. This year, there will be 3x more networked devices on the planet than humans according to Cisco Annual Internet Report.3 Moreover, as of last year, 1 trillion network sensors have been embedded globally.
With data being the building block of today’s digital economy, we can only surmise that the potential value of cybercrime damages could be unimaginable. Hence, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overemphasized.
Jobs in Cybersecurity: Closing the Gap
Steve Morgan, Head of Cybersecurity Ventures, is sounding the alarm on the glaring talent gap that has rendered many organizations utterly vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Morgan likens it to a metropolis with a severe shortage of law enforcers.4 When criminals launch simultaneous sophisticated attacks, the city falls to lawlessness and chaos. Morgan said that this is the status of organizations and businesses worldwide if the talent gap in cybersecurity remains unresolved.
But how bad is the talent gap in cybersecurity?
The same Cybersecurity Ventures report stated that between 2013 and 2021, the number of open cybersecurity jobs globally more than tripled from 1 million to 3.5 million, a 350 percent increase. With all the cybersecurity threats and cyber criminals around, experts predict these vacancies will remain open within the next five years.
Truth be told, there is a growing mismatch in the number of cybersecurity professionals and their competencies, as against the ever-changing needs of the global economy regarding cybersecurity. Sadly, most executives haven’t adequately addressed this talent gap. The result? Their companies are being exposed and vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.
Mitigations Needed: Closing the Cybersecurity Talent Gap
Before even mitigating the glaring cybersecurity threats around your company, talks need to happen at the C-suite level first. If you are a fairly large company, it is crucial to have a cybersecurity expert as part of the board. Do you have a Chief Information Officer or a Chief Security Officer who is a cybersecurity expert?
On the other hand, it should be non-negotiable for startups and smaller businesses to have a cybersecurity expert as a consultant or as an integral part of their organization.
It is also vital to make cybersecurity a regular topic of discussion. It should be part of your company’s strategy for growth and a salient feature of the company culture. Your employees should be able to understand competently how hackers work or what a phishing attack means and looks like.
Everyone in the organization must also know how to protect their personal data, intellectual property, and other sensitive data that can be stolen from them and used by attackers online. Everyone, from the C-suite to the new hires, must be taught how to protect critical infrastructure and overall cyber resilience.
This can only happen if your organization has competent individuals who can lead the way in cybersecurity. The need for trained, certified, and deeply knowledgeable cybersecurity professionals is at an all-time high, specifically for these eight roles that most organizations should ideally have:5
1. Cybersecurity Engineer
Cybersecurity engineers come up with and implement security plans and best practices. They also work on immediate mitigation plans to keep operations running in case of a disaster.
2. Cybersecurity Analyst
The ideal cybersecurity analyst must have an in-depth understanding of how data is stored and managed. They must also have updated knowledge of cybersecurity threats, such as ransomware attacks, social engineering, and data theft.
3. Network Security Architect
Network security architects are tasked to convert business needs into functional network systems, define suitable policies and procedures for these systems, and spearhead the training of administrators and users.
4. Security Software Developer
By merging their technical programming know-how with product development and analytical skills in cybersecurity, a security software developer creates software and adds security to it to protect it from any virtual attack. This critical role is open only to experienced tech professionals.
5. Ethical Hacker/Penetration Tester
These “white hat hackers” act like actual ones to understand the attackers’ motives, strategies, and actions. They perform penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities in security protocols for networks, devices, and applications.
6. Application Security Engineer
This tech professional makes sure that developers comply with secure coding practices. They also work with the development team in testing the application against specific security risks before its release.
7. Malware Analyst
A malware analyst studies and analyzes malware-related threats. They also look into malware-related incidents that have already happened to be able to come up with mitigations in the future.
8. Computer Forensics Analyst
They are the crime scene investigator of the cybercrime world. This individual leads in investigating cybercrimes that have impacted an organization and determining ways to prevent them from occurring again.
SECURE YOUR COMPANY’S FUTURE WITH FOX SEARCH GROUP.
C-suite executives like you must lead in securing your organization from increasingly complex cyber risks. You will need to invest in the necessary technologies and human resources so that your organization can keep pace with the perpetrators. This means narrowing the gap and investing in reliable professionals to secure your company from cyberattacks.
Employee mental health is key to your company’s success, as it directly impacts your employees’ performance, productivity, and motivation. Organizations will find it hard to achieve long-term growth without programs and policies addressing mental health at work.
Anxiety, burnout, depression, and other mental health issues affect employees’ well-being. You may not notice, but some of them may have already been showing signs of mental health issues. For instance, do you have an employee showing a drastic personality change? Do they seem agitated, stressed out, or even angry? Do you notice someone who seems to be withdrawing from the rest of your team? Has an employee approached you about dealing with feelings of hopelessness?
These are all signs of a possible mental health condition, and it happens more in the workplace than you think.
A 2021 Gallup survey of employees across the United States revealed that 57 percent experience significant work stress.1 That is an easy and alarming majority. Imagine how this stress can translate to other workplace issues and impact your employees’ quality of work.
This is why it is pertinent that managers take on a vital role in helping employees manage their mental health at work and proactively. Together with their employee, managers must confront any mental health challenges in the workplace.
However, in confronting mental health wellness in the workplace, many managers make mistakes that, unfortunately, tend to do more harm than good. Here are the most common ones.
Mistakes that Managers Make on Mental Health Wellness
1. Failure to Mitigate Mental Health Stigma
A significant percentage of the US workforce often shies away from revealing the real status of their mental health with their superiors. This was the insight from Modern Forrester Consulting’s June 2022 survey conducted among employees, hiring managers, and C-suite executives.
Despite their prevalence, workplace stress, burnout, and mental well-being remain taboo topics that an employee would rather not discuss. The survey reported that only 51 percent of employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health status with their bosses, and 49 percent would rather not.2
Most employees value what their employer thinks of them for practical reasons. They want to be viewed as competent individuals that employers can depend on anytime. With this “ideal” perception that they don’t want to change, they deem approaching their employer to discuss mental health may be seen by their boss as a sign of weakness, incapability, and liability.
This is why managers must go out of their way to let employees know that mental health is not taboo. They must take the lead in breaking the stigma and creating an environment where mental health concerns are discussed and addressed.
2. Lack of Focus on Mental Health SUSTAINABILITY.
In another survey, more than 70 percent of C-suite executives feel they are promoting an environment conducive to workplace mental health. It’s because their employees have paid time off to attend to work-life balance, including free time to cater to their employees’ mental wellness.2
However, the survey also revealed that only 53 percent of employees feel welcome to use their paid time off, considering all the demands in the office. Moreover, only 46 percent feel welcome to take time off for a mental health break.2
Any employer should know that mental health initiatives, such as counseling, yoga, quiet times, and the like, will only work if they approach mental health holistically. They must not be used as palliative solutions to deep-rooted problems in company operations, policies, and structure.
Employers should take a closer look at the potential causes of mental health problems among their employees. Are your employees overworked? Do you need to make changes in your workforce, a shift in the organizational chart, or the daily workflow? Are certain people causing undue stress in the workplace? These are hard questions that call for transparent answers from managers.
3. Lack of Flexibility in the Company
Unfortunately, many employers are still in denial about how the pandemic permanently changed the world of work. As a result, some managers fail to truly understand how this global public health crisis and its resulting mental health breakdown have negatively affected the workforce. Hence, they insist on operating as if the pandemic never happened.
One recent study revealed that 74 percent of employers believe their employees demand too much mental health support. Moreover, 71 percent of employers believe mental health programs are too expensive, and 69 percent do not see the need to prioritize mental health benefits since employees did not receive the same before.
As a manager, reflect on the possibility of offering remote work to your employees. Have you ever considered offering time flexibility to your employees? This could be helpful, especially to mothers and homemakers. How about assigning “no meeting” days to your employees?
Once you are past these most common mistakes, here are some actionable tips that can help boost your initiatives for holistic and sustainable mental health awareness efforts in your organization.
1. Build a Company Culture that Thrives on Connections
Assign people from within your organization to check on their colleagues periodically. This is where your middle managers can best come in. This is needed more now that remote work has become quite ubiquitous.
Encourage regular check-ins during coffee breaks or right after town halls. Make your company more human by establishing a culture of good communication and personal connection.
2. Spend Time with Your Employees.
Designate dedicated time with your team. If your company is already too large for you to meet all your employees in one go, break them down according to teams. Sponsor regular company lunches or dinners, and create regular programs where you can spend time with your employees.
It need not be the whole day. Instead, spend a few hours with them over lunch or early dinner and over some drinks. Model this behavior to your employees by simply living a little. Being an example to them can go a long way.
3. Offer Flexibility at Work.
If you want to retain your employees while contributing to workplace mental health, then you may want to implement a more flexible working schedule for them. Allow more time for employees to work remotely so that they can properly manage work-related stress connected with the daily commute, inclement weather, and affairs at home.
4. Create a Psychologically Safe Workplace.
Along with establishing open communication lines, spending dedicated time, and offering flexibility at work to employees, you must also develop a workplace that’s free of discrimination and celebrates diversity and inclusion.
When your employees feel welcomed and accepted, they also tend to be more open and communicative. Hence, it is YOUR responsibility to create this kind of environment where they can grow and thrive—for your mutual benefit.
CONSIDER PARTNERING WITH THE FOX SEARCH GROUP FOR YOUR TALENT-SOURCING NEEDS.
To help you focus on building a psychologically safe workplace, collaborate with a staffing firm like Fox Search Group that not only takes mental health at work to heart but also prioritizes diversity and inclusion. At Fox Search Group, we can take care of sourcing top professionals for your company and support you in finding individuals that can contribute to an environment that supports mental well-being.
Together, let us create a diverse, inclusive, and healthy workplace for your employees and your company. Talk to us today!
How do you redefine unemployment in an era where the talent shortage is widening, and the Great Resignation is still in full swing?
The labor market has been nothing but tumultuous in the last few years. The pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, accelerating inflation, and supply chain woes have left a dent in workforce development.
Talks of a looming recession have also been rampant in many financial markets. Worse, big tech companies have implemented significant layoffs and hiring freezes in the latter part of 2022.
The Tech Hiring Freeze
Tensions in the tech sector rose when several big tech companies announced massive layoffs – perhaps one of the biggest scares regarding employment security. These companies included familiar brands such as Google, Apple, Meta, Twitter, Microsoft, and many others. Twitter laid off 30 percent of its workers, while Meta streamlined its labor force by 13 percent.
Apart from the layoffs, these companies also announced hiring freezes. Apple continued hiring for its research and product development team but ceased the entry of any new hires in its other departments.
These layoffs and hiring freezes shook many economists and analysts and clipped whatever optimism was left in the labor market last year. Of course, this also dampened employment security among many workers while these former employees also added to the unemployment rate of the US workforce.
Nevertheless, a study from Gartner opined that while these layoffs and hiring freezes contribute to a rise in the unemployment rate, they do not reflect, in any way, the actual state of the tech industry. Labor market information and accurate labor statistics in the tech sector need to be revisited to get a more authentic picture.
The Gartner study emphasized the phenomenon that most prominent tech companies implemented layoffs and hiring freezes not because of a bearish tech sector but more for sustainability. 80 percent of tech CEOs will be investing heavily in product development in 2023, as it did in 2022.
Simply put, many of us understand unemployment as a phenomenon when a member of the labor force does not have gainful employment. Furthermore, to effectively measure unemployment, we must look closely at the current labor force.
The labor force, in turn, refers to people who want to and are qualified to work. It typically comprises individuals at least 16 years of age who are currently employed or have been searching for employment in the last four weeks.
You are employed if you have a full-time or part-time job, are self-employed or are gainfully employed in a family business. In addition, you are still employed even if you are on sick, holiday, or maternity leave.
Other members of the labor force who do not fall into the mentioned categories are considered part of the unemployment rate of a state or a country in general.
This is where it gets more complicated.
Since the unemployment rate is a percentage of the total labor force, what do you make of the case of Carrie?
Carrie was formerly employed in one of the big tech companies based in an emerging tech hub in North Carolina. Unfortunately, she was laid off in the middle of last year and immediately started looking for another job. She has engaged in various workforce services, responded to job posts over the internet and other online services, and attended job fairs in search of a new employer.
Unfortunately, she has grown frustrated and discouraged in looking for a new job because none of her active job offers seem to match what Carrie has been looking for.
Now, in measuring unemployment, it can be seen here that though Carrie is part of North Carolina’s unemployment rate, it does not necessarily mean that she is unemployed because there are simply no available jobs for her. Carrie is unemployed because her work search requirement does not match the available jobs. Any potential employer still needs to meet their priorities and preferences.
There is a real insight when one looks at Carrie’s situation. She is a typical representation of a lingering era in the labor market. This is why despite the layoffs and hiring freezes made by big tech companies, there are still two job vacancies per unemployed individual.
The truth is that many eligible workers would remain unemployed for a significant amount of time until they find an employer willing to give them what they want.
This candidate-driven labor market is something that every employer, hiring manager, and job seeker should genuinely understand so that they know how to respond to the demands and eccentricities of today’s ever-changing labor market.
Unemployment in the Midst of a Talent Shortage: What Gives?
The economic security absent when one is unemployed cannot be remedied by temporary solutions such as unemployment compensation and benefits, insurance, or any form of unemployment assistance. While these may be convenient at the onset, you need to understand that these are just palliatives to a problem that should have a long-term solution.
One perennial issue worth looking into is the unprecedented job mismatch between the sheer number of open jobs waiting to be filled and the qualifications of people looking to fill these jobs.
This large gap has trumpeted a loud need to hire workers based on skills and not just college degrees. Moreover, many employers and hiring managers have started to hire based on skills, qualifications, and interests instead of just looking at academic credentials and years of work experience.
The shift to skills-based hiring also casts light on tech workers, especially in the United States, who went with the Great Resignation hoping to alter their career trajectory completely. These workers possess transferable skills that would be useful for any employer considering hiring them for a new role.
Moreover, it is also worth noting that today’s world of work is characterized by two all-encompassing keywords – remote and digital. With particular emphasis again on the United States, this remote and digital world makes good use of workers with a high propensity for learning and upskilling.
Gone are the days when universities and colleges used to be the gatekeepers of knowledge and skill. Today, your work search will only be productive if you can show what you can do and not just what you have already done.
Most importantly, a highly skilled but currently unemployed worker may only see the light of day when hiring managers become willing to reorient their hiring strategies to make way for this emerging era of skills-based hiring. This is one of the most crucial ways of ending unemployment, mitigating the skills gaps, and achieving lasting employment security.
Are you currently an unemployed worker needing help with your job search? Look no further and turn to the Fox Search Group. Let us help you choose the best employer to guarantee absolute employment security.
Let the Fox Search Group give you authentic employment service. Talk to us today!