The world is changing fast. The post-pandemic wave of resignations has been called the Great Attrition – or is it the Great Attraction or Great Resignation? A year and half after the start of this pandemic, many employees are asking if they really want to continue doing the same thing day after day.
Of course most people need their job just to keep paying the bills, but expectations are genuinely changing. Look at this AP coverage of the high-end holiday tree manufacturer, Balsam Hill. They recently lost 4 out of 5 employees at their new store in Dallas because the employees didn’t want to work weekends. They were forced to close the store for weeks until new employees could be found. The difference this time is that the company has been working with each individual on their shift pattern – the workers are defining their working hours.
The most recent McKinsey Quarterly explored the issue in some depth. McKinsey reports that over 19 million American workers quit their job from April to September 2021. The article explains: “If the past 18 months have taught us anything, it’s that employees crave investment in the human aspects of work. Employees are tired, and many are grieving.”
The traditional transactional nature of work isn’t working. Employers that think they can retain talent by paying an extra few cents an hour are about to get a very rude awakening. Employees want interactions, not just transactions. McKinsey warns that many executives do not understand this, the effect is accelerating, and many companies are at risk because of the management failure to adapt and learn.
What I keep on hearing in the news coverage of this “Great Resignation” is that workers are focusing more than ever on their own wellbeing. Work-life balance used to be something that most people aspired to, but few achieved. Now the flexibility to really manage all aspects of a job and family life is becoming essential for many workers. They will not tolerate inflexibility from their employer.
Anthony Klotz, an organizational psychologist at Texas A&M University explained the great resignation this way: “During the pandemic, because there was a lot of death and illness and lockdowns, we really had the time and the motivation to sit back and say, do I like the trajectory of my life? Am I pursuing a life that brings me well-being?”
A recent article in Forbes by Jessica Lin demonstrates how work can change. Lin describes a transformational approach to hiring customer service agents. Look at the traditional model, where a contact center employs agents to work fixed shift patterns and recruits people that appear to be friendly or helpful. Now contrast that to hiring people who love a specific brand and will actually enjoy helping customers. Imagine you love a specific fashion brand and you regularly post images on Instagram featuring their products. The company gets in touch to say: ‘Hey, do you want to help us, by helping our customers, and we will pay you for every customer you serve – no fixed hours and just work from home?’
With GigCX it’s possible to do this. You can find the people who love your products and then get them on the team helping your customers.
How does this connect back to the Great Resignation? What is it that people are looking for? They want flexibility and the opportunity to define their own working hours. They want to ditch the commute. They want to be rewarded for what they are doing, rather than just how many hours they sit in a cubicle. They want to work for the brands they love.
All this flexibility is possible in the customer service environment with Gig CX. You don’t need to hire people just because they have some customer service experience, then assign them to whichever of your clients needs help first. Turn the model around and hire people who want to work with specific brands. Give them the flexibility to work from home, set their own hours based on how many gigs they want to work on each week and then watch.
You will be creating the Great Attraction – attracting people to come and work for your team because all those agents you onboarded are also advocates and influencers. Think about it. People want flexibility. Give it to them in a way that helps your business and helps the agents.
CC Photo by Lilartsy