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  • Writer's pictureEdwin and George

Time for a new job? A short exercise

EGM's On A Mission: Let’s Build Better Companies.

Feeling a bit low after returning to work? You’re not alone.

  • Turns out that #BacktoWork has been trending on Tik Tok in Australia – with plenty of users lamenting the return to the office after the holidays.

  • One social media post by an Australian worker – ‘man returns to work after vacation with fresh hatred for his job,‘ received over 539k likes.

Hold on.

It turns out that many of us were tired of work even before Christmas.

  • In one LinkedIn survey, 60 per cent of Australian professionals said they’d worked too much in 2022 – and 40 per cent agreed that they felt ‘totally burned out.’

  • In another survey, a staggering 75 per cent of Australian workers said they did not take their full allocation of annual leave in 2022 – due to workloads or financial pressures.

There’s a growing body of research that suggests we’re as unhappy at work now as we’ve always been. Research by Gallup, for example, is showing lower employee engagement levels for the first time in two years.

Guess what? It turns out money isn’t everything after all.

‘A recent Harris Poll survey found that 20 per cent of employees who left their jobs in 2021 and the first half of 2022 for better pay or benefits now regret their decision. Many report they’re looking for other roles. What we are seeing is a ‘swirl of employers moving from one company to another.’ (Bain and Company)

Many switched to new jobs because of money – but overlooked other factors.

  • 36 per cent said the new role wasn’t what they thought.

  • 24 per cent said they missed the culture at their old company.

  • 24 per cent said they dint weigh up all the pros and cons.

Some, who aren’t regretting their decision, are still showing discontent – with 26 per cent saying they’re looking to jump ship again.

With all this going on, the post pandemic employment market is proving frustrating for companies.

  • Large numbers of employees have walked out of their companies – prompting the introduction of the term ‘The Great Resignation.’ (While Australia hasn’t experienced as many resignations as other developed economies, research reported by at the end of 2022 found that 2 million Aussie workers are set to move jobs.)

  • Skill shortages are getting worse, and

  • There has been a rebalancing of labour market power from employer to employee.

With the quit rates forecast to escalate – perhaps the ‘great resignation’ is about to become the ‘great reshuffling.’

Companies have used strategies in an attempt to retain employees but they aren’t valued.

  • There’s no differentiation in higher pay, better benefits and warm words – they are easily copied and don’t count for much. The primary driver of today’s high attrition rates is the growing disentrancement people have with work.

  • Increasingly work is seen as purposeless, having low value or meaning.

  • The push for standardisation has dehumanised work.

  • People are disconnected from each other and have reduced loyalty to their employer.

  • They are tired of being micro-managed and dealing with the nonsensical bureaucracy at the heart of how many companies operate.

Sure, people want the ‘basics’ in their employment – good working conditions, the option to work from home, decent pay and benefits – but, increasingly, these are not enough to keep them engaged.

Fact is, not all companies are the same.

Some are genuinely trying tackle the stressors and protect the wellness of their teams – over and above the token mindfulness programme and weekly yoga class.

These are the companies that are looking seriously at

  • job design (to make work more interesting)

  • providing leaders with proper leadership training (so they understand how work is changing and are fit to lead in 2023)

  • developing effective teams (to build connection)

  • truly offering flexible work (so you’re not worried about who is picking the kids up later)

  • truthfully assessing their culture and taking action where improvements are needed (after all the free lunches and massages in the world will be of no use in a toxic work culture), and

  • trying their hardest to explain the purpose of each role – and how it fits with the overall mission of the company.

While feeling a bit low after a holiday is normal, if this continues it may be time to look for a new job.

So, given that there are some companies out there who aren’t bad employers and are trying to improve, is it time to look for one? Try our short survey – which might give hints on whether it’s time to start looking.

(Answer yes or no)

  1. At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me. (Y/N)

  2. In my team, I am surrounded by people I respect. (Y/N)

  3. I have the chance to use my strengths every day at work. (Y/N)

  4. My manager looks out for me. (Y/N)

  5. I know I will be recgonised for excellent work. (Y/N)

  6. I have great confidence in the future of my company. (Y/N)

  7. In my work, I am challenged to grow and learn new skills. (Y/N)

  8. I am enthusiastic about the mission of my company. (Y/N)

  9. I trust my managers. (Y/N)

  10. My managers communicate in an authentic fashion. (Y/N)

(based on material from ‘9 Lies About Work’ Marcus Buckingham)

So, how did you do?

More than 5 ‘Yes’ answers? – perhaps you’re working for a good company after all.

Less than 5 ‘Yes’ answers – oh dear – will we see you as part of the great reshuffling in 2023?

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