In recent years we’ve seen a shift in people’s attitudes toward work. Where work was once thought to define who we are and how we fit in the world, work now needs to “work” for our whole lives.
So, what do we really want from work? Increasingly we want to be empowered to grow, nurture our physical and mental well-being, connect to our sense of meaning and purpose, and define success for ourselves.
When we asked workers what would help them thrive, 93% said flexibility was important - with 45% saying they would like to choose start and end times to thier working day. Workers across different sectors and professions today want more choice over when, where and how they work. And pilot programs have shown that giving people more flexibility leads to a happier and more productive workforce.
Getting this right makes sense for individuals and for businesses. With talent shortages at a 16-year high and 75% of employers struggling to fill roles, the pressure is on to meet workers’ needs.
So, What Do Employers Need To Do?
Creating the right environment for people to thrive requires both empathy and trust. Shaping the culture of an organization has traditionally been a “top down” responsibility, led by People/HR teams, but in reality managers are at the forefront of workplace culture. Over half of employees who quit their jobs during the pandemic didn’t feel valued by their organization or their manager, or felt they didn’t belong. Managers are having daily conversations with workers about balancing their responsibilities, managing their days around childcare or elderly care, and ensuring they feel fulfilled and rewarded.
One of the most effective ways managers can help workers (and themselves) to feel more in control of their lives is by introducing Microsteps: small, science-backed steps that build sustainable healthy habits. These actions can help managers to support a thriving workforce.