We are never going back to the pre-pandemic workplace. While some may feel that the Great Resignation is a trend, future of work expert Cheryl Cran says it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, predicting that the “workers market” will continue until at least 2030.
In a recent episode of her podcast, NextNow — Future of All Things, Cheryl explored why the Great Resignation is actually the “Great Reevaluation”, and why leaders need to accept this new reality to attract and retain talent in today’s tight labour market.
Why the Great Resignation Isn’t a Trend
As the founder of NextMapping, Cheryl works with leaders and their teams to build future-ready workplaces. Recently, she says, many of her clients have questioned the Great Resignation and if it’s worth their attention. Cheryl’s response is always a resounding, “yes”, preferring to categorize the Great Resignation as a movement, instead of a trend.
Prior to the pandemic, Cheryl said, we were already seeing signs of dissatisfaction with the typical corporate structure of working 9-5, five days a week, commuting daily, and having to be in the office to “prove” that you’re working. The pandemic simply sped up this evolution of the workplace.
In a blog post, Cheryl wrote that millennials have always had a “life first, work second” mentality with Gen Zs pushing it further by seeking freedom through freelance. Now, we have Gen C (Generation COVID), Cheryl writes, which are those under the age of 20 who lived, schooled, and worked through the pandemic. Their mantra is work from anywhere, she continued.
Today, more than 4.4 million workers in the US are seeking to change careers right now, Cheryl said, not because they are dissatisfied with their work, but because they are re-evaluating what they want work to be — does it bring value to them? Does it have a purpose? Does it offer work-life balance? Etc.
These massive societal shifts in how people view work, family, and life, are why we are not returning to an employers’ market anytime soon. This is a global mindset shift, Cheryl said, in which work is seen less as a structure to pay bills and more as a tool for fulfillment.
The 2030 Workplace
Cheryl predicts that by the year 2030, work is going to look very different, with more project-based work styles, work-from-anywhere offices, and independent contractors and freelancers. And those who choose to work full-time, Cheryl said, will have full autonomy about where they work, how they work, and what they work on.
We are currently in the transition phase to this new way of work with the Great Resignation being stage one. What does this mean for leaders? Leaders must shift their mindset as well and accept this new reality, Cheryl says, and evolve with it.
“Use the workers’ market as an opportunity to really deeply self-evaluate,” Cheryl said, “to really introspectively look at ourselves and ask, is my leadership style conducive to keeping the people that I have on my team engaged?”
To successfully lead in this new world of work, Cheryl says leaders will need to upskill and reskill to develop crucial human skills, such as a high EQ, which she says is key to attracting and retaining talent in a post-pandemic world.
Cheryl explores this in her new book Super.Crucial.Human, which dives deep into this new leadership mindset that focuses on learning and building deep human connections in order to future-proof leadership capabilities. She examines how personal, family, and societal values are deeply influencing the future of work, and outlines the four super crucial human skills needed to help you create your “next” and become future-ready.
Hear more from Cheryl about the “Great Reevaluation” and what leaders can do to prepare for this new world of work in the video below.
Recognized as the #1 Future of Work influencer by Onalytica, Cheryl Cran’s research into the future of work, technology, and leadership — driven by her “people first” and digital second philosophy — helps companies build the leadership capacity needed to change the world through business.
Interested in learning more about Cheryl and what her insights into the future of work can bring to your next event? Email us at [email protected].