Evolving Workforce Expectations: What Mid-Market CEOs Need to Know

Navigating three workforce realties that could impact your bottom line

As time moves on, so do the expectations of the workforce. With millennials now comprising the majority of the workforce, the working environment is changing. This has great implications for businesses, particularly mid-market businesses that will be impacted in the near future. To succeed, mid-market CEOs must be aware of these shifts and take appropriate action.

Quiet Hiring

Quiet quitting describes the psychological withdrawal of an employee from their organization, resulting from not being engaged at work. They are still at the organization, they have not left, but they are no longer giving it their best efforts. When employees “quiet quit,” organizations keep people but lose skills and capabilities.

According to a recent HBR article, organizations will increasingly adopt the practice of “quiet hiring” in the future. This innovative approach will allow them to acquire new skills and capabilities without the need to hire new full-time employees. Instead, organizations will prioritize internal talent mobility, strategically deploying employees to the areas where they can make the greatest impact. To compensate for the changes in their roles, employees may receive various benefits like a one-time bonus, raise, additional paid time off, a promotion, greater flexibility, and more.

Remote Work and Flexible Hours

In today’s fast-paced digital era, employees demand greater flexibility in their work arrangements, seeking the ability to work remotely, at their convenience. According to a 2022 Gartner survey of 405 frontline worker managers, 58% of organizations that employ frontline workers have invested in improving their employee experience in the past year; about one-third of those who haven’t said they intend to do so in the next 12 months.

Midmarket CEOs have the opportunity to provide their employees with remote work options, which can have a multitude of benefits. Not only can this enhance employee productivity, but it can also increase employee engagement, reduce turnover rates, and alleviate employees’ stress levels. By offering such flexible work arrangements, CEOs can create a more conducive and harmonious work environment for their workforce.

Decline of social skills

A significant portion of newly employed individuals are facing challenges: over half of Gen Z employees express dissatisfaction with how their education has prepared them for the workforce. Moreover, the ongoing pandemic has limited their chances of observing workplace norms firsthand, making it difficult for them to discern what is suitable or effective within their respective organizations.

Instead of mandating a return to in-person work for building connections, leaders should foster deliberate connections among employees, transcending geographic and generational boundaries. Gartner research emphasizes three key aspects in achieving successful intentional interactions: empowering employee choice and autonomy, establishing a clear structure and purpose, and infusing a sense of fun and enjoyment.

The evolving needs and demands of the global workforce have made it imperative for mid-market CEOs to be proactive rather than complacent. With the changing workplace practices, including ‘quiet hiring’, the rise in demand for remote jobs and flexible working hours, and the decline of interpersonal skills, it is crucial for managers to exhibit their agility and adaptability. They must be mindful and innovative in tackling these new challenges while also ensuring the business remains profitable.

Charles Good 
President, Institute for Management Studies
775-322-8222  |  ims-online.com  |  charles@ims-online.com

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