Most leaders want to provide feedback that will help their employees improve. Sadly, many managers provide feedback that makes employees feel

Perhaps bad managers are to blame for the labor shortage

December 15, 2021 |


The number of job opportunities and the percentage of people departing their employment are both around historic highs. As some economists predicted, the expiration of expanded unemployment help hasn’t resulted in a flood of new employees coming off the sidelines.

Employers may be wasting their breath citing unfavorable government policies or other external reasons for the difficulties in recruiting workers since the nationwide quit-a-thon has legs. Instead, they may examine their own involvement in the Great Resignation’s inception. In the mirror, they’d notice a lot of issues.

“Many of us leading companies have been very focused on getting through the pandemic, and maybe we haven’t been taking as much time and care around our employees and our talent and their development,” Rob Falzon, vice chair of Prudential Financial, said in a recent webinar co-hosted by Yahoo Finance and the Bipartisan Policy Center. 

“Their learning curves have flattened, they’re working really hard and they’re thinking, ‘I want to advance my career and to do that I may need to go elsewhere.’ Compensation always motivates people, but I think there are more fundamental things at play here.”

According to a recent Prudential poll, 46% of workers are looking for or considering a new job. Better salary was the primary motivator for 45 percent of those considering a change. The second most common reason, reported by 26%, was a lack of advancement prospects. That clearly implies that organizations in need of workers already have employees that are underused or mistreated and might fill some of the vacancies if their employers would only listen. Someone has made a blunder.

Many organizations’ work habits have been upended as a result of the Covid epidemic, and managers have struggled to comprehend how workers are thinking about their employment. Microsoft released data earlier this year that found that while corporate executives are generally content with their businesses’ hybrid remote/on-site work habits, common employees are not.

Employees like the freedom that remote work provides, but according to a Microsoft survey of 84 worldwide firms, 54 percent of employees feel overworked and 39 percent feel weary. About 20% of respondents claimed their boss is unconcerned about their work-life balance. Remote employees often have a tendency to feel cut off from their employers and coworkers.

Employers have been hesitant to respond to the labor shortage in several ways. For a year or more, there has been discussion of a labor shortage, yet average wage has not increased significantly. Year over year, average hourly wages have increased by 4.8 percent. That’s a good boost, but with inflation at 6.8%, salary increases are still lagging behind price increases. If inflation falls but salary raises remain the same, this will only increase the quality of life.


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