By Eric Yu
According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey ( JOLTS) released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States saw a record high of 4.53 million workers quitting their jobs in March 2022, beating the previous record of 4.51 million in November 2021. Available jobs also increased, rising to 11.5 million – the highest since the JOLTS data survey program began in December 2000. This recent phenomenon of employees leaving the workforce is referred to as “The Great Resignation” and represents the transformation of how employees are evaluating their overall work-life balance.
Small to medium-sized business (SMB) employers are now more vulnerable to the effects of a volatile job market than ever before. With national and global labor shortages, there is an opportunity for SMBs to course correct. However, the key to long-term SMB success will be workforce retention accomplished by offering desirable benefits, tools, and positive working environments.
Impactful Results Boost Employee Satisfaction
As a common business goal for many companies, positive employee morale often leads to improved employee efforts which can manifest in the form of thoughtfully designed products, positive customer service, diligently plated meals, and more. Additionally, according to Gallup, team members who feel valued by their employer are more likely to maintain high levels of engagement that result in less turnover, less time spent on training new hires, and overall business growth and continuity.
Furthermore, a recent talent index survey shows two thirds of US and UK workers want employers to prioritize a work-life balance. Three quarters of employees surveyed acknowledge they are now being heard.
Ironically, half of those three quarters are seeking new employment. This indicates employees must see actions, real results, and tangible benefits based on their wants and needs. Therefore, companies must continue to readjust their culture to meet employee demand in order to improve employee satisfaction and overall retention.
Benefits of Flexible Work Environments
According to The Future of Work and Digital Transformation Research by Lenovo, employees prefer the flexibility of working remotely, with 80 percent of participants from SMBs preferring hybrid or remote work options over working in an office. When SMBs put employees first by prioritizing flexibility and work-life balance, internal morale improves. One solution shown to improve the worklife balance is offering flexible working conditions so employees feel like they have some control over their schedule. The freedom to incorporate breaks during the work day or accommodate personal appointments can greatly improve overall productivity.
Small and large business owners alike can help employees achieve a healthy work-life balance by providing an organizational structure that offers the flexibility of pairing with the right productivity tools and collaboration software. That could include voice command, dual array microphones, and security solutions.
Tech is No Longer Just a Nice Thing to Have; It’s a Necessity
According to the US B2B Small and Medium Business (SMB) Survey from Alibaba, digitized SMBs are outperforming offline companies. In fact, digitized businesses are better equipped to go global; 39 percent of digitized businesses expect to grow exports in 2022 versus just 13 percent of those who rely on offline channels. Additionally, 91 percent of digitized SMBs are confident in the future of their business compared to 80 percent of non-digitized businesses.
As SMBs continue to evolve, the workplace experience will evolve in tandem. In-office technology will continue to be mirrored at employees’ homes that might include an extra monitor, collaboration device, or standup desk. However, as the way we work continues to adapt to the needs of our shifting workplace priorities and the next generation of workers, the speed, bandwidth, and functionality of available tech solutions in the SMB workplace must grow with its diverse users to ensure sustainable SMB success.
Where Do Small and Medium Sized Businesses Go From Here?
As the demand for more flexible work and remote work conditions grows, new technology that caters to specific remoteworker needs will help businesses meet the niche demands of their workforce. The forward-thinking employers who continue to rise to the challenge of making work more enjoyable for their teams via benefits, flexibility, and quality technology will be poised for long-term success despite any unemployment trends, waves, or movements.
About The Author
Eric Yu is the SVP & GM for Lenovo’s Commercial Product Center SMB Segment, Intelligent Devices Group, and is responsible for the SMB Segment‘s global end-to-end business strategy and execution. He also oversees Lenovo’s global Visuals Business Unit and Accessories Business Units. With over 20 years of experience working across different Lenovo business functions, Yu has a track record of understanding business needs and exceeding growth exponentially in various technology segments. To contact Eric, please go to Lenovo.com.