Change Motivational Speaker for the Workplace
The Workplace Balance Has Changed, Is Your Organization Prepared?
It has argued that COVID-19 “changed everything.” As a national change management speaker, my counter argument is that COVID changed nothing but accelerated everything. In my keynote talks on change management, I point out that as the Omicron variant began to subside, the workplace would be re-balanced and employees would become not more powerful, but more heard and prone to weighing their priorities.
In his inciteful article for Forbes, Lawyer Tom Spiggle concluded:
“Before the pandemic, the U.S. labor market was primed for major changes, especially for the benefit of employees. The coronavirus might be the push needed to bring about these changes.”
He was correct. Workers wanted change – and it was a long time in coming. It should never have been the surprise it was.
As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics pointed out, “The Great Walkout” was real, and continues to this day as roughly 33 million Americans have quit their jobs since the spring of 2021. When Spiggle, an employment attorney, wrote his piece in November 2021, he was right on the money. Americans in the workplace want change.
Can We Blame Anyone?
As a change management speaker, the incorrect assumption I have heard far too often is, “Oh, just wait, they’ll be back.”
No, they won’t, and that is exactly the problem. There has been too much contention for far too long. Foodservice workers, hotel workers, construction and tradespeople, teachers, healthcare personnel, front-line workers are starting companies and/or finding employment in other fields. They are demanding higher salaries and benefits, or are finding greater job satisfaction somewhere else.
White collar workers have found that they are just as effective working from home as they were commuting two or three hours a day.
They like spending more time with their families. They are willing to come into an office a couple of days a week if it makes sense, but not to occupy space behind a desk because “the boss” says so.
We can all change the balance, and the change can be managed, if we agree that change has long been needed. This will require a negotiation of sorts, but nothing is impossible.
If we remember all-the-way back to 2019, when retail workers at big-box stores were pulling down a whopping $9 or $10 an hour (with poor benefits), and foodservice workers were often paid less (please don’t get me started on tips); where mid-level executives spent half their day commuting to an office to attend a 20-minute meeting that could have been handled on a video call, then we can better realize that some things had to shift.
Perhaps the greatest bias of all is that COVID somehow made terrible changes to organizations, and that we can never go back. To that I say, “Great!” We were long due for change, and if we all work together, respect one another and seriously, strive to solve problems, “the workplace,” however we define it, will be better than ever. In short, change is good.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Change Motivational Keynote Speaker, for an in-person or virtual presentation, please call. Contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.