#9: From the Great Resignation to the Green Reset

Thijmen Meijer
1 August 2023

Take control of this unique chance and future-proof your organization for many years to come by doubling down on your employer branding efforts!

Apparently, and finally, I must say, the Great Resignation seems to have been “completed”. Whether it’s because the people who wanted to quit their job already did it, and now they are content in their new position, or it’s due to the economic uncertainties that we have seen in the last year, which made people more cautious about “jumping ship” (I would vouch for the latter), it doesn’t really matter at the moment. What does matter, however, is how companies all over the world react to this now, companies that have recently been head over hills for getting the slightest of attention from candidates (rightfully so, I might add). It’s very tempting for most organizations to sit back and enjoy this new era, where talent, although not abundant, but definitely more apparent and slightly less scarce than earlier, and significantly reduce budget on their employer branding efforts. I would like to argue that this probably is the biggest mistake that one could make. Instead, this rather short time when again companies have more of a chance to reposition themselves opens up a huge opportunity to increase and double down on your talent engagement efforts, and make sure that you future-proof your organization for many years to come.
While talent scarcity may now temporarily seem to ease due to market fluctuations, the demand for skilled and dedicated employees will surely remain a challenge for the foreseeable future. This will be due to the overall aging of the global workforce, the ever-growing difficulties that countries and political leaders are imposing on (even skilled) migration, not to mention the effects that inflation, in general, will have on the possibility of a younger generation’s possibility to engage in long term studies. What we see right now in terms of the easing of talent pressure is purely the result of a post-Covid economic boom and slowdown, as well as general global economic concerns. But the long-term trends are clear. This is the anomaly, not the new norm.  However, this pivotal moment truly presents an opportunity for companies to position themselves as talent magnets and simultaneously embrace a green, sustainable mindset in their business practices and workforce strategies.
Even as we finally are able to leave the period of Great Resignation behind - something that even Beyoncé wrote a song about back in the day - businesses should look ahead and think long term and strategically. Skilled workers will always be the driving force behind an organization's success. In a globalized and rapidly evolving marketplace, the competition for top talent will only become stronger over time. As emerging technologies and industries evolve (e.g. the recent boom in all things AI), new skills will be in demand, and companies must be proactive in identifying and nurturing talent with these skill sets. Potential employees are increasingly drawn to organizations that prioritize employee well-being, work-life balance, and career growth opportunities. Not to mention that by creating an environment that promotes inclusivity, diversity, and professional development, you and your organization will be able to attract the best and brightest minds. And let’s not forget the importance of a green mindset: if you follow Meijer&Co then by now you must have heard this, but let me just put this data here again: over 40% of Gen Z and Millennials would switch jobs over climate concerns. That is almost half of your potential future workforce.
So beyond your “regular” talent attraction efforts, embracing a green and sustainable mindset is becoming more and more imperative for companies across all industries. Customers, employees, and investors are increasingly aligning themselves with eco-conscious organizations, and this trend will only grow stronger over time. By integrating sustainable practices into your operations, your workforce strategy, as well as your employer brand you can not only reduce your environmental footprint and positively impact your communities, but also be able to outstand from your competitors. 

By doubling down on your efforts in all things employer branding, you are capitalizing on a unique opportunity to create connections and engagement towards your brand, without the strongest of fiercest competition for talent. “Overtaking around the corner”. When everyone slows down, you put your foot on the gas. And by introducing a green mindset in your talent culture, as well as your overall brand image, you are able to overhaul things for the long run, save significant future costs, as well as initiate internal mindset changes that will serve you for a very long time. Turn the Great Resignation into your company’s Green Reset. 

And how can you take these first steps into becoming a truly greener organization, even sometimes without significant investments? Check out this previous article on our blog!
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