Whether called the Great Resignation or the I Refuse movement, last year's hiring shortage gave many employees the upper hand when negotiating over salaries and benefits. With more than 4.5 million workers quitting their jobs in the U.S. in November alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many workers are in a strong position to demand higher compensation and better working conditions.
That's according to LinkedIn's annual list of big ideas that could change the world in 2022, sourced from CEOs, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders. Here's how experts believe the relationship between employees and employers will change in 2022:
- A strong 2022 economy will bolster employee bargaining power, according to LinkedIn's chief economist, Karin Kimbrough, noting that the U.S. unemployment rate could shrink to 3.5 percent, from the current 4.8 percent. "The power dynamic will shift from employers and leave them pining for talent like never before," Joshua Luna, founder of coaching organization Mgmt, told LinkedIn. This is a trend rolling over from 2021, when companies like Amazon, Aldi supermarkets, and Dollar General offered signing bonuses of thousands of dollars per hire.
- Successful employers will invest in higher compensation and improved scheduling for customer-facing employees, says Harvard Business School professor Ryan Buell. When offered stable and predictable schedules, employees can better plan their child care, coursework, or other obligations outside their job. Buell predicts that the smartest employers will make sure their employees have the time, resources, and motivation to make meaningful connections with customers.
- Employees will leave jobs in search of better opportunities elsewhere because of post-traumatic growth (PTG), the personal transformations that follow periods of severe stress, says Whitney Johnson, CEO of coaching startup Disruption Advisors. She notes that "the Great Resignation ought to be called the Great Aspiration: an ambitious workforce on the march seeking better pay, better work-life balance, and better opportunities."