Massive Microsoft survey of 31,000 people to check workplace vibe shows mismatch between managers and employees

Microsoft conducted a survey of 31,000 people in 31 countries to get a workforce vibe check. In their corporate blog, titled “High Expectations: A Roadmap to Making Hybrid Work to work,’ written by Jared Spataro, he said: “As organizations around the world definitively shift from remote to hybrid working, one thing is clear: the people who have returned home to work in 2020 are not the same people who have returned to the office in 2022.”

People’s mentality has changed dramatically. Workers want fulfilling jobs that offer both meaning and purpose, and good pay. They also demand respect and appreciation for their efforts.

Microsoft understands this new trend, stating in the blog post, “There is no erasing the experience of the past two years and employee expectations are higher than ever.” People want”flexibility and face timeand do career changes who prioritize personal goals and well-being. Based on the findings of their Labor Trends Index 2022“there is no going back to what it once was”, before the virus outbreak.

Here are some of the highlights of the survey

The “Worth It” Question

The survey found that 53% of people are now more likely to prioritize their health and wellbeing over work. Nearly 20% of respondents quit their jobs last year. More than 50% of Gen Z and Millennials will likely be considering a new job next year, joining the big quit movement.

If employees don’t feel empowered, having to come to an office only to send emails and make Zoom calls that could have been made at home, they may choose to leave. They’d rather have a short-term gap in their resume than do something that isn’t worth doing. With around 11 million or more jobs available, the odds are in favor of someone looking for a new opportunity.

Managers must evaluate this new change in attitude. You cannot be too strict or rigid when there are many job openings for your staff to interview. If they feel neglected or don’t have a way forward within the organization, it’s easy for them to move on.

Meanwhile, managers are stuck

Managers are stuck between leadership and employee expectations. Supervisors are now tasked with dealing with the new higher expectations of employees. People have tasted freedom and autonomy over the past two years working from home.

The emerging trend among large organizations is a move towards a hybrid working model in which a person would be in an office two or three days a week, and home the rest of the time. While employees want choices, 50% of leaders say they expect a full in-person return to the office this year.

This puts managers in a precarious position. The study shows that 54% of managers believe that leadership is disconnected from employee expectations. About 74% of supervisors feel they lack the influence or resources to independently implement changes for their teams. Middle managers are stuck between a rock and a hard place, having to appease both managers and rank-and-file workers.

Why should I Schlep in the office?

In a dynamic labor market, characterized by sometimes consecutive months when four million people leave their jobs, business leaders recognize that they must respond to the wishes of their employees. If they don’t, senior management risks losing the best and brightest talent to competitors.

With a hot job market, it is incredibly difficult to find and recruit qualified and targeted candidates. With inflation spiraling out of control, chances are a replacement will cost a lot more than the departing employee was earning. The scenario sets the stage for an autonomous employee base. They can leverage the threat of quitting to get what they want.

There is a disconnect with the hybrid model. Nearly 40% of hybrid employees say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come to the office. Only 28% of leaders have created policies, procedures and plans for this new working arrangement. This illustrates the lack of a consistent message shared with the workforce, which can lead to frustration on the part of management, executives and workers.

An additional challenge is to provide a level playing field so that everyone feels seen and heard. The survey shows that 43% of remote workers don’t feel included in meetings and, to make matters worse, only 27% of leaders say their company has developed a hybrid meeting etiquette to ensure everyone is included and engaged.

The data concludes that it is time to rethink the role of the office. Managers and leaders must adopt a certain degree of intentionality to give everyone a voice at the table. The goal should be for new cultural norms to ensure that the office adds value to the employee experience and helps them feel connected with their colleagues, engaged in their work, and motivated to innovate and be the best versions of people. ‘themselves.

How to troubleshoot hybrid working issues

Numerous studies have shown that if a worker has close ties with a group of colleagues, he is more likely to stay with the company. This close bond keeps people from dating, as they would feel disloyal to their work-family if they left for another opportunity elsewhere.

The study highlights that while the majority of hybrid workers have been able to maintain their team bonds (58%), only half of remote workers report having a thriving relationship with their direct team and even fewer (42%) have a relationship. solid. with those who are not part of their team. If managers allow this to continue, they are likely to see an exodus of people as there are few or no ties connecting them to the organization.

Managers must build relationships and offer support to distant and newly hired employees to ensure they remain loyal. It is not an easy task. Hybrid work will require a lot of thought, planning and execution.

Technology is one way to help. Software tools, platforms, videos, apps, and other systems can bridge the digital and physical divide. The key is also communication. Leadership must take the pulse of employees and actively listen to them. Based on their feedback, leaders can craft smarter policies and programs.

Armed with the right data points, employee wants and needs, middle managers can then ensure that employees are engaged in their work, feel appreciated and energized, which will help reduce attrition, improve recruitment efforts and preventing existing staff from leaving. .

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