Small-business employee trends emerge amid the pandemic
May 27, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies of all sizes to be flexible and adaptable. Many of the adjustments made in response to the pandemic were short-term solutions, but some trends are here to stay, according to www.uschamber.com/co.
Following are trends that will affect businesses in 2021 and the future.
Hiring Gen Z employees. “Generation Z” defines those born between 1995 and 2015, and they likely will soon make up a big portion of the workforce. Small businesses should consider how to adjust their work culture and benefits accordingly. Gen Zers expect their work to mean something and want to make a difference, so small-business owners should show their passion for serving customers and participating in their community.
Flexible work arrangements. Flex work can mean remote work, flexible hours and job sharing. In a tight labor market, offering flexible schedules can result in better hires and happier employees.
Offering mental health benefits. Companies are newly aware they need to provide mental health resources for their employees. When left unaddressed, stress can escalate to emotional, mental and physical exhaustion, as well as anxiety and depression. Employers are seeking ways to handle burnout in the workplace, such as meditation, yoga and mid-week time off.
Emotionally intelligent customer service. Kindness and goodwill are more valuable to consumers than ever. Small businesses can take action to show goodwill toward their customers. A survey from Forrester found 93% of consumers say they would buy more from—and recommend to others—a business that showed empathy toward the community.
Increased focus on training and upskilling. There is strong demand for new training opportunities. Employees will seek opportunities to learn a new platform, technology or area of expertise, and training can also be a good retention tool.