October 21, 2021 | foleyfoleypc
Traditionally, October is a time of Halloween fun and Oktoberfest parties. And in keeping with the vibe of the past several months, there is a new event that is not pleasant. This year, work stoppages are on the calendar, known as Striketober. Striketober may see 100,000 US workers go on strike. The former Labor Secretary Robert Reich stated the US is closer to a general work stoppage now than it has been in decades.
WHY NOW? The tight labor market has given leverage to workers who never had it before. Plus, the demands on fewer workers doing more work has reached a tipping point. The pandemic revealed how low paid and uninsured workers are essential to the engine of the economy. In his segment: Labor Pains, Trevor Noah began with the line, Jobs: It is how Americans show they deserve healthcare. As we have blogged before, even well-compensated employees are protesting over issues like racism, sexual harassment and workplace culture.
WHAT CAN EMPLOYERS DO? Do not ignore the signs of discontent and hope they will pass. A disgruntled workforce, organized or not, can be avoided even in these times. Train supervisors to be good at their jobs so they listen and address concerns. Make it easy for employees to engage with HR and managers. Inform your workforce about the benefits and procedures you have in place to assist them. Do not assume that employees read or remember the handbooks and policies you carefully implemented. If your policies are out of date or underutilized, draft ones that work. (An uptick in tuition reimbursement as a retention tool is something often seen now.) It is important to create a workplace culture that is positive and reflects the mission of your business.