Are Employees Re-thinking Your Relationship?



During recent interviews of job applicants, I was struck by how interesting these times are from an employment perspective. As the economy slowly reopens and employers compete for talent amidst Michigan's shrinking workforce [1], we need to remain mindful of what's happening with our current employees. 


Concern over organizational culture has been a prime decision factor for job candidates for many years now - 7 out of 10 applicants ask about company culture during job interviews[2]. The costly reality is that the culture issue affects retention more than recruitment. 73% of professionals have left a job because of poor cultural fit[3]. Savvy association leaders have been intentional about cultivating a healthy organizational culture and indoctrinating new employees into that culture for some time now - we should continue to build on that. But the pressures of the pandemic and social change are compelling employees to take their inquiry to another, more personal level. 


Even as leaders worry over organizational capacity, our employees are considering the benefit and meaning they derive from their relationships with us. These considerations extend beyond compensation and [what we usually consider to be] cultural fit. Employees are asking themselves questions like: 

Are my employer's values in alignment with my own? Do we care about the same things?
In my role with this employer, am I contributing to the kind of world I want to live in? 
I believe these questions extend to social and political beliefs and are not limited by rank or position. Simply stated, you may lose your membership director or your administrative assistant to an organization that pays less but contributes to a legacy they care about.


The short and long-term impacts of these trends aren't yet clear. While they may contribute to employee satisfaction and organizational synergy in the short term, they could also result in further polarization, less diversity, and create organizations comprised of homogenous thinkers.

Interesting times indeed. 


[1] MDTMB - January 2021 Michigan jobless rate declines
[2] Robert Walters - The Role of Workplace Culture in Recruiting Top Talent
[3] Robert Walters - The Role of Workplace Culture in Recruiting Top Talent