Balance Of Power Shifts To Labour

A historic shift has begun. After a decades-long global economic expansion that saw the value of work decline relative to return on investments, the balance of power is shifting between capital and labour, says Evan Siddall, AIMCo’s CEO. In these waning days of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may now even have swung in favour of employees. Today, employers are facing a crisis of loyalty, he says, with pent-up frustration, latent turnover, and the growth of the work-from-home economy coalescing into a ‘Great Resignation.’ A recent Bank of Canada survey predicts 19 per cent of Canadians will quit their current job in the next 12 months. “The pandemic has shown us that companies have neglected employees and loyalty at their own peril,” he says, and the solution is much more involved than whether to insist that employees devote two or three days per week to their offices. Instead, employers must turn to drivers that increase productivity, instill a commitment to customer service, and create fertile ground for innovation. This includes letting employees decide how they choose to collaborate. The decisions are ultimately theirs, he says. As well, using an outcome-based goal-setting methodology ensures people leaders and employees are all focused on the same measurable goals. The potential weak links in this new system are managers’ bad habits. A “results only” mindset requires them to unlearn old ways. Moreover, he says managers may need to re-trained which may require employers to look outside their organization for help to train people leaders. Consistent with more employee autonomy is a lighter managerial hand. “Employers ought to trust their employees to make decisions that will allow them to do their best work,” says Siddall.

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