Understanding Why There’s a Labor Shortage Now
January 7, 2022
by Kristin Brennan
Michael Spataro, our Chief Delivery Officer, spoke to Brent Skinner on the 3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat video podcast. They discussed the labor shortage and what many people are calling the “Great Resignation.” Michael shared his thoughts on what brought hourly employees and their managers to the point that they have quit their jobs during a very challenging economic and health-related crisis.
Michael described how Legion has responded to help companies in retail and service industries optimize their labor efficiency and empower their hourly employees. He referred to a Legion study, “Hour by Hour: Attracting and Retaining Hourly Employees and Their Managers,” conducted with 500 employees and their managers to find out what would cause an employee to quit their job and what companies can do about it.
Here’s an excerpt from their conversation:
For hourly jobs in retail and the service industries, as Michael puts it, the pandemic has precipitated a major power shift in the employer-employee relationship. All I will add is that the past two years have brought a festering inverse of a healthy Service-Profit Chain to the surface. Look at it either way, and the ramifications are clear.
“There’s no shortage of workers, but the availability of workers willing to do retail or hospitality jobs, where the employee experience is poor, has dwindled,” Michael says. They’re holding out for better pay and better conditions overall. It’s the reality of the Great Resignation in these sectors among these employee demographics. Call it the Great Resignation or something else, even. The terminology doesn’t matter so much. What does matter, far more, is that the pandemic created a scenario wherein employees in these kinds of roles have been able to exert more influence over the conditions of their employment and its effects on their overall lives.
“It’s more than better pay,” Michael says. “Employees want to interact with their employer” in much the same way they do as customers “with every other company in their life.”