The recent NCCI Quarterly Economics Briefing – Q3 2022 offers valuable insights for employers into today’s labor market as well as demographic shifts that will radically disrupt the future of work. It examines why labor force participation is down, what workers are not returning to the labor force, and the implications for workers’ compensation. Key findings are:
To maintain a strong workforce, companies must focus on retaining valuable talent and fostering employee engagement. Priorities are changing for all workers, but not in the same way. Engage in dialogues to understand employees’ perspective of the company and their job satisfaction (see HR Tip – Stay Interviews). Examine resignations by conducting exit interviews to identify root causes. Assess whether employee retention strategies need improvement. For younger employees, evaluate training and advancement opportunities – employees who are learning are more likely to be engaged and want to stay.
Legacy approaches to aging and the workforce are no longer viable; smart organizations view age and longevity as an asset, focusing on retaining older workers, inviting them back from retirement, and recruiting older people. Flexible work schedules, proactive ergonomic strategies, good health benefits, and two-way mentoring opportunities are ways to encourage older workers to remain in the workforce. Adapting the workplace and the nature of work itself to maintain and enhance the safety, health, well-being, and productivity of workers as they age is key.
The forces affecting the labor market are powerful and will not ebb anytime soon. It is imperative that employers understand the changing demographics and strategize on how to keep current workers longer.