Like many people around the world these past two years, I started a new job at the height of the pandemic. Little did I know in April 2020, when I became CEO of Alight, that I would have a front-row seat to the tectonic shifts that COVID-19 forced onto corporations — perhaps none more seismic than the fundamental realignment of employees’ priorities.
When I speak with other CEOs, their leading concern is almost always their workforce – the tight labor market, staff shortages, the “Great Resignation,” and attrition. The pandemic has made everyone — and particularly younger generations — realize not only what’s important to them, but also how fragile life really is. For many industries, work isn't about that sense of company culture or the experience of being in the office any longer. And for those in the office or at a jobsite, employees may have additional concerns about health and safety.
It comes down to this idea: Employees want their job to provide a sense of identity, security, and the knowledge of where to turn when they need help. Companies and their leaders need to be asking, “How can we provide that feeling of safety to the people who work for us?”