Amid the backdrop of employers confronting a tight labor market and employees enjoying a newfound sense of power, more than 200 people logged on for an FIU Business discussion and Q&A on the state of employment today, nearly two years into the pandemic.
Top leaders in their industries joined moderator Marc Weinstein, faculty director of FIU’s Master of Science in Human Resource Management program, and College of Business Interim Dean William Hardin for the hour-long webinar titled “The Great Resignation or the Great Re-Negotiation,” part of the Chapman Graduate School’s ongoing Is my mic on? Series, held virtually on January 27, 2022.
The numbers are eye-popping and record-shattering: more than 30 million people have quit their job since March 2021, according to Bureau of Labor statistics. “It’s astounding,” said Maureen Shea, CEO of Right Management – Florida/Caribbean. “For the first time in 60 years, the positive employment outlook is off the charts, and everyone is looking to hire. Therein lies the problem – how do we fill all these positions?”
Enter The Great Re-Negotiation. “I think to some extent, every organization will be involved with renegotiating with top performers,” Weinstein said.
At FIU Business, high inflation and state budget constraints limit what the school can do in terms compensation but, to be sure, organizations have other sweeteners at their disposal. “We can’t wave a wand and get an appropriation from the state, but people choose us because we have a great benefits package and we are mission-driven,” Hardin said. Further, he said, the College of Business has implemented ladder programs for entry-level employees showing a clear path toward higher pay, more responsibility and a greater skill set.
Panelists agree such incentives are more important than ever, as is employer acceptance of remote or hybrid work for many types of jobs. “We as leaders need to be very compelling when asking people to come back to the office,” said Maribel Diz (MSHRM ’07, DBA ’21), senior vice president of human resources for Visa. “We need to create experiences for them.”
Another path toward a happier workplace and stronger employee retention, said Matthew Arsenault (MS ’03), executive vice president and chief financial officer at Baptist Health South Florida, is to invest in leadership development and coaching. “The number one reason people leave their job is because of their boss,” Arsenault said. “Our leaders are expected to be great leaders, so we invest heavily in helping them become great leaders.”