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Working from home has created a new breed of employees.

I remember when I joined the workforce and even more so in the Marine Corps, I was always told that you need to be able to separate your work life from your home life. Failure to do so will lead to a lot of unnecessary stress and burn out; either at work, home, or both. For the past almost two years, we have truly put this assertion to the test. Since the start of the pandemic, employees have been, for the most, forced to work from home. Many parents had to learn to keep up with work while being their child’s teacher at the same time, and for many this did prove to be too much. But for those who stuck it out, something incredible happened. Like a phoenix, they emerged from the ashes with a new sense of vigor. Employees are not the same they were before the pandemic. In fact, employees have shown they have obtained more leadership competency in the past year and a half by working from home. They were able to accomplish so much more without the pressure of being under direct supervision. They learned how to effectively manage their personal and work life simultaneously and for many, they even took it upon themselves to learn new skill sets. On June 14th, 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported that 34% of employees took an online course for career development and 35% read more for professional development. Again, they are not the same employee they once were. Now, here lies the problem. While employees have learned to adapt to their new environment, they have also learned so much more about themselves. Namely, they’ve learned to increase their self-worth, and rightfully so. In fact, more U.S. workers are leaving their jobs in search of better options, despite an increase in unemployment because they fear their managers will not recognize or appreciate their professional growth. This shift, made by workers, to enter a new job/career is forcing employers to increase wages and offer promotions to retain talent. Though this approach may be effective, it’s not the only means of retaining their current and for recruiting new talent. There is another way employers can retain and gain new talent. By getting to know their employees all over again. As employers and bosses begin reacquainting themselves with their employees, they will soon realize their employees have emerged from the pandemic more capable than ever. Obviously not every employee can receive a promotion and/or a pay raise. They, however, can be shown that their work ethic and skill sets are very much valued. By recognizing that different employees have different needs, allows leaders and manager the opportunity to show their employees they are still being highly valued. More so now than ever before because you are not only telling them, but you are also showing them that you see and recognize their growth. Though you may not be able to promote them or give them a pay raise at that very moment, you can ensure them their growth and professional wellbeing will always be at the center of your mind.



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