March 14, 2022

Surviving the Great Reshuffle

In September 2021, the number of job vacancies in the UK surpassed one million, creating a new record for the market, and around 69% of UK workers have said that they are “feeling confident about moving to a new role in the next few months” according to a recent survey by Randstad UK.  This combination of events has lead to two major challenges for UK businesses:

  1. How do you retain and engage the talent you currently have in your organisation?
  2. How do you attract and recruit candidates when everyone else is trying to do the same?

What is happening?

While the Great Resignation implies people are leaving the workforce, a large group of workers are simply reconfiguring what their careers look like.  Some are leveraging the current hiring crisis to get into better positions; others have decided to work for themselves; many more are shifting into new industries and careers that offer higher wages or align more with their values. Rather than merely being a ‘Great Resignation’ in which people simply quit and walk away, the current disruption is seeing a huge proportion of employees move around the job market – more like a ‘Great Reshuffle’ as some have dubbed it.

Why is it happening?

Professional workers have agency like they have never had before, allowing them to fine-tune their life to allow for a better work-life balance.  Plenty of time at home has given people time to reflect on where their careers are heading and to make deliberate choices for their future.

Additionally, opportunities opened up by remote work mean millions of workers can now access thousands of new roles which were previously ‘off-limits’ due to geography.  As a means of attracting talent, many employers are either adapting their working models to hybrid or fully remote, or offering higher wages in response, attracting applicants from a much wider pool of talent.

Yes, the pandemic was a catalyst for this move to hybrid working, but we must be careful not to blame the pandemic for ‘how things are now’.  It isn’t the only reason people are leaving jobs.  Great places to work who focus on their people are still great places that focus on their people.  Businesses with existing bad management practices will have had their weak points exposed.  The pandemic isn’t the cause, it has just raised a mirror to the organisations to help them see where the weaknesses are.

Some weaknesses were only seen because of the quick step into hybrid working.  When line managers were forced into being people managers during the pandemic they were inadequately prepared to act without the in-office back up of HR.  They were more likely to deal with things ad hoc, or without asking for help, and the results have, unsurprisingly, not always been positive!

What can we do?

It is a scary time for businesses, and the temptation can be to act in a way that conflicts with your future goals or current values; for instance, not managing people for underperformance for fear of them leaving, or not investing time or resources in training for retention and growth as all of HR’s focus is on recruitment.

We cannot keep plugging gaps in the hull, we have to keep an eye on where we are headed.  Businesses must split their focus between developing and nurturing existing talent to ensure they are choosing to stay, and attracting new talent.  Luckily, these things are interdependent.  The reasons why people stay with a business can be a powerful message to use when trying to attract potential candidates.

Seizing the Opportunity

Instead of blaming the pandemic, why not embrace the opportunity to bring to the fore the things that conscientious HR personnel have been talking about for years? Like flexible working, employee empowerment, people well-being, tailored support?

It may take years for the current reshuffling to finally settle down, but organisations that delay making changes to their hiring and people policies could be left in the dust.  The Great Reshuffle is affecting all industries, and staff at all levels of business, and it is clear that the incentives of days pre-pandemic (high salaries, company cars, opportunities to travel…) just won’t cut it anymore. 

Companies need to offer support for their people’s mental health first, and wealth second.  Alison Omens, chief strategy officer of JUST Capital, which carried out the recent Stanford Study said:  “We asked people would they take a pay cut to work for a company that aligns with their values,” she adds, “and across the board, people say yes.”

If you’d like to find out more about creating a culture that cares, get in touch with the Connect Three team.  Our HR experts are here to help you.

September 7, 2020

Incredible ways that Career Transition support changes lives

Fiona McMahon
Connect Three Consultant


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our jobs and careers in more ways than we may have imagined. It has created uncertainty to our world of work. One option to help us to navigate particularly through these times is career transition support.

Career transition support changes lives – because it’s person-centred, practical and taps into your potential. And when done well, its impact is amazing…

It’s all about you – addressing the loss

Finding out that your job is being made redundant is traumatic. There will be feelings of shock, denial, anger amid plenty of uncertainty. Working on these emotional responses that we all experience is the starting point of career transition support that is done well. By working with you on this loss and uncertainty in a-focused, practical way, your coach helps you to deal with these stresses and strains and to make the psychological and emotional transition through this initial phase.

In my experience, this key aspect of career transition support is crucial in providing a safe foundation before working with you on the nitty gritty of exploring what could be round the corner. I love how this seamlessly uses the research-led practical ideas from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler on the five stages of loss to make sense of emotional responses to change that we experience in life. This can start to make a real practical difference. Career transition support gives hope.

Building on your unique DNA

Then you are able to start to focus with your coach on your journey to explore what might be next. Once we’ve explored this starting point and worked on this, we can begin to look at where your ‘sweet spots’ lie – the things that you absolutely love to do and get a real buzz from. We also explore what your values are, what motivates you and what makes you tick. Career transition support taps into your unique DNA and by working collaboratively with you to help to create your plan and identify possible job areas worth exploring further. All at your pace.

And there’s more. Your coach is on your team. By working with you and supporting you, you may reconnect with a passion from when you were little. Or you may take the chance to create something else, something different, something that resonates with you more strongly than what you’ve been doing more recently.

Promoting yourself

Then there’s working with your coach on the practical steps of creating an achievement focused CV, finding where the (often unpublished) opportunities are, identifying who in your network can give you leads, creating leads, promoting yourself in person, using LinkedIn as your window to the world, preparing for interviews and making the transition to your newly secured role. All while working with you to help maintain your motivation, momentum and resilience during the process. Career transition support secures futures.

For organisations who do this well – it’s fundamentally based on human respect

By providing career transition support to your people, you help to build their confidence and develop them so that they can respond to this unexpected and traumatic change, especially during these challenging times. You demonstrate respect for your people, and show that you value and empathise with them.

In my experience, the organisations that do this best work collaboratively alongside their coaches providing the career transition support to form a seamless team, in a way that suits the culture of the organisation.

Helping their people to transition to whatever’s round the corner is an active, not a passive process. By appreciating the challenges that those whose jobs are being made redundant are going through and by identifying very straight forward and simple ways to support them, you enhance their wellbeing and build their confidence.

Those who are staying within your organisation may experience ‘survivor syndrome’, a guilt associated with having kept their roles whereas their colleagues and friends have lost theirs. Done well, career transition support for colleagues and friends that are leaving can make a positive difference to those remaining in terms of trust, motivation and performance.

Apart from it being the absolute right thing to do from a human respect perspective, you are also enhancing your employer brand and safeguarding your reputation.

Explore more…

If this has sparked your curiosity and you would like to find out more about how we can help your business and your people get the most from our career transition knowledge and expertise then drop me (Fiona) or Shona, our Client Development Director, an email we’ll happily have a conversation with you.


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