From education to employment


By Lord Mark Price, Founder of WorkL, former Trade Minister and former Managing Director of Waitrose

First it was Quiet Quitting, then Loud Leaving, now it’s Career Cushioning- the latest most-talked-about work topic that is trending.

In short, it’s a term to describe employees who are on alert at work, mainly down to the current economic climate, resulting in them prepping for if they must soon move on from their current role. Preparing for the unexpected or adding security to their professional life- it’s all good common sense. The majority of us have a savings account for a rainy day, so why shouldn’t we prepare for an unexpected change in our career and keep our options open?

It’s evident that workers across the country are scoping out the job market as at WorkL, my employee experience platform where we measure, track and improve employee engagement, our Jobs Board has seen a 10% increase in searches compared to this time last year. The Flight risk of employees has also reached a high of 32.6% this month, compared to just 26% last January.

According to LinkedIn, discussions on the platform around economic uncertainty are on the rise. Terms in use, such as “recession” are up 879% compared to this time last year.

As already said, there’s nothing wrong with Career Cushioning, but it’s the feelings that employees have around it that is the problem. Workforces should not be arriving at work or logging on in fear that they will soon lose their job.

So, what should employers be doing to quell the fear of being made redundant? Well, firstly they should open a line of communication with their employees to determine the mood of the workforce. At WorkL we’ve just launched self-serve surveys to measure employee experience, Wellbeing and Diversity & Inclusivity. Once you have determined the Wellbeing and Flight Risk of the team, the next step is to be transparent and share as much information with your workforce as you can. Be it in person or via email, answer the worries of your employees. Where does the business stand in terms of reducing its team in the near future? What measures is the business taking to make redundancies the last resort? How can employees help the business reduce redundancies if that is the case?

By addressing the elephant in the room, fears around redundancies will subside as employees will feel that they are ‘in the know’ and can make informed decisions, rather than guessing. It might not and should not stop Career Cushioning, but it will alleviate the stress around this trending term.

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