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What kind of worker has pandemic made you? There are three types

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Record number of Americans are quitting their jobsThe hot labor market is abuzz no signs of coolingIt is. With so much churn in the labor force, workers at every job level and across industries have an unprecedented chance to mold their current job into their dream job — or leave and seek it elsewhere.

The country is still recovering from the pandemic. More than 42% of American workers (42%) claim they are “thriving” at their jobs, while only 39% (39%) report that they are “coasting”, according to the most recent survey. CNBC|Momentive Workforce Survey. Only 15% of American workers say they struggle at work, according to the survey. It was taken among over 11,000 workers from October 18-25. 

These figures reflect an amazing jolt to optimism in a workforce who has endured a year-and-a-half of difficulties related to the Covid-19 epidemic: first layoffs and shutdowns followed by endless days of working at home. 

Many workers are beginning to question their career choices after the reshuffle of jobs began in summer. The best managers will spot struggling employees early and take the steps necessary to make them thrive. “Great Resignation” rolls on 

Three distinct types of workforce members are Thrivers (coasters), Thrivers and Strivers. Overall, Thrivers have higher levels of happiness, are more connected to their coworkers, loyal to their employers and less likely to leave. The lowest score on any job satisfaction measure is for those who struggle and they are at greatest risk of losing their jobs in the future. We find coasters somewhere between the two extremes. 

These are the interrelated parts of job satisfaction

Momentive Workforce Survey, we calculate an index based on responses to five questions designed to represent workers satisfaction with their pay, their opportunities for advancement, recognition for their work, control over their job, and how much meaning they derive from their job.|Momentive Workforce Survey, we calculate an index based on responses to five questions designed to represent workers satisfaction with their pay, their opportunities for advancement, recognition for their work, control over their job, and how much meaning they derive from their job. 

The Workforce Happiness Index scores 72/100 in the latest data, which is unchanged since April this year and November 2020. Coasters are at 67 while Thrivers score 83. Those who struggle have an average score of 56. 

Self-identified “thrivers”, who are self-identified as “coasters,” score more than those who identify themselves as “coasters” on nearly all questions, even ones that may be tangentially connected to job satisfaction. They also score higher in almost every other question than those who identify themselves “strugglers.”

Nearly everyone who claims they’re thriving in their job is satisfied with their work, surpassing the 88% and 80% who are struggling. 

Even worse, 86% thrivers claim they are well-paid, as compared to 71% coasters or 51% strugglers. 79% thrivers also say that they have great opportunities for advancement in their careers, while 54% coasters say the same and 39% strugglers do not. 

These factors all play a role in employee experiences. HR and managers should pay attention. Scores that are high on one measurement are likely to show up on the others. There is no way for workers to consider themselves to be successful while also feeling unpaid, devalued by colleagues, or as if their work has no meaning. 

The Thrivers don’t give up!

Managers and executives are under greater pressure to keep high-performing employees, given record attrition rates. This survey suggests they may want to be more attentive to Zoom meeting participants and to those who go the extra mile for new employees. They might also need to dig into employee engagement surveys data to find out how their workers feel about work. 

A third of workers (33%), say that they have seriously considered quitting work in the last three months. This number rises to 39% for workers aged 18-34. 

Workers who are considered to be thriving have a lower rate of success than those working as coasters (18% against 40%), and they are also three-times more likely than workers that strugglers (62%). They’re less likely to report having thought about quitting. Also, Thrivers tend to be less likely than coasters (52%), and even more so with struggling (71%), to claim that their team is understaffed.

54 percent of thrivers say that they are more loyal now to their company than before the pandemic. This is more than double the rate for coasters (24%), and triple that of struggling (17%). Additionally, thrivers are 47% more likely than those who were affected by the pandemic to feel closer with their coworkers than ever (47% vs 21% for coasters) and 16% vs 18% for strugglers. 

Similar to the happiness metrics above, engagement-related metrics can be interconnected. People who are satisfied with their work and who share a strong sense of loyalty to the company as well, will have a long-lasting commitment to their jobs. Surprisingly, this is true even in the face of the severe challenges posed by the pandemic.

The remote workers are as committed as the ones who come to work 

64 percent of employees have returned to work, but 16% report that they still work from home. 17% say they split their time between both. According to survey data, people who are still at home feel just as motivated and engaged than those who commute to work.

Remote, in-person and hybrid workers tend to be equally inclined to identify themselves as coasters, thrivers and strugglers. About four out of 10 people in each group are thriving or coasting, while less than a quarter are struggling.

In April this year many workers started to wonderIt is possible that an impending reopening office would result in a duo class of workers. There will be one group with ambitious coworkers who come to work each day to have face-to-face meetings with their higher-ups and another group who are less driven but prefer the fast track to promotion to the safety of their homes. While that concern is still prevalent today, the data aren’t bearing out the hypothesis, at least not yet: thriving, coasting, and struggling employees are evenly distributed between the office and the home office — and hybrid work, too. 

Adam Grant, a Wharton School Professor made waves a viral New York Times article“Languishing,” as the “dominant emotion” of 2021. But as the pandemic eases, languishing has given way to — if not thriving — at least coasting into the end of the year more positively than it started for most in the workplace. 

Register at www.CNBC Workforce Executive Council cnbccouncils.com/wec

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