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There Are 3 Types of Pandemic Workers. Which One Are You?



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As the United States finally breaks away from the pandemic, three types of pandemic workers emerge from the disruption. There are thrivers, coasters, and strugglers. Which one are you? 

RELATED: 4.3M American Workers Quit Their Jobs to Look for New Ones

Pandemic Workers: Thriving, Coasting, and Struggling

Shopkeeper running his business while wearing a mask-Pandemic Worker

According to the latest CNBC/Momentive Workforce Survey, three types of pandemic workers are currently defining the American labor market.

The survey consisted of interviews with 11,000-plus workers between October 18 to 25. 42% of workers say they are “thriving” at work.

About the same number of workers (39%) say they are “coasting” at their jobs. Finally, around 15% of workers admit they are “struggling.” 

The numbers show optimism even as many workers went through almost two years of challenging situations. The pandemic brought shutdowns and layoffs. For the lucky ones, they got to work from home a few days a week.   

Pandemic Workers Began Rethinking Their Careers

As the economy recovered, companies began asking workers to return to their jobs and offices. However, many workers, especially in the retail sector, began rethinking their careers.

Most felt disconnected from fellow workers Others felt burned out.  As more and more employees join the “Great Resignation,” managers scramble to maintain their worker numbers.  

As a result, the typical workplace now has thrivers, coasters, and strugglers. Thrivers are the ones who are happiest with their jobs overall.

They connect the most with their colleagues and are less likely to quit. In contrast, strugglers score lowest in job satisfaction measures and are often the first to go. Coasters reside in the middle. 

Thrivers Score Highest in Workforce Happiness Index

In the latest results of the Workforce Happiness Index, the overall score remains 72 (over 100). This rating remains unchanged from November 2020 and recently April 2021.

Thrivers drove the score up, averaging a score of 83. Meanwhile, coasters scored 67, while strugglers averaged 58. For nearly every question tied to job satisfaction, thrivers scored higher than coasters. In return, coasters scored higher than strugglers. 

In addition, 86% of thrivers reported being well paid, compared with 71% of coasters and 51% of strugglers. 79% of thrivers say they know they have opportunities for career advancement. In contrast, only 54% of coasters and 39% of strugglers believe the same. 

Managers Should Identify Thrivers

With the record number of resignations across the labor market, managers, company owners, and executives need to pay more attention.

The survey results suggest that the company might need to pay better attention to employees who show more initiative. These are the ones who remain active during Zoom meetings.

They welcome and engage newer employees and participate more in surveys to get the workers’ pulse. Otherwise, the potential for losing more employees is a reality. 33% of workers say they’ve seriously considered quitting their jobs in the past three months. This rises to 39% if you only talk to workers ages 18 to 34. 

More importantly, the engagement-related metrics above remain intertwined. Those who are happiest with their jobs are the ones that will express commitment to work.

What data analysts found surprising was that the numbers stayed the same even during the past year and so. Thriving pandemic workers remained just as engaged as they were before the lockdowns happened.

Even as most employees have already gone back to the office, those who work from home remain motivated, engaged, and connected with their work. 

Watch the VOA News video reporting on The Great Resignation: US workers emerging from pandemic quit jobs at a record rate:

What kind of worker do you think you are?

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Where do you identify yourself as a worker? Are you a thriver, a coaster, or a struggler? What about a majority of your workforce?

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