The Great Resignation has officially come to an end as interest hikes, slower wage growth, inflation, and layoffs have prompted more Americans to stay put at their jobs. But while many industries driven by office workers are no longer scrambling to fill roles, there is still a significant shortage of front-line workers nationwide. Nearly half of small business owners recently reported having job openings they couldn’t fill. As a result, companies that rely on essential workers have been raising hourly wages and offering creative new benefits to compete in the labor market.

The health care worker shortage is most dire, as their work is quite literally life and death. Many professionals in this industry are understandably burnt out after years of the pandemic, with nearly 1/3 of nurses considering leaving their patient care roles in the next year. As a result, the U.S. currently needs more than 37,000 people to join the workforce across primary care, dental health and mental health. How can we make these roles more attractive to new graduates and career changers, to ensure the American population stays alive and well? The health care industry has pulled a few levers to remedy this, such as redistributing unmanageable workloads, automating workflows, and attempting to expand the labor pool to new entrants, but these solutions have unfortunately proven to be insufficient.

It may sound simple, but to attract and retain the best workers, employers must understand employees’ life circumstances and what gets in the way of performing at work. Front-line workers are financially stressed, with 38% claiming that running out of money before payday adds undue pressure, especially when they’re already struggling with economic forces like inflation and wage stagnation. On top of that, the Biden Administration recently announced that student loan interest and payments will resume in September, making money concerns even more worrisome for workers saddled with debt.

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