Understanding the ‘Modern Employee’
Editor's NoteOpinion

Understanding the ‘Modern Employee’

Atlanta Jewish Times shares our resolutions on what all of us are hoping to accomplish, avoid, and improve upon in the New Year.

In addition to being the AJT’s managing publisher and interim editor, Kaylene Ladinsky is the president of Americans United With Israel.

Kaylene Ladinsky, AJT editor and managing publisher, said it’s been important to keep the Jewish community connected.
Kaylene Ladinsky, AJT editor and managing publisher, said it’s been important to keep the Jewish community connected.

2022 New Years Resolution from Kaylene Ladinsky

From lockdowns to layoffs, the pandemic wreaked havoc on every aspect of daily life. Companies and consumers cut corners to make ends meet — we all hoped that relief would come quickly in 2021, but that was not the case.

Microsoft recently found that 30% of general staff and front-line workers say the pandemic has increased their feelings of burnout at work during 2020 and 2021. I’ve talked to many other community leaders and business owners that have voiced the same concerns. Whether it is getting staff to work in office, finding staff to fill positions or meeting the demands in the current job market, the conversations are all the same – this is a different generation of workers that we are dealing with.

I am not so sure that it is specific to an age group. I think that this has more to do with the recent challenges we have faced together. Whether the employee is in their late fifties or a kid graduating from high school, I am calling them a “Modern Employee.” Not to say that there is not a difference in employees of a later generation, but the modern employee is becoming our general workforce.

My old days of managing as a general manager [I had over 120 employees at any given time], standing by the timeclock shaking my fingers at those that are tardy, are over. This is a new world we are evolving into. Employees want to be empowered; they want to have their responsibilities laid out to them, and to know exactly what they need to accomplish to perform their job well. They want consequences and rewards set up front, flexible work arrangements, improved compensation and benefits.

There are many employers who have made clear requests and demands for what they need in the workplace, yet their employees are still not satisfied, and this level of misunderstanding can feel deeply frustrating. But I hear these business owners discussing this issue and they are insisting that this is a generation of entitlement and laziness. Well, I disagree.

So, my resolution for 2022 is to understand the “modern employee.” Find ways to compromise with the staff and make sure that I am becoming a better leader. It’s important that I make every effort to understand my team and their needs. Even if I can’t meet all their requests, I need to try to understand them more. I know that I must be more specific when outlining the expectations, rewards and consequences – this will give them the flexibility to decide for themselves what kind of employee that they want to be, the flexibility to increase their own income and for our team to move forward in a productive and respectful professional way.

I say thank you 2021 for the challenges I have faced, that will mold me into a better leader, that understands our “Modern Employees” more in 2022.

Kaylene Ladinsky is the editor and managing publisher at the Atlanta Jewish Times.

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