The world of work is slowly emerging from 2-years of Covid lock-down and there is a lot of re-thinking to do by both employees and employers. The ‘great resignation’ that many organisations are facing has, at its heart, a ‘great re-think’ by employees, who are re-shaping their expectations and relationship with their work & their careers. The number of side-bar company startups by people already in employment is at an all-time high. Wonder why?
Research recently done by Gartner, (‘Reinventing the Employee Value Proposition’), shown that if employers are going to attract and then retain the best talent, they need to shift their focus away from what they offer employees by way of perks, to how their employees feel working for them. The research shows that the pre-pandemic arms race to offer the best ‘perks’ will simply not hack it anymore.
The research shows that employees need to feel cared for financially, physically and emotionally. This is new ground for most employers, who traditionally encouraged people to leave their family and personal lives at the door and bring only their professional life into the workplace. The forced mash-up of home and work life during the lock-down has changed this mind-set for good.
The Human Deal – key ingredients for a more holistic employee experience
What is needed is a new mind-set that replaces the ‘employment contract’ with a ‘human deal’ carefully tailored to meet the challenges each individual faces. This is new thinking for many organisations and here are some initial thoughts on what to focus on in order to start the conversation in your organisation.
Family Matters – When threatened by the pandemic all of us re-connected with something we already knew, family matters! As a result employers need to be as accommodating as possible to allow their people to work around family commitments. Clearly, not all roles allow for this flexibility, but those that do should, otherwise your talent will walk into organisations that offer this flexibility.
Trust & Autonomy – The lock-down and home working greatly increased the degree of autonomy we all had as to when, on what and how we worked. The fact is that given the trust of our organisation, most of us found we were sitting on a hidden productivity pot that got released once the daily commute and interminably long face-to-face meetings disappeared from our calendars’. The Gartner report showed that productivity gains of up to 40% are not uncommon when people were given control over what they work on, when and how they do their work.
Shared Purpose – The pandemic made all of us revisit purpose. Why are we doing what we do and is it all worth it in the end? Those employers who have invested the time and energy to develop a shared purpose for their organisation, one that addresses a need beyond that of simply providing a decent return to shareholders, are far more likely to engage and align their people to higher delivery performance. We want to know what you stand for and why we should work for you. If you cannot answer these questions with a higher purpose that resonates with our purpose, then we will go work for someone who can.
Personal Growth – We all learned some new skills during lock-down. Some were driven by necessity as we grappled with the technology and new remote working software applications. Other skills were more focused on things we are interested in and for which we have a passion. Employers who offer personal development and personal growth training that compliments the usual technical training will win the war on talent. Those that don’t, won’t.
Well Being – Most large firms already offered a variety of well-being programs, but few employees take advantage of them. The successful employer will tackle this challenge head on. In our coaching we use the Wheel of Life model to help individuals re-balance their lives and commit to personal actions that nudge habits into more productive and healthy areas. Employees want to be treated as whole individuals and those employers who offer personal growth mentoring and coaching will build employee loyalty.
Replacing the employment contract mind-set with a human deal mind-set is set to be one of the biggest challenges faced by leaders in 2022 and beyond. The days of companies winning the arms race to offer the best perks are coming to an end. This is pre-pandemic thinking and needs to evolve.
If you would like some help thinking through the challenges you face retaining and attracting new talent using the Human Deal mindset, then please contact us we would be delighted to start a conversation with you.