We are in the midst of an unprecedented revolution in the work environment - COVID has simply given oxygen to and accelerated a movement that society knew was here and coming. Employees are now considering opportunities more than ever - whether it is feeling appreciated and respected, being part of a great culture, having flexibility, having access to active and consistent training and development, working with an organisation with a connected social conscience / purpose and feeling rewarded financially - employees simply want more value attached to their work life.
Understandably, as work has asked more from employees and crept further into their lives, they have accepted that proposition but asked in return for something of value that resonates with their beliefs and /or needs. While employees may not always exactly know what that something of value is, they certainly know when they don’t get it or don’t feel it and now, more so than ever, they are prepared to act.
The current obvious bandaid solution organisations are deploying for employees leaving, is offering increased salaries and/or bonuses. While this can be a necessary and understandable short-term approach given it solves the current issue of resourcing and delivery on current market demand, it doesn’t solve the underlying problem - the value proposition that employees are looking for in their workplace, their organisation and their leaders.
Most organisations are trying to combat the changing landscape and employee sentiment and stay ahead of the curve with flexible policies, WFH opportunities and a more committed social purpose, but the underlying message from employees in general is for a consultative and customised approach. The days of executive and board meetings deciding what’s best for their employees as a whole is evolving. Employees generally, like society, want organisations to engage with them, understand more about what matters to them and acton that engagement and feedback in a committed way. It’s time for organisations to think differently. Having the answer isn’t always the answer. In listening and truly engaging with employees, employers can craft an approach and go on a journey together that will importantly be jointly owned and co-invested in, and ultimately provide a great platform for mutual and sustained success.