Why do we work? Silly question? What I really mean is; why do we continue to work for someone, a commercial entity or an institution?
In these user generated, self-selecting times we are no longer easy targets for sales, nor are we easily instructed or preached to from above, whatever the hierarchy of our work environment. The white noise and digital traffic telling us where to go, what to buy, who to like, are being more and more successfully sorted, filtered, deleted. The same could be said for old fashioned management and one-way comms from employers.
As consumers, younger employees choose to spend money and engage with brands more when there is an experiential component. It follows that they seek more experiential fulfilment in their source of income too; to engage with their work environment in more that just a 9-5, process-driven, one-size-fits-all way. The delineation of work time, work-from-home time, and leisure interests are increasingly blurred and QUALITY OF EXPERIENCE now needs to be a priority in the workplace.
Talent management need to engage far more with what their employees choose to do, in every area of life. Who they ARE is no longer restricted to life outside of the office. Identity, creative interests and talents, and family life are all there, in the work community. That sense of community can be a huge asset if the conversation with employees becomes truly two-way. Positive experiences and a sense of belonging are powerful motivating tools at the disposal of forward-looking HR professionals.
Switched on brands have started to dial down the mass-market, hard sell – or are combining it with individualised experience-based marketing opportunities, and they are seeing strong ROI and customer engagement with this approach.
HR Professionals too can learn from this shift in B2C practice. Employees are consumers, not just of the products they buy, but of the work environment you expect them to use. Your talent are your internal customers – they want to be surprised and delighted as much at work, as outside it.
“Superior customer experiences don’t happen by accident—they have to be actively designed and managed; the same is true of employee experiences.”
Don McLaughlin, VP, Global Business Services, Employee Experience/Cisco
In the same way as we might choose one brand over another, employees want to be loyal to, and align with, a company that has an ethos, or purpose they want to experience. So it’s more than just a job. So much so, that if employees really feel the organisational purpose, they will be paid less for it.
Businesses need to change the way they engage with employees:
- Employee experiences should be approached in a genuine, highly consumer-oriented way. Think about the value they will deliver to the individual, not just the “department” or product stream.
- Listen to employees; experiences should be based on their knowledge, their needs and expectations.
- Be employee-specific. One-size-fits-all doesn’t work for consumers and it won’t for employees.
- Find employee “moments that matter” – use these for really personalised experiences that will have the greatest impact on their satisfaction, productivity and business results.
- Use more innovative tools, eg crowdsourcing, open innovation, social participation, choice, and customisation to improve employee engagement and satisfaction.
- Work through influence, not just control: Organisations already have the tools and expertise to deliver on these ambitions. What’s required is bravery from within HR to invite participation, and for colleagues to invest their resources in supporting these efforts.
- Think transformation, not transaction: base engagement not on reactive and transactional survey results, but believe in the power of people to contribute deliver business strategy.
- Bring your brand’s inspiration to the employee experience.
Unconferences are delegate-led, free-form agenda, open-forum events. They are highly effective at delivering lasting, effective employee experiences, because the experience and talent of employees are placed front and centre. As drivers and owners of the action, they are evangelists of the outcomes.
The talent needed by big business today, is there on the doorstep – an unconference event will allow clients to simply open the doors and let it in.
be-good produce deconstructed live events that bring people together to contribute and do more than listen. Talk to us – we can make a difference to your next event.