By Alison Ettridge, chief believer at Talent Intuition
Tired of the smoke and mirrors of wellbeing-washing, diversity-washing and superficial corporate purpose, employees are demanding a more rewarding life at work from their employers.
In response, companies are developing a more responsible and human-centric approach as we return to work. However, bringing about this positive change needs to happen not through complex lengthy transformation, but through simple digital solutions that move the dial – quickly.
In the new world of work, what are the factors that truly matter in the employee value proposition? A rewarding life at work is no longer about linear progression up the career ladder nor financial reward and the goal posts have moved. In the old world, prime office space with a swanky lobby and an onsite coffee shop were part of the proposition. But in the new world where authenticity, fairness and inclusion are more important than the bricks and mortar of an employer, what will be valued? Reputation, opportunity, experience and leadership have been brought to the fore during recent months when employers were operating in crisis mode.
We also need to be mindful of what we might have lost from our proposition during the past few months. Remote working has been enjoyed by many but not by everyone and some employers are prioritising a return to the workplace for those who want to go back for their mental wellbeing. Travel has not been missed by many a commuter. But, for those employees who enjoyed travel, and for whom it was a perk of the job, the current value proposition is considerably poorer. Have we removed many of the elements of the value proposition that people valued? And how can we replace them and enrich the proposition moving forward? The only way to find out is to constantly listen and learn to what the internal and external workforce is telling you.
With so much change in a matter of months it’s critical that HR gets a handle on what really matters to people in the new world of work. HR has, until now, been behind the curve when it came to the adoption of tech, which means cutting straight to the right solutions now is more important than ever before. Data science holds the answers to many of HR’s current questions about how to attract and retain talent by drawing on sentiment and feedback from an external perspective.
Organisations have seen the business benefits of more flexible working and will no doubt question the cost of business premises and business travel. Digital tools have enabled distributed communication and connections have formed across departments, business units, locations and geographies that simply were not there before. But it’s not been plain sailing and the companies that recognised that employees may be struggling, for a multitude of reasons, and have taken steps to support their them and adapt to new ways of working will undoubtedly see higher employee retention. As we move forward into a more personal world of work, talent attraction and retention will be powered by data science to take out the guesswork and ensure that HR Directors are really tuned in to how we can create a rewarding life at work.