April 8, 2019

Michael Moran

Today’s blog post is by 10Eighty CEO and Founder Michael Moran. He has a passion for helping people maximise their potential and believes everyone should have job satisfaction and a successful career and helps organisations design jobs and career paths that maximise employee engagement. 

Josh Bersin told us at the recent FuelX conference that engagement, productivity, and learning will be the growth drivers for the future. Lower birth rates will create a shortage of workers, forcing companies to grow through “increased productivity and quality of labour” – that means skills. The implications for senior leaders and HR professionals are clear, the world of work has changed:

·        The pace of change is relentless and in the current employment market is characterised by disruption and demographics that mean, for all the talk of millennials in the workplace, it’s the over 50’s who are going to be target candidates soon.

·        The digital transformation is not really about IT, it’s about people – customers want more interaction and so more employees, who are good communicators and who demonstrate the mix of soft and hard skills needed.

·        The job for life has gone and employers no longer own their employees and control their careers. Instead employees choose to lend themselves to companies as it suits them, to undertake work that interests them; the theme is around untethering and providing an employee experience that is attractive to this agile and mobile workforce.

To navigate in the current climate organisations need to create a learning experience at work. According to LinkedIn employees say that the primary reason that would cause to them to seek a new job is the inability to learn and grow in their current role.

 

Engaging people well

Bersin says “there’s nothing that excites a CEO or CHRO more than being listed on a ‘Best Place to Work’ list.” He notes that small, fast-growing companies offer career opportunities, upward sloping pay, and lots of personal growth. They may not always have the best culture, as sometimes their management is slightly in over their heads, and the total benefits package is often lacking but they are fun, exciting, and offer lots of personal growth. That doesn’t mean they should be “lower rated” than a traditional, slow growing company with lots of benefits because we are all looking for something specific from our jobs these days.

In fact, the issue of “engaging people well” is the biggest competitive differentiator in the modern workplace. If your employees love their work and the environment and culture you provide, they will treat customers better, innovate, and improve your business.

We have long said that “people leave managers, not organisations” but the way we work has changed and research by CultureAmp found that development opportunities and leadership have 3-4 times greater impact on retention than the relationship with your immediate manager and similarly TinyPulse found that peers have much greater impact on commitment than managers.

It’s all about being employee centric

Bersin thinks we need people not just ‘engaged’ but ‘fully committed’. Organisations that understand this do more than annual engagement surveys: they re-design jobs, design the work environment, offer flexible benefits, and continuously develop managers. They invest in people and are “mission-driven” with employees chosen for culture and job fit.

This requires an employee centric approach, the organisation does not own employees, it can attract them with a viable employee value proposition but retaining them depends upon a high level of engagement so that the organisation does not just “train” staff but “enables them to learn” and “gives them the opportunities to develop.” Employees will be happier when they have more chances to learn and grow.

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