With resignations at the highest they have been in over a decade, employees are prioritising an overall better experience at work. Thom Dennis, CEO of Serenity in Leadership, explains more.
Living in a VUCA world means some of us may be more risk-averse and are prioritising security, whilst others are looking at their lives and wanting to make changes after new priorities have been unlocked in the last two years. Employees may also be rethinking the design of their roles as they adjust to hybrid working, whilst others increasingly put purpose and values at the top of their employee experience priority list. So what questions should we be focusing on to make sure we are getting the best employee experience?
Leaders who want to find out what employees really want will collaborate with their teams, fostering curiosity along with a growth mindset, and so design strategy and objectives together. Businesses need to really listen to what is being said by creating spaces in which people feel safe to dialogue and give their views.
Businesses can no longer bury their heads in the sand and push their employees to burn themselves out. We need to balance the imbalanced and make employee well-being the norm.
Many employees increasingly want to work for a business that has a clear purpose and which cares about important issues. This means examining what the business stands for and matching that with our values.
Are you and your team being recognised as the beating heart of the organisation? Businesses need to maintain motivation with positive, meaningful reinforcement. Companies that promote from within first before looking outside the organisation, whilst treasuring diversity and fresh ideas, are showing they put their people first. Organisations with a culture of recognition that offers bespoke rewards that matter to the individual are the ones who will retain their talent.
Are the leaders of your organisation clearly communicating with the team and not just focused on the C-Suite and stakeholders? Communication goes two ways and employees want honest, clear and consistent messaging to know how the company is progressing and to feel part of a team, and importantly, listened to.
Honesty, accountability, integrity and transparency retains employees and keeps them motivated, engaged and confident through the hard times. In a VUCA world in particular, leaders should avoid raising expectations and then not following through, and should always be leading by example.
Many of us need to be offered shadowing, mentoring, training and project opportunities to main motivation and to feel we are progressing.
Trust must be at the heart of your organisation, so the ultra-controlling behaviour and excessive meetings that we saw in lockdowns must be a thing of the past. We do not buy our employees’ time but the results of their experience, creativity and talent.
Is diversity and inclusion prioritised and is cultural intelligence cultivated? Do your leaders regularly look deeply for clues of bias, discrimination and harassment (not least in themselves) and then actively do something about it? Creating a space in which everyone feels accepted, respected and included means understanding and appreciating differences between generations, genders, cultures as well as the mental and financial wellbeing of employees.
Our very uniqueness, from life to work experience, are the very things that enable us to bring something different to the table. Diversity is good for business, creates a healthier work environment and promotes creativity and productivity. Leaders should never make unilateral decisions about the inclusion of those whom any future policy affects.