Rising energy prices, the war on talent, and increasing costs of materials. The world is getting more and more chaotic and demanding. It becomes difficult to keep organisations running with so much instability. Energy usage of (office) buildings is one of the highest expenses of companies, employees nowadays switch jobs more often, and non-resilient organisations lose their competitive advantage. Several companies have been forced to shut down because of energy costs and a lack of employees and materials is faltering production processes. So how can you navigate your organisation through this complex world?
The war on talent
With an ageing population, it becomes much more difficult to attract and find the right employees in a scarce pool of talent. Highly specialist older workers, known as “Machine whisperers”, are now leaving the workplace with valuable knowledge (source). Especially for large technology organisations with complex software, hardware and infrastructures, it becomes challenging to replace these machine whisperers. This is accompanied by the fact that many organisations today have issues with retention. Millennials often switch between jobs; “job hopping” becomes their new normal. For example, 91% of millennials expect to leave their job in less than three years (source). Job hopping makes it difficult to train employees towards becoming the next machine whisperers. So how can we improve employee attraction and retention and sustain the organisational machines?
Working on employee experience is one way to attract and retain employees as discussed in our last whitepaper. There is strong scientific evidence that enhancing employee experience is indeed beneficial. For example, a recent scientific meta-analysis across 230 independent organisations found a significant, strong positive correlation between employees’ satisfaction with their company and employee productivity, customer loyalty and employee retention. Many organisations are now heading towards this direction already. According to Willis Tower Watson, who surveyed a total of 1,550 employers representing 9.45 million employees, 92% of employers are now increasingly focusing on employee experience, which was much lower pre-Covid. However, high employee well-being and satisfaction can be achieved in different ways.
To understand attraction and retention, Mckinsey coined the term “Employee Value Proposition,” or EVP: what employees get for what they give. “Gives” comes in many flavours: time, effort, experience, and ideas. “Gets” include tangible rewards, the experience of working in a company, how its leadership helps employees, or the substance of the work.
The “Gets” might become more and more important for young people. Because there is no doubt employees are feeling economic uncertainty too. They are struggling with fuel prices, heating their homes, and have a fear of the effects of climate change (source). So having reasonable salaries and job certainty is something that talent is searching for. But that’s not all. The fear of uncertainty also makes young people desire to prevent the world from getting worse. Organisations that contribute to the world in a positive way, such as fighting climate change can count on many applicants. For example, the sustainable clothing brand Patagonia receives about 9.000 applications for 1 open position and their problem is their high retention, nobody wants to leave the company.
Altogether, in order to attract and retain employees and develop them to become the next machine whisperers, employees need to be able to find what they need. They can find a sense of certainty through salary and career development, or/and a sense of meaning through contributing to a good cause. By creating an organisational ecosystem of balanced Gets and Gives, you will be able to attract and retain employees. In our whitepaper about employee well-being, we formulated the model shown below. And in our recent blog we extended this knowledge by seeing organisations as well-being ecosystems.