New Year and a New Power Generation: Employees in the Driver’s Seat

As the world continues its slow emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic, companies continue to adapt their policies and processes to meet the needs of today’s employees.

One unexpected victim of COVID-19 was the power differential between employers and employees.

Companies could make unilateral decisions about employee benefits and working conditions in the past. But in the current environment, with so many employees now working remotely, it is no longer possible for companies to operate without input from their workforce.

The Great Resignation has put businesses on unsettled footing – looking for new ways to hire and keep great employees. These changes have helped put employees in the driver’s seat of the workplace expectations – and given rise to the new Power Generation in today’s market.

Employees Are Starting with Why

In his seminal work Start With Why Simon Sinek argues that successful businesses and brands must ask themselves why they exist. Now, employees take charge of their own personal branding and ask themselves why they clocked in every day.

As companies continue to change what they offer their employees, individuals focus on what is important to them.

They ask themselves why they come into the office every morning and how they want to be perceived by their peers. They are starting businesses, prioritising work-life balance, and placing family needs at the center of their professional lives.

There is a new shift in the psychological employment contract, and employees and employers are on an even keel. These contracts are being altered to reflect what employees need more than what they must give back to the employer.

Many companies are now responding with new recruiting personas – with less focus on experience and education and more on how individuals perceive themselves, their passions, and their future goals.

It’s all about Employee Experience – a movement causing seismic shifts in the workforce. Companies and organisations must take note if they are to hire, retain, and multiply the contribution of the next-generation workforce.

5 Ways Employees Experience is Changing the Workforce

1. Individuals Are Driven by Intrinsic Motivation

People are motivated by different factors.

Some employees achieve their best results when they work for a common goal. Others find meaning in the knowledge that they are providing value to society, and some need to keep busy because they can’t handle downtime.

Employers now understand the importance of identifying and catering to these needs and wants – and the difference it makes for both the individual and the company.

2. People Are More Open to Change…

In an ever-changing world, people are less dogmatic about their preferences. They are willing to work from home or in a coworking space – even if they prefer an office environment.

A flexible schedule that provides downtime in the middle of the day is more important than an extra hour at home. And they would rather have a shorter commute and work from a different location every day instead of being stuck in traffic for hours on end.

3. …And Open to Flexibility

People want to be treated like adults and given responsibility and opportunities to help them achieve their goals. They want to work on projects that they are passionate about and feel a sense of ownership in their work.

Employers realise that employees need more than just money to be productive and satisfied with their jobs. They need to feel like they are part of something larger and that their work has meaning.

4. The Workplace Experience is Critical

Due to the increased need for flexibility and freedom, employers now understand that providing a great work experience is just as crucial as offering competitive compensation.

This entails treating employees with respect and encouraging creative thinking and engagement with their work. It also means rewarding people for their efforts and giving them opportunities to develop new skills and advance. Plus, managers are expected to empathize and sympathize with team members’ physical and mental health needs.

5. The Five Year Career is an Old Idea

The idea of having a career at one organisation for more than five years was never realistic before – but now it’s almost unheard of unless you’re at a non-profit or a public institution.

This has had a profound impact on the hiring process since people are less likely to commit to a job that doesn’t offer the flexibility and growth potential they need.

The Power Generation is Already Here

In the past few years, we have seen tremendous change in the way companies hire employees – emphasizing soft skills rather than technical abilities.

The Power Generation is a generation of employees who have learned to advocate for themselves and their needs. They are looking for fulfilling work that provides them with opportunities to learn and grow.

The days of working at a job you hate just to make ends meet are coming to an end. The Power Generation is already changing the workforce, and it will only get stronger.

Organisations that want to remain competitive must take employee experience into account and find ways to meet the needs of their employees. Only then will they be able to hire, retain, and multiply the contribution of this new generation workforce.