For quite a while, we’ve been hearing a lot about employee engagement. It’s been promoted as the main reason why employees choose to stay productive within certain organizations. Engaged employees drive productivity and revenue growth in those organizations. Although that idea served organizations well for the past 20 years or so, according to a new whitepaper sponsored by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) the new competitive advantage appears to be employee fulfillment. Happy employees are 12% more productive, and unhappy employees are 10% less productive.
Why does this matter?
Many employers have been able to pick and choose which employees to hire … and they could get away with not treating them especially well (e.g., long hours, flat incomes, dreadful corporate cultures). Demographic factors will probably change things in favour of employees, even though automation may offset this to some extent. This shift in the economy may make employee fulfillment much more important.
Millennials are known for preferring to buy from and work for organizations that do work that is consistent with their values. This matters because millennials became the biggest generation in the labour force in 2016. As they climb the corporate ladder and gain influence, this will become even more important. These employees are looking for more from their work experience. They are seeking employment that is meaningful and provides some personal fulfillment. They prefer to work in organizations where they have a chance to develop and develop authentic relationships.
In concrete terms, this means workplaces with the following characteristics will become even more desirable:
- Opportunities to learn and develop on the job
- Access to training, mentorship, and coaching
- Real opportunities for career development and progression
- Flexible hours and/or the ability to work from home periodically
- Work environments that are free from bullying, harassment, and other toxic behaviours
- Workplaces that are inclusive and where implicit and explicit discrimination isn’t tolerated because the stated and practiced values match
Currently, and in the recent past, the information or knowledge economy was the focus, where employees were the source of wealth creation. Corporate innovation came from knowledge, and the main priority was to benefit from employees’ talent and keep them engaged to maximize their output and corporate profits. In the emerging purpose economy, a sense of meaning and purpose in work are the main sources of innovation. There’s more attention on humanizing work, and prioritizing psychological safety where people can bring their whole selves to work rather than covering up core aspects of themselves. In the purpose economy, it’s easy to anticipate that there should be less tolerance of high performing yet toxic employees and leaders who create conflict and ongoing turmoil. There will be an understanding that for a business to flourish, their people must also be thriving.
Cynics will say that this brave new world of work will never happen, but it sure looks appealing. Time will tell …
Do you need help navigating the world of work? Contact Dr. Helen today for a free and confidential initial consultation by phone, email, or via direct message on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. If something urgent comes up, I’m also available by a voice or video on Magnifi, an expertise-on-demand app.
Have you ever wished you could get inside the head of a hiring manager? You can. Dr. Helen Ofosu is a Career Coach/Counsellor with a difference. She has worked for organizations to create hiring and screening tools. She’s created countless pre-screening tests, interviews, simulations, and role plays for organizations of all kinds.
Dr. Helen’s training in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology means she is a genuine expert in evaluating work-related behaviours. She uses those skills to help hiring managers tell the difference between people who say the right things during interviews and people who actually deliver on the job. In other words, Dr. Helen understands first-hand how job candidates are assessed.
More than career coaching, it’s career psychology®.
I/O Advisory Services – Building Resilient Careers and Organizations.
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