As I see it, this is what’s happening in the labor market: The game has changed in terms of retaining and attracting talent. Employers are paying more attention to the dynamics of the employee experience to reduce turnover and, in short, it’s a buyer’s market.
In the past, companies would interview employees and ask, “Why should we hire you?”
Now, employees are coming to companies and asking, “Yeah, why would I work for you?” The days of people coming in and begging to work for you and your company are gone.
People have options. People also are at the end of their tether when it comes to being mistreated and working for toxic leadership at a company that has a terrible culture. It doesn’t matter. They’re done with it.
Hot take: Some of that’s from the pandemic, but some of that was just ready to happen. So, what can you be doing about this?
Not to brag, but this is a bell I’ve been ringing for years and years: Elevate and prioritize employee experience and culture.
As an analogy, back in the days of the dot com boom, organizations were winning by becoming obsessed with customer experience, being focused on what the customers need and what didn’t exist that they could give them that they want and need.
Organizations that have won historically with just what we’ve seen over the last 10 to 15 years is that those companies came out on top by giving customers exactly what they want, how they want it.
Not this old school attitude of, “If you want to do business with us, these are our operating hours” and “This is how you can engage with us.” The entire disruption industry said, “If we put the customers at the forefront of everything that we’re delivering in terms of a service and giving them exactly what they need and how they want it, then we will win.”
So, the parallel here is that organizations and companies need to also become obsessed with the employee experience.
What does it feel like to work for your company?
How are employees treated by their coworkers?
How are they treated by their management and leadership?
Do you care?
Do you celebrate people?
Are you obsessed with what it feels like to work for your company from the very beginning, in the hiring process, in the onboarding process, and how they’re giving feedback and coaching?
You need to be thinking and prioritizing that and being aware of it. And the way to do that is through creating an intentional, tactical culture, to be thinking about rewards and recognitions, to get creative and to do things that organizations have never done before.
Lots of companies are doing all kinds of creative, interesting things with benefits packages, health and childcare. These are just things where if we were to really, truly prioritize the employee experience, what would that look like?
What are the creative things that we’ve never even heard of that would be great for employees to have as a benefit working for us and helping to make our company successful?
It’s a buyer’s market and it’s a jungle out there. If you want to survive, you want to attract and retain great people, actually get them to work for you and keep the ones that you have who are great.
You need to level up and change the game. Change your mindset about how to prioritize the people who are doing the work to make our company successful. That is so important. That’s what’s happening right now. You either step it up or get left behind.
Galen Emanuele is a speaker and trainer on business leadership and team culture based out of Portland, Ore. Every week, Emanuele produces a video and blog post highlighting vital conversations, building skill sets and showing teams how to drive exceptional culture and leadership. To see more, visit shiftyes.com/blog.