The Future of Employee Experience: Providing Meaning and Fulfillment, Beyond Pay and Benefits
In today’s competitive employment atmosphere organizations are looking for new, enticing ways to attract new talent and retain existing team members. Transparency through sights like GlassDoor, InDeed, and others have just muddied the waters of the talent pool. Information about pay and benefits have become quite public. Employers and hiring managers are being forced to entertain innovative and sometimes odd practices in standing out in the current business landscape. They have realized that employees experience is a great way to redefine how our talent views their organizations. It began with flexible workspaces, collaborative huddle rooms, and stand-up desks. It has since graduated to remote officing options, flexible work hours, unstructured org. charts, and project based work. The employee benefits/perks arms race has been escalating. In the search for a way to instill loyalty in our employees, we have plunged headlong in the wrong direction. It started off innocently enough with free snacks, company sponsored lunches, foosball tables in the break room, and nap rooms. None of these perks are bad, however, they have taken the place of the real goal which is building loyalty in our organization. Every one of these small ‘perks’is actually encouraging the wrong behavior. If you have ever dealt with children, you know that bribes do NOT work. Bribes do not create loyalty, bribes create greed.
All recent research has concluded that employees desire fulfillment in their work over higher wages. The majority of millennials claim that they are willing to work for less money if they feel their work has purpose and with millennials estimated to make up over 50% of the workforce by 2021 it is critical to our organizations to focus on employee experience now. Contrary to media portrayals, employee experience is not about free tacos on Tuesdays, ping pong tables, or unlimited PTO. The future of employee experience is rooted in the employee’s emotional connection to their contribution. It will no longer be enough to bribe employees with pay and benefits. Every organization deserves engaged employees and every employee deserves to be engaged. If you truly want to cultivate a phenomenal employee experience you need to focus on providing your team with meaning and fulfillment in their role, not perks and bribes. Once we help our team members derive fulfillment in their role they will not only want to stay at our organization, they will NEVER want to leave.
Feel free to provide the snacks, clear out some space for a game table, but remember that real employee experience happens in the emotional connection your employees have with their contribution.