When corporate karma is in the hands of employees

The Great Aspiration

The Harvard Business Review published in early April a text re-qualifying the “Great Dismissal” as “Great Aspiration” by Whitney Johnsonthe author of the book Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Business. The article explained, among other things, that we are entering a redefinition of workers’ roles that echoes similar changes that took place during the Industrial Revolution. A meaning-seeking workforce that, it was believed, would be delighted with a modern organizational culture. But what are the limits of this culture and/or the way it is brought to life? How to be outgoing in this age of change, instead of constantly reacting? Every company is clamoring for an employer brand, expecting instead an attraction campaign that generates often unattainable and very short-term results. Meanwhile, preliminary data from the 2021 Population Census released on April 27 show that the talent shortage is not expected to diminish in the coming years.

When culture is no longer enough
What used to be sensational now seems to be the bare minimum. Companies must continually rethink how they stand out and create “memorable” moments for their customers, but also for their employees. The old ways of bringing the company culture to life are still relevant, but they are no longer enough to have a significant impact on the employee experience or even the engagement rate. So what changed?

The novelty is that companies must connect their great raison d’etre to that of the individuals who lead them. Employees are, first and foremost, humans who want to fulfill themselves and contribute to something greater than themselves, in an environment that meets their core beliefs.

The (future) role of the employer
For the first time in history, employer involvement will have to go beyond the workplace. Generation Z has redefined the parameters by which it intends to enter the job market. Young people who favor companies with a concrete impact on society, at the same time that they want to assert their place and fulfill themselves at work, all in a flexible, open and inclusive framework. A complete redefinition of priorities, but also of the meaning of work. The boundaries between personal life and professional life have blurred. In particular, the physical limits, but also those relating to the role of the employer in contributing to the well-being of its employees, which is no longer limited to infrastructure and working hours.

Where to start?
It all starts with a clear and well-defined vision, around a meaningful and coherent reason for being within the complete brand ecosystem. Does this raison d’être have the potential to motivate, mobilize and connect employees while guiding priorities to achieve growth objectives? This is the starting point of strategy and the key to implementing aligned actions and building rather than constantly reacting. The raison d’être of the company will have to be reconciled with that of the employees. The role each person will play in the grand ambition must be clear and emphasized throughout their journey from hire to exit, as well as in their development plan. Whether the company has 25 or 250 people, the candidate-employee experience will also have to be rethought so that there is a complete mapping of the journey, highlighting the achievements and integrating actions so that each talent feels unique and useful for the development of the business.

The future of companies will not only depend on employees, but each individual will actively contribute to it. It’s a do-it-yourself thing that goes beyond workforce recruitment concerns and fits into a much greater need to create consistency and relevance across the industry.

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