The time for naivety is over and companies can no longer do without a more radical, more committed “transformation”.
The time for naivety is over. It is true that the arrival of start-ups on the economic scene initiated an important shift in the world of work. And it brings new needs among employees, desires for freedom, impact, personal fulfillment, meaning. Under the pressure of new generations, most companies began to change: adopting a raison d’être, to define a clear course of commitment, readable both internally and externally; or choosing a mission, social or environmental.
But in the space of two years, the @balancetastartup movement, Covid and the recent recession have rendered those early changes – purpose, impact and personal fulfillment – insufficient, even frustrating, in the face of a world of work in constant turmoil. On the one hand, because employees and customers – true actors of consumption – now investigate behind the scenes before buying or getting involved in a collaboration. The raison d’être of a company, no matter how beautiful it may be, no longer depends on the experience of the customer and the employee. On the other hand, because the search for meaning fits increasingly poorly with the violent economic accordion strokes that see burgeoning startups hiring employees with a vengeance, only to fire them by the wagons a few months later at the first fire point in the markets. . Turn employees into disposable employees.
In the face of heightened awareness of a world on fire, purely financial impact, strictly individual achievement, or a sadly cosmetic raison d’être are no longer sufficient to create desire and retention. It was a necessary first step. But in order to continue attracting and retaining increasingly versatile and militant employees and customers, companies can no longer do without a more radical, more committed “transformation”… They now have to move from the reason for being to the reason for acting, greeting (strictly individual development) in fair fill (accomplishment at the service of a broader and fairer collective mission), thanks to a brick this time more collective than individual. Because the search for meaning and the need to be useful that drive today’s citizens will not disappear.
On the contrary, they herald an important shift in the social paradigm. Activism is no longer reserved for an intimate commitment, outside the professional sphere. Everyone now wants to contribute to the world, on a daily basis, in their work, while fulfilling themselves in this action. But today, without necessarily achieving it alone… In this, organizations, within the economic and social fabric, a crucial turning point between the old economy and the challenges of tomorrow’s world, have an important role to play. On the one hand, giving employees concrete keys to achievement reoriented towards the meaning of the action, but also towards the human and collective value of work. And shaping a truly more responsible, sustainable and equitable economic world.
To achieve this, companies must give back their noble cards to the collective, helping their employees to move from the “me” to the “we”, allowing everyone to flourish in their work in the long term. We have lost the habit of building long-term paths and skills to build ourselves. It is time for companies to offer complete training courses, adopt strict compliance with the law, allow individuals to interact better in teams so that they feel useful precisely where it matters to them and find meaning and well-being for themselves and for the community . In the future, companies capable of recruiting without difficulty will be those that are able to offer meaning, training and respect to their employees, both in their day-to-day work and in the remuneration offered.
By thus maximizing their useful impact on the world, by making the assumed choice to work only with companies or suppliers that place utility and human and animal respect at the top of their priorities, companies will shape the contours of an economy – and therefore of a society – more responsible, sustainable and fair. More in tune with the unprecedented challenges ahead.
We are at a turning point that must not be missed, if we want to be able to go beyond the codes of the old and deadly economy, towards a more just and sustainable model. It is up to everyone to lay the first ethical and collective bricks that resemble them. It’s time we sound the death knell of general overconsumption (like disposable employees) together so that it doesn’t overconsume our world.