There is a new currency out there and I’m not talking about Bitcoin…or Ethereum for that matter. Increasingly we are seeing the intangibles weighing more heavily on the hearts and minds of applicants and employees when making employment decisions.
So, what are some modern-day tenders of choice?
Flexibility– There have been countless articles, research, and conferences about how millennials wish to work differently. What is surprising to some is that many other generations are thanking them for being the catalyst for change positively impacting the way we work. Working parents, human and fur alike, now enjoy greater flexibility to provide their most meaningful contribution in a manner that makes sense for their roles and their lives. Progressive leaders empower their people with a challenging mandate and then allow them to decide how to best achieve the optimal outcome. From flex-hours to remote work, how we work has changed and thank goodness for that!
Solution- Consider implementing agile workforce programs in your workplace. This is more than writing a policy, it’s a lifestyle change. Lead by example by having your leaders demonstrate these progressive programs in how they collaborate and measure success.
Inspiring leadership– Move over command and control, inspiring leadership is where its at. What resonates with someone is individual, but we have yet to hear someone ask to join a company where there is more hierarchy, regiment, and excessive approval processes. What we do hear about is accessible leadership, removing bottlenecks, mission-driven work, and a clear vision.
Solution- From the top of the house down, ask yourself if you have the type of leaders that will magnetize critical talent populations to your organization. On a go-forward basis, be sure to hire leaders that support a cultural metamorphosis.
Virtualization– In order to achieve this flexibility, one needs technological requirements to help make it happen. A virtualized workplace has allowed us to collaborate not only cross-functionally, but also globally in very meaningful ways. Legacy facetime has been replaced with Apple Facetime, Google Hangouts, and Skype. Providing smart ways to work helps a workforce manage their most precious resource, their time, by shaving hours off their commute and positively impacting the environment.
Solution– Start utilizing tech tools that power a modern workforce. You would be surprised how many are free or low cost. Locate the early adopters in your employee population and empower them to train and evangelise on these tools.
Purpose– “We’re here to put a dent in the universe”- Steve Jobs. According to an Imperative study, 40% of the US population is purpose-oriented. That figure is even higher in several European countries. Many employees are no longer working for the all-mighty dollar alone. We are driven by impact and the dent we make in the universe.
Solution- Ask yourself, what is the bigger purpose of the work you do? Promote this bigger purpose as a focal point of the mission and employer brand messaging.
Fuller Talent Utilization– “We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make” – Lewis Carroll. Regret can also be tied to the talents and gifts we did not have a chance to share. Narrow role scoping and a culture of colour within the lines can translate into underutilized talents. What a shame! It’s no wonder why the start up ecosystem has a natural magnetism to it. Bootstrapping means fuller talent utilization. We all want to be the hero and show the world what we are made of.
Solution-Provide broader mandates and challenge your team to try new things and tap into their hidden talents. Foster a culture of career exploration internally.
Modern Organizational Structure– What would you select, cog in a wheel or valued contributor to the mission? Progressive leaders are looking to limit communication bottleneck and create greater access to information. If speed to market is game changing, reliance on old school hierarchy and communication protocol can spell disaster. Elon Musk’s now famous email on communication at Tesla embodies the spirit of open communication in the best interest of the organization versus a historical chain of command. While this may seem like an impossible dream for the multinational giants, this is exactly how Tesla is looking to compete with “intelligence and agility”.
Solution- Revisit structure and look for ways to streamline communication and optimize how work gets done. Encourage open communication and accessible leadership across the company that serves the culture and the customer.
Per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, compensation and benefits are basic human needs of personal safety. Those must be present but to truly attract and retain, but in today’s war for talent, the exceptional are looking for far more than their personal safety needs met. They want fulfillment. It could be increased autonomy or creative freedom, perhaps it’s tied to the mission. Regardless of what the driver may be, it leads back to how an opportunity at your organization can enrich their life, not simply thicken their crypowallet.