If you ask me the major difference between being an employee working in 2022, and an employee from, say, 1990, without a doubt I would say it’s the degree of awareness. Awareness – not just of their rights, but also the demand for them, their options, and worth. With employees becoming more aware and indulging in what has come to be known as ‘job consumerism,’ C-Suites across the globe are battling with two major challenges.
One – the continuously increasing demand for digital talent, and two – retention of existing employees; both of these being revenue-impacting aspects. On the one hand, the gap between demand and supply for talent keeps widening, and on the other, ‘The Great Resignation,’ which is driving away good talent, is a pandemic by itself. And to bring this ordeal to a halt, organizations are paying anywhere between 50-120% hikes.
Is this a sustainable model to retain talent? Most definitely not.
Many have tried to answer this, and there are discourses on this everywhere you look. However, I hear the same aspects being discussed – employer brand, work-life balance, employee healthcare, employee engagement, etc. There is not a shred of doubt that each of these aspects plays a critical role in the employee lifecycle, but this has been the case for a long time now. As times change, the market’s demands from organizations as well as employees have also evolved. Hence, I firmly believe that the traditional approach towards managing talent masses through policies needs to be done away with.
What will matter in the post Great Resignation era will be a very different version of all the aspects mentioned above. It will no longer suffice to distribute generic, mass-produced benefits to your employees. Each individual who works at your company comes with their own history and are at different stages of their employee lifecycle. So, each benefit and perk will need to be tailored to the individual employee’s needs, in other words, personalized.
The employers who integrate themselves well in an employee’s life will be able to retain them.
Integration means combining one element with another to form a whole. How does anything integrate? By stretching to adapt, by changing according to the other ‘element,’ and allowing itself to be absorbed into the whole. The answer to how organizations can integrate with their employees’ lives is by Hyperpersonalization.
Hyperpersonalization is a marketing concept. It is simply defined as utilizing customer data to customize experiences. This is the next step of personalization. A culture of hyperpersonalization, therefore, becomes a necessity in order to retain the best of your organization’s talent.
In addition to hyperpersonalization, it is also imperative to remember that work-life balance will have to consider actual lifestyle, issues of individual employees, and balance them with work. Just a broad work-from-home policy is not the benevolent solution that you might think it is.
The definition of employee healthcare must expand to include the care of everything that affects an employee’s health – including the health of their families and health situations around them.
To understand this better, you may broach the concept with a similar approach as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – employers will need to locate each employee’s needs in such a pyramid. For a hyper-personalized employee experience, employers must understand what is important to an employee – whether it is stability, growth, support in personal crises, money, etc. – and build the employee experience around those needs.
Historically, corporate human resources have had different models to map employees in their employment journey. Although these models are supposed to aid in the organization’s growth, where they fall short is when it comes to supporting and nurturing employees across the multiple facets of their lives. As employee expectations have evolved, so do the use of these models needs to mature beyond identifying high and poor performers.
In today’s world, everything needs to be personalized and targeted in order to be sold. Your organization’s employee value proposition is no different. Organizations need to wake up to the fact that work makes up for a huge part of people’s lives – and employees will stay where they feel not just valued and heard, but also recognized and fairly rewarded. Hence, a culture of hyperpersonalization becomes an imperative to retain the best of your organization’s talent.
Here is a simple question that I hope remains etched in your mind, and comes back while you are devising your next EVP program: “How relevant are these values to each employee, and are they helping them feel like they belong here?”
And just like that, you have turned the tables and made your organization a place people want to be at.