“If I know that I can make a difference, that my ideas will be listened to, well that starts to feel like meaningful employment.”

~ Breathe’s Culture Economy Report 2020

Back in the 70s (+ even now in some circles) the prevailing view was that the sole purpose of business was shareholder value or profit.

These days, it’s clear that placing individual, environmental + societal wellbeing at the core of your business is key to business purpose. Indeed, a recent report showed that 1 in 3 employees would prefer to work for an organisation that shows responsibility towards all its stakeholders (Mercer’s 2020 Global Talent Trends Survey).

But what do your employees want, + how can you harness this to strengthen your company culture?

Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP)

Despite the challenging recruitment market that those looking for work find themselves in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees remain consumers. Top talent is no longer driven by the need for a job for life + private medical insurance. Employees nowadays are looking for somewhere to work which meets their health, wealth + career concerns; somewhere which fosters energy + empathy, helps them learn, grow + have an impact, + which creates a sense of belonging. This is their chosen employee experience (EX). With 58% of organisations redesigning their organisation to become more people-centric, you need to do this too, or you’ll be left behind.

And you won’t be surprised to learn that there’s a direct correlation between positive EX + a healthy, productive + energised workforce who are resilient enough to weather the highs + lows of uncertainty + change.

Energised employees are 5 times more likely to say that they are thriving + feel less likely to burn out. And companies that exceed their performance goals are 3 times more likely to have EX as a core part of their people strategy today, compared to firms not meeting their goals. (Mercer, ibid).

Your company culture matters. So how can you be sure that you’re building an attractive 21st Century business for your employees? It’s worth having a think about these few questions:

• What are your policies around employee wellbeing?
• Do you have a ‘traditional’ approach to career progression, or do you think outside of the box and centre career progression around the wants + needs of your employees?
• Is your rewards programme aligned to your culture?
• Is your diversity + inclusion strong in practice?
• Do you welcome neurological diversity?
• How do you support employees struggling with mental ill-health?
• How are you incorporating all-important shared experiences into the way you work?
• What changes, savings + reforms can you make with your operations to support your social responsibility commitments?
• Do you have ESG (Environmental, Sustainability + Governance) metrics embedded into your agenda (companies that do are more likely to have higher growth rates (Mercer, ibid)).

Remember. Now’s not the time for an Ivory Tower, hierarchical style of leadership, + there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this. Maintaining open, two-way communication is key. Want do your employees want? Start by simply asking them.