What more do employees want-it’s driving me crazy!

what more do employees want

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Most HR folks know that hiring and keeping talent is a critical challenge in today’s work environment. COVID did more than make people ill, it created a gateway for people to work from home, review their work/home life priorities, and realign their priorities. Combining that with multiple generational age groups entering and exiting the job market, and the issues compound. There are several strategies that HR Leaders can utilize as we forge ahead in these perplexing and exciting post-COVID times.

One pertinent global challenge is finding talent today. As a facilitator for the Institute for Organization Development, I’ve spent over five years teaching worldwide certification programs, including the “Human Resource Business Partner”. The challenge for talent is global and the solutions are rarely found in the old, traditional ways of doing things. Numerous organizations have moved away from proverbially holding sacred college degrees and years of experience to assessing a potential candidate’s ability and willingness to learn, grow, and contribute. Training the new recruits can be costly, but the advantage is they learn first-hand how processes work without bringing their beliefs in the way they are used to doing things. They do not have to “relearn” old processes from a previous employer as most organizations have their own way of doing things.

Another trend the participants in the courses I teach report is that job candidates want to personally meet the team/s they will be working with prior to job acceptance. They want to know how the organization is committed to the environment, community, and
diversity/inclusion. While setting up meetings might slow down the hiring process initially, having a well-oiled process where they can meet with teams and understand the core values and community/world citizenship can have lasting effects on the team’s ability to bond and work together effectively. The old Japanese adage, “Go slow to go fast” is relevant here.

Job design can assist in creating opportunities for potential candidates who lack the degree or experience. By revising the job analysis process, generalized tasks can then be broken down into specific areas. These tasks can then be performed in a specific area where extensive education is not a prerogative. You have now created a new pool of candidates to grow within your organization.

In Gartner’s “The 2022 Gartner Leadership Success in the New Environment Leader Survey “, n=1,000, Many organizations have struggled with DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion).Sometimes the pushback, often from dominant groups, invalidates, disrupts or disconnects the workforce from programs meant to enable marginalized groups. It can be obvious or subtle, and it can be deliberate, but is often unintentional. Various emotions and notions cause frustration, fear, and reluctance to enforce DEI initiatives. Managers become afraid to get too involved and fear their actions are more scrutinized now than several years ago. If this is left
unchecked, the results can negatively impact the performance and retention of employees.
One action organizations can take is to understand the most common forms of pushback and learn how to proactively address the issues.

In a 2021 Gartner Candidate Survey of 3,000 global candidates as reported in Forbes, Today’s Skills Shortage Could be Your Competitive Advantage (November, 2021), many organizations are rethinking formal education and experience requirements. For example, Merck and IBM are cutting as many as 70% of their job requirements. General Motors Corporation, another industry giant, has changed its focus for certain hiring to based less on college degrees and more on certifications in certain given relevant areas.
Job design can assist in creating opportunities for potential candidates who lack the degree or experience. By revising the job analysis process, generalized tasks can then be broken down to specific areas. These tasks can then be performed in a specific area where extensive education is not a prerogative. You have now created a new pool of candidates to grow within your organization.

Finally, listening and responding to what the employees want and need. Not just paying lip service, but truly understanding and being flexible. If it is possible, provide hybrid schedules, generate health and wellness issues, and ensure employees know and understand how their job functions create purpose to the products and services you offer. A 2020 Gartner Survey of 52 HR executives found that:

94% of companies made significant investments in their well-being programs
85% increased support for mental health benefits
50% increased support for physical well-being
38% increased support for financial well-being

It is interesting to note that over a 12-month period, less than 40% of employees took
advantage of these new benefits. More research over a longer period of time is needed to accurately predict its impact on employee performance and retention.

Do not allow the above results lead you to throwing your arms up in frustration. Many years ago, my university professor shared an insight into human nature to our class. He stated that several years earlier, students at the university were in arms because the hours in the recreational area were too limited. The disgruntled student body started to gain momentum as additional students began to complain. It was taken all the way up to the president of the university and the Board, a measure was passed to extend weekend hours for fun, fellowship and recreation. The results? Attendance remained the same as it was before the change was made. Puzzled, the professor asked his students why, after the university acted on their request, they weren’t even utilizing the new expanded schedule. Their reply? They didn’t necessarily want to attend. They just wanted to know they COULD go if they wanted to; the students were now satisfied. What I learned is that options create freedom of choice. Although employees may not take advantage of certain benefits, they may be satisfied because they know they always have the chance to take advantage of what is offered.

**Steps To Disengagement is part of the certification topics in the Human Resource Business Partnership Certification Program, offered by The Institute of Organization Development.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Strategies

DE&I consulting services focus on helping organizations foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Consultants assess the organization's current DE&I initiatives, develop DE&I strategies and policies, conduct training on unconscious bias and cultural competence, establish employee resource groups, and guide leaders in creating inclusive leadership practices. They work with organizations to attract and retain diverse talent, create inclusive hiring processes, and implement programs that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels. DE&I consultants aim to create an environment where all employees feel valued, respected, and have equal opportunities for growth.

Organizational Development Consulting

Organizational development (OD) consulting services focus on helping leaders lead change initiatives to improving organizational effectiveness and results. Consultants work closely with leaders to assess the organization's current state, identify areas for improvement, create action plans and design interventions, and implement changes to enhance employee engagement, teamwork, leadership development, and organizational culture. They facilitate strategic planning, conduct organizational assessments, and implement initiatives such as talent management, succession planning, performance management, and employee training and development programs. OD consultants aim to align people, processes, and systems to drive sustainable organizational growth and change.

Mentoring Program

Mentoring Programs involve establishing formal or informal relationships between experienced employees (mentors) and less experienced employees (mentees) within an organization. Consultants assist organizations in designing and implementing mentoring programs that facilitate knowledge transfer, skill development, and career growth. They establish mentoring guidelines, match mentors and mentees based on specific criteria, provide training and resources for mentors, and monitor the progress of the mentoring relationships. Mentoring programs aim to enhance employee development, engagement, and retention by leveraging the expertise and wisdom of experienced professionals.

Performance Management

Performance Management involves establishing systems and processes to monitor, assess, and improve employee performance. Consultants work with organizations to design and implement performance management frameworks that align with organizational goals and values. This includes setting clear performance expectations, defining key performance indicators (KPIs), establishing regular feedback and coaching mechanisms, conducting performance evaluations, and linking performance outcomes to rewards and recognition. Performance management systems aim to drive individual and team performance, align employee efforts with organizational objectives, and support employee development.

Job Redesign/Analysis

Job Redesign/Analysis is the process of reevaluating and modifying job roles and responsibilities to optimize efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction. Consultants analyze existing job descriptions, tasks, and workflows to identify opportunities for improvement. They may conduct job analyses to determine essential skills, competencies, and qualifications required for each role. Based on these findings, consultants provide recommendations for job redesign, such as clarifying roles and responsibilities, redistributing tasks, and implementing automation or technology solutions to streamline processes and enhance job satisfaction.

Executive Coaching, Competency Development, 360° Feedback

Executive Coaching, Competency Development, and 360 Feedback are individual-focused strategies that aim to enhance leadership and professional effectiveness. Consultants provide executive coaching services to senior leaders, offering personalized guidance, support, and feedback to help leaders develop their strengths, address developmental areas, and enhance their leadership capabilities. Competency development involves identifying and developing specific skills and competencies required for success in particular roles or functions. 360-degree feedback involves collecting feedback from multiple sources, including peers, subordinates, and superiors, to provide a comprehensive assessment of an individual's strengths and areas for improvement.

Culture Strategies

Culture Strategies focus on shaping and transforming the organizational culture to create a positive and productive work environment. Consultants assist organizations in assessing their current culture, identifying areas for improvement, and developing strategies to align the culture with the desired values, behaviors, and goals. This may involve initiatives such as defining core values, establishing cultural norms, enhancing communication and collaboration practices, promoting diversity and inclusion, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

Talent Management Strategies

Talent Management Strategies involve designing and implementing initiatives to attract, develop, engage, and retain top talent within an organization. Consultants work with organizations to develop comprehensive talent management strategies that encompass recruitment and selection processes, onboarding programs, performance management systems, career development frameworks, succession planning, and employee retention strategies. The goal is to ensure the organization has the right people in the right roles, with opportunities for growth and development that align with their skills and aspirations.

Career Planning/High Potentials

Career Planning/High Potentials initiatives involve designing strategies and programs to support employees in planning and advancing their careers within the organization. Consultants work with organizations to establish career development frameworks, provide guidance on career paths and progression opportunities, and assist in identifying and nurturing high-potential employees. They may offer career counseling, development planning, and training programs to enhance employees' skills, competencies, and knowledge needed for career growth. Career planning initiatives aim to engage and retain talented individuals by providing them with a clear path for advancement and professional development.

Change Management

Change management consulting services support organizations in managing and implementing significant organizational changes. Consultants help identify change management strategies and plans, assess the impact of change, and design effective communication and training programs to support employee adoption and buy-in. They work with leaders and teams to overcome resistance, address cultural and behavioral challenges, and foster a positive change culture. Change management consultants provide guidance throughout the change process, ensuring a smooth transition and successful adoption of new processes, systems, or structures.

Organization Change (OCM) Strategy

Organization Change Management (OCM) Strategy refers to the planned approach or roadmap that an organization follows to implement and manage changes within its structure, processes, technologies, or culture. OCM strategies involve identifying the need for change, setting goals, creating a plan, and executing and evaluating the change process. Organization Change Consulting involves developing and implementing effective strategies to manage and navigate organizational change. The consultant focuses on helping organizations transition smoothly from their current state to a desired future state, considering various factors such as technology advancements, market shifts, mergers and acquisitions, or internal restructuring. Consultants specializing in OCM work closely with organizational leaders to identify OCM processes and help implement a consistent approach to change management, and train internal consultants to lead change management projects and provide support throughout the change process. Consultants may develop assessments, develop communication and training programs, and provide guidance on change implementation to ensure successful organizational transitions. OCM design typically includes steps such as stakeholder analysis, communication and training plans, risk assessment, and monitoring progress to ensure a smooth transition and successful adoption of the changes.

Human Resources Strategies

Human resources (HR) consulting services assist organizations in optimizing their HR practices and processes. Consultants work with HR departments to enhance talent acquisition and retention strategies, develop compensation and benefits programs, design performance management systems, implement employee engagement initiatives, and ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations. They may also provide guidance on organizational restructuring, workforce planning, employee relations, and HR technology implementation. HR consultants help organizations align their HR practices with business objectives and create a positive and productive work environment.

Team Development Strategies

Team Development Strategies focus on improving the effectiveness and performance of teams within an organization. Consultants work with teams to enhance communication, collaboration, and decision-making processes. They facilitate team-building activities, provide training on effective teamwork and conflict resolution, and help establish clear roles and responsibilities. Team development strategies may also involve conducting assessments to identify team dynamics and strengths, and designing interventions to improve team cohesion, trust, and productivity.

Employee Engagement Strategies

Employee Engagement Strategies aim to create a work environment where employees feel motivated, committed, and connected to the organization. Consultants assist organizations in measuring employee engagement levels, identifying factors that influence engagement, and developing strategies to enhance it. These strategies may include initiatives such as fostering a positive work culture, improving communication and recognition practices, providing opportunities for growth and development, promoting work-life balance, and empowering employees to contribute their ideas and opinions. The goal is to create a work environment that fosters high employee morale, satisfaction, and productivity.

Leadership Development Strategies

Leadership Development Strategies focus on cultivating effective leaders within an organization. Consultants work with organizations to assess leadership capabilities, identify leadership gaps, and design leadership development programs that enhance leadership skills, competencies, and behaviors. These strategies may include executive education, coaching and mentoring programs, leadership training workshops, and succession planning initiatives. The aim is to build a strong leadership pipeline and foster a culture of leadership excellence throughout the organization.

Organization Design/Redesign

Organization Design or Redesign refers to the process of structuring an organization to align its structure, roles, processes, and systems with its strategic objectives. It involves reviewing and potentially revising elements such as reporting lines, departmental structure, job roles and responsibilities, decision-making processes, and overall organizational hierarchy to optimize efficiency, coordination, and effectiveness within the organization, ensuring that it is well-positioned to achieve its goals. Organization Systems Design or Redesign consulting focuses on designing or restructuring the systems and processes within an organization to optimize efficiency, effectiveness, and overall performance. This service involves analyzing existing organizational systems, such as workflows, communication channels, decision-making processes, and information management systems, to identify areas for improvement. Consultants work closely with organizational leaders to redesign these systems, incorporating best practices, automation, and streamlining processes to enhance productivity and achieve organizational goals. They may also provide recommendations on implementing new technologies or software to support the redesigned systems and ensure successful integration within the organization.

Organization Culture Change/Transformation

Organization Culture Change or Transformation involves deliberately altering the beliefs, values, behaviors, and norms that define the culture of an organization. Organization Culture Change consulting involves assisting organizations in transforming their existing culture or establishing a new desired culture within the organization. The organizational culture encompasses shared values, beliefs, behaviors, and norms that shape the way people work and interact within an organization. Culture change consultants help organizations identify their current culture, define the desired culture, and create strategies to bridge the gap between the two. They may conduct cultural assessments, facilitate workshops and training programs, develop communication strategies, and provide guidance to leaders and employees on how to align their behaviors and practices with the desired culture. This change is typically aimed at aligning the organizational culture with the company's vision, mission, and strategic objectives. Culture change initiatives often require a shift in leadership style, employee engagement, communication practices, and organizational practices to create a new cultural environment that supports desired outcomes such as increased collaboration, innovation, or adaptability.

Systems Design

Systems Design refers to the process of creating or modifying the systems and processes within an organization to optimize efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness. It involves analyzing the existing systems, identifying areas for improvement, and designing new systems or reconfiguring existing ones to meet organizational goals. Systems design may include aspects such as technology infrastructure, software applications, data management, workflow processes, and automation to enhance operational performance and streamline organizational activities.

Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning is the process of defining an organization's direction, setting goals, and formulating action plans to achieve those goals. It involves assessing the organization's current state, identifying opportunities and challenges, and developing strategies to effectively allocate resources and achieve the desired outcomes. Strategic planning typically includes analyzing the external environment, conducting internal assessments, setting objectives, formulating strategies, and establishing a framework for monitoring and adapting to changes in the business landscape. Strategy consulting services focus on assisting organizations in formulating and implementing strategic plans to achieve their long-term objectives. Strategy consultants also help organizations align their vision, mission, values, processes, and organizational structure with the strategic goals.

Succession Planning

Succession Planning is the process of identifying and developing internal talent to fill key leadership positions within an organization when they become vacant. Consultants work with organizations to create succession planning strategies that align with the organization's long-term goals. They assess the current talent pool, identify high-potential employees, and design development programs to groom them for future leadership roles. Succession planning may involve creating development plans, providing leadership training, and implementing strategies to ensure a smooth transition when key positions need to be filled.