Acquiring and retaining the best talent is no longer just about salary, and it’s time we embrace that it never really was. Why? Employee experience isn’t exclusively crafted through compensation.
Dr. Scott Cawood, CCP, GRP, CSCP, CBP
“When we realign to place well-being at the heart of our organizations … talent, productivity, and profitability follow. Only then do they tend to stick around.”
Work is about a mutual reciprocity, alignment, and exchange. Only when there’s a continued match in these key factors of employee engagement are we able to foster our team members. We must take time to ensure there’s a shared mission and set of values between our organizations and people, as it fuels work that matters. Just as important is the ongoing cultivation of programs that meet the needs of our people.
To state as clearly as possible so that we can all focus on what truly makes a difference in the contemporary workplace: Well-being is the future of work’s foundation. Our stakeholders are rightfully demanding that we treat them as whole people who bring their full selves to work, not as replaceable means to an end.
When we realign to place well-being at the heart of our organizations — when we understand that people are our business and act accordingly — talent, productivity, and profitability follow. Only then do they tend to stick around.
The keys to realignment
So, how do we accomplish that realignment?
We ask our people the right questions that put them in positions to succeed, not just as employees, but as human beings. At times that may include uncomfortable, very personal conversations we’re not used to having at work. That’s what it takes to best understand and address people’s needs, which is key to well-being. Do your benefits meet the physical and emotional health needs of your entire workforce? If you don’t know, ask then act.
We approach our co-workers with empathy. The real world is messy and so, oftentimes, are the solutions to its problems.
We approach our total rewards programs — compensation, benefits, recognition, career development, and wellness — as a manner of not only compensating our people, but also to empower and support them.
In practice, this means we acknowledge that an infant in the background of a Zoom call is a hallmark of a colleague’s humanity, not their lack of professionalism. With multiple generations in the workplace, it can also mean holding space, providing benefits, and granting flexibility for caregivers who support young children and ailing or older family members at the same time.
The things that make you a good friend — attentiveness, empathy, respect, and shared outlooks — are the same things that make an organization appealing to existing and potential employees. Meeting people where they are and acknowledging their needs fosters a truly positive future of work.