Employees are the most valuable asset that any organization has. However, the employee from a decade ago is quite different from the employee who we are starting to see today.
Back between the 1920s through the 1950s, people didn’t really have careers or career paths. Many organizations were simply looking for utility. You would show up for work, do what you were told, go home, rinse, and repeat. It wasn’t a place you go to be happy or engaged. For the employer, and the employee, it was a means to an end.
Then, in the late 1950s, companies started looking at productivity. As technologies evolved, they were able to see the bigger picture and grow their organizations with the right talent. So, companies wanted to look for ways to get more work out of their employees at a faster rate. It was all about efficiency. But it was seen from the employer’s point of view. The employee’s ideas were rarely considered.
By the 1980s, organizations started to gear themselves towards employee engagement. Moreover, companies wanted to win the war on talent and were looking for ways to keep their employees happy while attracting the best recruits.
By the late 90s, we started to see the quick rise of new employee perks such as free food, games in the break room, bring your pet to work day, and some companies even offered day care, dry cleaning, and a car wash onsite. The only caveat was that many of these perks were underutilized and, therefore, unsustainable.
Today, we’re in the age of EX. And, it involves designing company practices and the organizational structure around the needs and wants of employees. So, perks won’t be left underutilized because the only perks offered are the ones employees actually want.
Of course, you can’t create the right EX if you don’t actually take the time to get to know your employees. Guessing and assumptions won’t work here. You want a team of managers who can lead but also connect with people. Further, you must leverage people analytics.