sea-2564807_1280-1280x853.jpg

4min1048

Employers are risking alienating millennials by treating them as if they are a different ‘culture’, a hospitality industry forum has heard.

Hosted by industry thought-leader, EP Business in Hospitality, in partnership with online learning specialist Upskill People, the event in London highlighted that continually referring to millennials as though they are a different ‘culture’ or ‘nationality’ is both patronising and short-sighted and puts businesses that do not place compassion and people at the top of their agenda at risk of alienating future talent altogether.

In an industry clearly changing at speed, core messages emerging from the session included the need for a modernised learning culture that seeks to understand all perspectives while embracing shared knowledge across all genders, ages, and job titles.

Different goals: Millennials require a fresh approach when it comes to employee engagement

CEO at EP, Chris Sheppardson, explained:  “It’s becoming more apparent that the younger generations do have a different perspective and agenda on work and life. They are less focused on getting onto the housing ladder and being saddled with a lifetime mortgage, and are instead living more ‘in the moment’ with a genuine interest in environment and society – arguably to a higher degree that many business leaders. As businesses we must build a stronger connection with our people and change our approach to developing talent.”

The debate also reinforced the harsh reality that talent today doesn’t remain with one employer long-term and will move around more regularly, suggesting that employers need to embrace and even support this concept in the future. Leaders also agreed that to develop talent successfully today, there is a greater need for stronger coaching-led approaches.

Chris added: “Empowerment has almost become an old-fashioned concept and re-engagement is needed here. Too many companies try to control and limit any risk. Too many decisions on people are based on spread sheets and figures. Talent looks to embrace culture, compassion for people and communities in work. People are still the greatest asset of a business and young people today expect companies to play a meaningful role in society as well as in business.”


Jo UpwardJo UpwardApril 29, 2019
pexels-photo-1329068.jpg

8min847

The Delphi Study of Work 2050 can be seen as a sober read for those of us working in workplace culture.

As well as predicting an unemployment rate of around 24 percent of the world’s population by 2050 due to the convergence of technology, it talks about how we will be both virtual and metaverse-centric or living in a collective virtual world. 

There is no doubt that the impact of the next round of technology advances will be profound.  We are already going from ANI (Artificial Narrow Intelligence), where machines can learn a specific task, to AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), where they mimic humans, to bordering on the ASI (Artificial Super Intelligence), where machines’ abilities and functions become superior to that of humans. 

What this means for the workforce is that the nature of work has changed. Today we are multi-local and mobile. By 2050 we will live and work in a collective virtual world. No longer ‘jobs for life’ – there will be fewer permanent contracts, more patchwork careers, and a need to invest in long-term learning.

By 2030, digital assistants will guide us through our day, connected to our schedules, aware of our preferences, and with the ability and knowledge to book our favourite restaurants, plan routes, and arrange transportation for our travel.  Keyboards will be a thing of the past as interaction with devices will be via speech and gesture, and everything will be connected – by 2030, 20 percent of the world’s electricity is forecast to be used by the billions of connected devices.

We will of course be driven to work by our driverless car, which will be enabled by 5G, that it is predicted will have over two billion connections by 2030. And we will have less days off sick – a combined result of working on freelance contracts with no sick pay and the fact that our health will be monitored through our wearable devices.

So what does this mean for those of us working in workplace design and culture? How do we attract people to a workplace when we know the future is about designing for the tech rather than the talent?

We know that all businesses will need to be digital – to embrace digital transformation within their workforce. We also know that the human aspect is often what puts the heart into our businesses and gives us our point of differentiation from our competitors.  So, how do we design the space that brings digital transformation into our workplace yet is attractive to those who will work within it?

Flexibility in the workplace

Firstly, we need to create flexibility in the work environment to help teams work in a more agile way. Work will more organised around project not function and this can be challenging to accommodate in a fixed space. People need to be able to move from project to project and the technology and space needs to accommodate this seamlessly without causing delay or disturbance to those working agilely.

We all know that real estate is expensive and therefore the tendency is to cram people into the office space and ‘agility’ becomes another word for too many people in too little space. Digital teams, such as developers, also tend to be office-based rather than flexible workers, so the challenge is to create clever collaborative spaces where teams can get together on an hourly, daily, and weekly basis to discuss projects and progress, but also have space for concentrated activity.

The space needs to be attractive

To attract and retain good people you need to create attractive workplaces. We all have seen on YouTube, or at least heard about, Google’s offices complete with slide, putting green, and revolving bookcases, and although most of us don’t stretch to that level of innovation or budget, we do need to make our workforce proud of the space they work in.

The 360 degree work we live and work in means that we share far more of our lives on a day-to-day level. This includes our life in the office. Workspaces need to reflect the brand – so what you are externally saying to customers, internally lines up with your staff. This isn’t just graphics on the wall, but how the brand is lived and demonstrated within the workplace, including what food offerings are available, what rest and relaxation areas there are, how wellbeing is being addressed, and so on.

Ability to engage all

Ensuring that your frontline staff – for example those working in retail or those in the field – are delivering your brand and feel their workplace reflects them too is key. For example, getting feedback from these frontline staff in real-time or even delivering internal and external communication strategies in 3D and on their own mobile devices, can be a way to excite them about product launches, educate them about brand values, and make them feel that they know – and understand – what is going on within the company.

Culture comes from people, not brands, products, or robots. Every workforce needs a culture and therefore needs to place their people at the heart of workspace they are working in, whether this workspace is in the office, in the field, or virtual.


Ashley CarrAshley CarrApril 3, 2019
career-3449422_1280-1280x720.png

7min675

We’re all aware this Brexit business has caused quite a mess, leaving much uncertainty for all and tough economic times for many.

What’s typical in these situations, particularly for those feeling a financial pinch, is to batten down the hatches, grit teeth, and wait for it to pass, hoping a way forward will be easier when there is more certainty on the horizon.

The challenge with this strategy, however, is that when the dust settles, people will move and if organisations haven’t invested in making their company sticky for current employees, they will lose them when it picks up. If that doesn’t cause concern, remember that unlike in any other time of economic uncertainty in the past 20 years, there is no latent potential workforce on the market ready to replace the people you lose. There is no one on the bench.

In the coming months, there are going to be a lot of surprised and failing employers that can’t scale and will have to downsize as a result of losing people. While everyone is busy focussing on ROI, it will be those that focus on COI, the cost of inaction, that will come out on top after this dull trading period.

Consider your COI

In difficult periods, considering COI, rather than ROI, will help businesses to gain a deeper understanding of what is at stake when standing still. Doing nothing will cost a business dearly. People will leave, and unless quick actions are made, organisations may not be able to recover anyone to replace them. What would that cost be to your business? Could you survive?

The cost of inaction may not be felt today, but at the point in which the economy rotates, it will be felt then. There will come a perfect storm of suddenly having new orders, tenders, and requests for services coming through the door just as employees start walking out.

Given the background of the economy at the moment and the unsettling times that we are in, regardless of what the conclusion is over Brexit, businesses are going to fail if they don’t get this right. If they don’t act fast enough, it will be too late, there will already be an entrenched atmosphere where employees feel that they have had enough and they want to go elsewhere. So what can organisations do to stay afloat and come out of the other side?

Get sticky

Many companies think about marketing and PR as external and as activities reserved for gaining awareness in new markets or launching a product to prospects. While there is currently a trend toward marketing to new employees, it seems like no-one thinks about targeting those they currently have. However, using this powerful messaging machine to market externally, while forgetting to leverage it internally, robs the employees of the message you’re sharing to the world.

To create a sticky organisation, businesses need to make sure their employees, workforce, and colleagues understand just how good the business is. Sharing the external message internally generates excitement, making current employees inspired to be part of the dream and growth of the company. When done correctly, employees will feel this success and develop a desire to share that success with potential prospects.

What is required to achieve maximum stickiness will vary widely from business to business – but it starts with an identity. If an organisation truly knows what it stands for and what makes it unique, who they have on board, and who they want to get on board, then the initiatives should come quite naturally. Companies that wish to keep their current talent need to think about how they can keep them engaged, excited, and bought into the dream of the business – ensuring it’s a place that employees will stick with when other organisations come out, in full kit, on the hunt for talent.

Developing culture inside and out

There is too often a disparity between what companies put on their website and what is actually happening inside; this works both for those that have a poor external image and great internal culture, and those with the inverse imbalance.

The culture that an organisation projects on its website, social media, and any other channel should be the culture that a prospective client or prospective candidate meets when they come into the building. This happens naturally when the message that is dispersed externally is the same as what is spread internally.

If an organisation’s culture is real and embodied throughout the organisation, then employees will be living and breathing it anyway. This should be seen through all of the marketing activities, all the way through to any interaction with the employees of that organisation.

PR is not just an outbound strategy for prospects. It is about attracting talent and keeping talent in your organisation. Those who understand this, as well as their COI, may just have a chance of coming of this mess on top.

If it is not you, it will be your competitors. What’s your next move?




Inform. Inspire. Include.
A free way to improve your business.

Customer Experience Magazine is the online magazine packed full of industry news, blogs, features, reports, case studies, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience.


CONTACT US

CALL US ANYTIME



Contact Information

For article submissions:
Editor
Paul Ainsworth
editorial@cxm.co.uk

For general inquiries, advertising and partnership information:
advertising@cxm.co.uk
Tel: 0207 1932 428

For Masterclass enquiries:
antonija@cxm.co.uk
Tel: 0207 1937 483

Awards International ltd
Acacia Farm, Lower Road,
Royston, Herts, SG8 0EE
Company number: 6707388

JOBS IN CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Find a job in customer support with Jobsora


Newsletter