If your company is experiencing employee attrition, buckle in. It will likely get worse. Work is changing because our expectations of work are changing. How we work, where we work and the way we feel when we’re working have risen on the importance scale. Neil Irwin’s piece in yesterday’s New York Times, emphasized a shift in business that my partners and I have predicted for the last few years. That said, the timeline for companies to make deep changes was exacerbated by the pandemic. The shift will not happen years from now. It is happening right now.
My partners and I have been laying the foundations for the next 100 years of work. We’ve been socializing the “how” and “why” through our respective bodies of work. Neil pointed to two points in his article that had me saying, “Yes! Finally. An article in the New York Times about humanity in business.”
1. Business is a human thing. The experience we have at work matters.
Neil wrote: “Any job involves much more than a paycheck. Some good jobs don’t pay much, and some bad jobs pay a lot. Ultimately, every position is a bundle of things: a salary, yes, but also a benefits package; a work environment that may or may not be pleasant; opportunities to advance (or not); flexible hours (or not).”
2. Just because you can’t measure it doesn’t mean it’s unimportant.
Neil wrote: “Statistics agencies collect pretty good data on the aspects of jobs that are quantifiable, especially salary and benefits, and not such great data on other dimensions of what makes a job good or bad. But it is clear, as the labor market tightens, that people routinely favor those less quantifiable advantages.”
Companies who want to thrive in the 21st century will have to flip their lens and focus on the human side of business first. They will have to stand for something greater than revenue and commit to kindness as a core competency for business.
CEO and stakeholder mindset has to shift. Operational models have to shift. Values have to shift to create workplaces that honor and serve the people who drive the business and the people that business serves. Lastly, we have to be open to news ways of thinking that enable us to understand the “unmeasurable” so we can create the future, together.