A sense of personal value is key
- What makes me happy and whole?
- What truly satisfies me?
- Where have I given away too much of myself for little return?
The last three years were a catalyst to elevate personal purpose and values. Unfortunately, while 82% of employees say it’s important for their organization to see them as a person, not just an employee, only 45% of employees believe their organization actually sees them this way.
This translates into soul searching over whether one feels valued in their work or whether they are merely creating outcomes and value to benefit others. Dissatisfaction with the answers increases employees’ intent to leave a job.
Why this shift is happening
- Deeper connections. Feeling understood through family and community connections, not just work relationships.
- Radical flexibility. Feeling autonomous in all aspects of work, not just when and where it gets done.
- Personal growth. Feeling valued through growth as a person, not just as a professional.
- Holistic well-being. Feeling cared for by ensuring holistic well-being offerings are used, not just available.
- Shared purpose. Feeling invested in the organization by taking concrete action on purpose, not just through corporate statements.
How employers should respond
But pay is far from the only motivator. People want acknowledgment and growth opportunities and to feel valued, trusted and empowered. Frontline workers in particular voice a desire to feel respected. Employees increasingly want to bring their authentic selves to work.
Bottom line: People seek purpose in their lives — and that includes work. The more an employer limits those things that create this sense of purpose, the less likely employees will stay at their positions. The era of the employment contract, where a worker provided services purely in exchange for monetary compensation, is over. Now, employees expect deeper relationships, a strong sense of community and purpose-driven work.
How to make your EVP more human-centric
Both leaders and employees must incorporate new norms and behaviors for enterprise culture that support the new reality. For example, leaders and managers will need to focus on eliciting sustainable performance without compromising long-term health through practices such as proactive rest — helping employees maintain their emotional resilience and performance, as opposed to taking recovery after both have plummeted. This may show up as mandated PTO before high-demand working periods, no-meeting Fridays, allotted wellness time and manager goals for team PTO.
This is an overall shift in performance management, which is moving beyond just measuring employees’ outcomes to reflect more context and empathy.