Employee retention and happiness are becoming an increasing priority for companies. Deloitte Consulting has released a fantastic report entitled: Global Human Capital Trends 2014 – Engaging the 21st Century Workforce.

€The 21st-century workforce is global, highly connected, technology-savvy, and demanding. Its employees are youthful, ambitious, and filled with passion and purpose. Millennials are a major force—but so are older workers, who remain engaged and valuable contributors. Critical new skills are scarce—and their uneven distribution around the world is forcing companies to develop innovative new ways to and people, develop capabilities, and share expertise

Thinking Beyond Employee Retention

Starting on page 73, the report gets into employee engagement. Their observations are spot-on and their conclusions very much align with ZIDIWORK’s message.

  • Companies around the world agree that employee engagement is vital. Our global survey showed that executives rate “retention and engagement” their No. 2 priority.
  • A focus solely on retention, however, may be misplaced. Companies should shift from strategies to “hold people here” to “attracting and engaging people” through measures that build commitment, align employee goals and experience with corporate purpose, and provide engaging work and a culture of development and growth.
  • Employees make the decision of whether to “re-up” every day when it comes to motivation and productivity. Millennials in particular are looking for work that inspires passion and allows them to fulfill their professional, personal, and social goals.

Employees are motivated to work in an enviroment that fosters their personal growth, and are motivated to work for companies that support their personal goals.

“Today’s reality is that people continually make choices, consciously or not, as to how committed they are to their work and the enterprise. Their levels of engagement and motivation are subject to constant fluctuation in response to micro signals—small indications of whether the company is committed to their growth, whether it really believes in serving a higher purpose, what kinds of behavior are rewarded, how much can be learned from working there, and more.”

Instead of focusing on developing happy and productive people, companies have spent the last few decades trying to build happy and productive workers, completely ignoring the personal needs of their workforce. The result is an entire nation of inspired employees.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 10.05.42 AM

Where Companies Can Start

The report offers recommendations for how companies can improve engagement and motivation within their workforces. Much of what they suggest meshes with what ZIDIWORK accomplishes.

Ask your employees what matters.

The ZIDIWORK Platform includes employee surveys and feedback.

Remember: It is the work: Make sure the organization is feeding employees’ needs for purpose and meaningful work.

This sounds nice, but not all companies are doing really meaningful and important work. Sure, it is a benefit when a company is doing work that an employee can be proud of. However, we believe it is more important for that employee to feel like they are personally growing and accomplishing things that they can be proud. A human being who is personally happy and living a fulfilling life will be a great employee regardless of what their daily work tasks may be.

Make development part of the job, not a perk.

We go one step further. We make personal development part of the job, not just professional development.

The Bottom Line

The report concludes:

“Already, today’s most successful employment brands align business and corporate objectives with the professional, personal, and social goals of their employees. They provide an environment where employees believe they are making a difference, not just clocking their time. To reach new heights in retention and engagement, world-class managers will focus on growing a talent brand that weaves together the critical elements of work itself, the desire for personal growth and development, the power of passion, and the intrinsic reward of serving society as part of a brand of which employees can be proud.”

We could not agree more.