The new economic outlook means we might need to get ‘real’ about the employee experience

Posted on January 12, 2012

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I recently penned a short piece on population explosion and the way in which the workplace might change.

I was today sent a new article from the CIPD on the mismatch between employee aspirations and the opportunities available inside companies today.

The article really does bring into sharper focus the feeling that endless possibilities, freedoms and wide open landscape that have filled Employee Value Propositions (EVP) of the past could be dead. Business leaders have for many a year referred to the people stuff and the ‘soft’ side of the business. They want words with edge, and the article intimates that this is what may well happen.

EVP’s of the future may well focus more on the individual seeing each person as an individual contractor responsible for their own performance. Brands will have to be responsible for the quality assurance of their ’employee contractor’ work (let’s call them contractee’s). Quite literally, we could all only be as good as our previous day at work.

It means we’ll all have to be much more flexible – ready to fit predetermined roles as Angela Baron has recently pointed out in HR Magazine. It means that the employee will need a broad set of skills that he or she can adapt to different roles. It’s adapt or die – change on a micro level.

That flexibility could also extend to other issues like ‘reward’. Employees like to see their rewards in different ways – some would opt for low salary and high bonus. Others would opt for the reverse. As employers recognise that a salary hike is there for life – whereas reward linked to performance and bonus is much more flexible. Ken Abosch and Aon Hewitt in the USA has been talking about this. It’s part of a 5 minute podcast, but his point is simple, “If you give a salary increase, it’s a fixed cost for life, whereas if you give someone a bonus it’s a cash payment for 12 months.”

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