Workers want to feel like they matter in today’s hybrid world

Businesses that cater for employee’s wellbeing and extracurricular needs stand to benefit from better productivity and retention 

Workers want to feel like they matter in today’s hybrid world

Businesses that cater for employee’s wellbeing and extracurricular needs stand to benefit from better productivity and retention.

What matters most to employees in today’s world is that what they’re doing has meaning and that they have a relationship with the businesses they work for and the people they work with. Employees, especially young people, are questioning whether corporations are a force for good. Which means corporations are going to have to redefine who they are and their relationship with the individual. 

Employees have realized over the last three years especially that they’re not just a number or a job. They’re here for a relatively finite amount of time and their freedom of movement can be taken away from them at any time. This reassessment has made them think about the relationship they have with corporations.

According to a new State of Work-Life Wellness report, 83% of respondents believe their wellbeing is just as important as salary; more than one-third do not think their employer demonstrates commitment to their wellbeing; and 85% are more likely to stay in their current role if their employer focused more on wellbeing. 

If you look at what corporates have been doing over the last 20 years, it hasn’t always been seen as a good thing. The corporates that are ahead of the curve of this shift are trying to build a human relationship with their employees, which respects them as individuals and the life they’re leading. 

Whether they like it or not, the corporation requiring the individual to give more and more, with little other than remuneration in return, is a thing of the past. Corporations that have a holistic and engaged relationship with their employees will do better.

People have realized that they were being asked to do a huge amount by corporations, such as commuting for more than 90 minutes per day; working 12-14 hour shifts; giving up the work-life balance they would like, in order to pursue advancement within a corporation. The pandemic changed that. People realized they weren’t just a job and that they were other things: a mother, a father, a swimmer, a surfer, a skier or a traveller.

One of the reasons we started SPORTSESSION was to address this issue. People began to take up new hobbies during the pandemic, whether that was tennis, skateboarding, parkour or boxing. People realized that although work was important, these things were important too – having fun, being active, being in nature and enjoying life.

In a world in which most people are working in an office at most three days per week, businesses must find ways to keep their people together – whether that’s organizing social activities or enabling your employees to play sports or pursue hobbies together. That’s how to keep a corporate culture together, in a less overtly corporate way and a more human, holistic way.

There are of course other things corporations can do to create a holistic workforce culture in a hybrid working world. A great example we’re seeing is improving community outreach. Instead of simply fundraising for a chosen charity, which is of course important, what society really wants to see is people from businesses building relationships with the communities they serve. Bringing businesses closer together with their local communities and building a better future for everyone will help to create more meaning and greater affection towards corporations – both internally and externally.

If businesses can successfully navigate this shift, they’ll be well-placed to benefit from a more energized workforce, better productivity and improved retention. Remember, people don’t really leave organisations, they leave people – so foster a culture where your people feel a part of something with meaning.

Martin Armstrong
Martin Armstrong

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