Employees as customers Generations

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Employees as customers Generations

Employees as customers Generations

Y and Z demand a new equilibrium of rights and obligations with their employer. Former generations accepted the constraints of a hierarchical and paternalistic management model in exchange for fair salaried compensation. They entrusted representative bodies to handle their claims and defend their rights. Conversely, new generations expect management practices to be more participative and collaborative, demand recognition and well-being in their work in addition to salary, and unabashedly defend their individual rights. By this yardstick, employees act like customers who expect the employer to provide a value proposition aligned with their aspirations.

These changes will have major consequences on HR. By 2020, no fewer than five generations will coexist in the workspace.

Faced with this unheard-of situation, HR will have to develop a segmented understanding of the various segments and provide differentiated treatment, while carefully avoiding the formation of organizational silos and generational rifts.

Some companies have begun to anticipate these intergenerational issues by establishing tailored strategies and policies, which concern in particular:

• Differentiating the value proposition based on employee profiles. Comcast, conscious of the need to attract and retain the best developers, in competition with GAFA (Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon), has built a differentiated value proposition for “Technologists,” expressed in terms of recognition within the organization (the whole company is aware of how important these “Technologists” are to the success of the company), empowerment, and compensation (with twice the average company stock compensation). This value proposition also covers work methods, with the construction of an entire facility dedicated to technological functions, outfitted with the latest space and collaborative tool innovations.

• Modularizing the value proposition to according to the lifecycle stage of individual employees. For example, a large retail banking group is testing a system in which employees based in Belgium are given the option to build their own package from a menu of choices, including salary, vacation time, company car, etc., to arrive at a given overall compensation envelope. At Netflix, employees can decide how much of their compensation is paid in stock and can choose their number of days off.

• Developing new nonmonetary compensation models. Intrinsic motivation mechanisms, such as recognition are most effective for new generations of employees. Many organizations have introduced specific reward mechanisms or `kudos’, which employees can allocate to peers, independently of their hierarchical relationship, to recognize contributions to joint projects. These rewards take the form of “points” or bonuses. More and more companies are also communicating on the successes of young recruits in internal newsletters.

• Expanding the range of services and fostering employee wellbeing. In addition to health-oriented initiatives at work (food, exercise, etc.), wellbeing is defined by greater flexibility in determining where and when to work.

• Establishing tailored on-boarding systems to maximize the chances of success of new recruits. When new recruits first arrive in the company, they immediately receive a tailored orientation, involving the assignment of a “buddy,” and rapid access to advanced web tools to gather the information they need to integrate the organization successfully.

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