12 May The Experiential Workplace
The need for Experiential Workplace
COVID has changed our world far beyond the visible. We have to focus on the people for real. The last two years and shifting working conditions, rules of engagement, burnout, and various other political and socio-economic factors changed us. The labour force shifted, and the expectations on both sides differed.
In the last month alone, multiple professionals and clients have shared the struggles of finding, retaining and engaging personnel. This new trend is becoming an HR problem and a departmental and execution challenge. Yet, the context of the stories we heard is not the service industry but well-paid professional positions. Hence, it is not simply about the “The Great Resignation” and placing the onus on people leaving their jobs only. It is about moving to a better Experiential Workplace that benefits employees and employers.
We feel a few things are becoming increasingly important:
- Open hiring process concerning applicants and job expectations
- Compassion, empathy and understanding
- Accepting that different people need different working conditions to be productive
- Proximity and/or access to what matters most for people
- A detailed onboarding process with clear deliverables for new employees and team members doing the onboarding
- Concise, clear, and engaging communication throughout
Why do we have an opinion about it?
- Communications are part of the overall business strategy and are managed externally and internally.
- Having a balanced and positive relationship with employees breeds the organic promotion of your brand.
- The best PR is returning employees, referrals and overall positive perception within your industry’s domain, stemming from genuinely happy people.
- Business goals are achieved by people collectively.
- We believe that marketing strategies are deeply rooted in every aspect of the business, and employee engagement is the forefront runner to become an innovative vehicle for business success.
Harvard also has an opinion about it
Harvard Business School published “COVID Killed the Traditional Workplace. What Should Companies Do Now?” back in 2021. The top minds concluded that the traditional workplace is dead. So not only do we need to reinvent the workplace as a place but also our employee relations, hiring processes and overall communications strategies.
What critical aspects contribute to teams’ success in the new world?
Building relationships happens face-to-face. The Harvard folks recommend creating meaningful interactions for teams that are not just meeting-centred but also relationship-building. As innovative marketers, we take it a step further. Similarly, to build an experience for your brand with your customers, we foster a sense of pride and belonging. Thus, the first step to the solution is creating meaningful interactions for your team members in a fun and engaging manner.
To follow Harvard’s recommendation, honest dialogue with employees and willingness to accommodate is vital. Furthermore, making your senior team members accountable for all the new ways of managing people should be part of performance reviews. The flip side of the coin speaks to the loneliness of working from home. This is where understanding various employee needs and not applying a cookie-cutter policy will differentiate successful companies.
To sum it up, it is a complex and new territory. It requires a fresh set of eyes and a strategy and execution plan, coupled with a corporate communication approach to ensure the proper delivery of the message.
We loved Amy Edmondson’s statement: “Too many are asking whether we will go back to normal. To me, the problematic word is “back.” There is no going back to pre-COVID times. There is only forward—to a new and uncertain future that is currently presenting us with an opportunity for thoughtful design.”
Amy C. Edmondson (@AmyCEdmondson) is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management and author of The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth.
These views are increasingly solidified by companies like McKinsey, which stated that 25% of workers were required to switch their occupations.
“We find that jobs in work arenas with higher levels of physical proximity are likely to see the greater transformation after the pandemic, triggering knock-on effects in other work arenas as business models shift in response.”
An incredible opportunity
What does all of this mean? We see it as an incredible opportunity to create experiential workplaces. Furthermore, people, amenities, work and fun will coexist more holistically. Being at work and getting paid will no longer be enough to keep employees engaged. Maybe it opens the door to bring in retail pop-ups and artisan experiences to the workplace.
More than ever before, the creativity and strategic mindset of marketing will apply to all aspects of business, and we cannot wait!