What does it take to become a transformation leader in 2022 and beyond? A trending topic that has been surging since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. During times of unprecedented external change, executives and leaders have come to realize that employees are their most valued asset.

Putting employees first is now the backbone of every successful business. Worldwide, companies like AVON, Spotify, Goldman Sachs, Ocient, and many more have upended what was once considered a normal 9-to-5 day at the office. Instead, their executives and leaders have reimagined ways to empower workforces by prioritizing employee wellbeing, workplace experience (WX), and most importantly, to value the person behind the employee.

A recent McKinsey study revealed that, workplace inclusion has also gained importance as companies realize it’s linked to engagement. Statistics show that employees who feel included in company activities are nearly three times as likely to feel excited and committed to their organizations.  

“Leadership has been changing tremendously in the last five years, and no one’s really done anything to address that. When you think about the cycle of innovation, the intensity of change, the constant shifts of consumers and their demands, employees, new generations of employees and what they’re looking for from their employers, what they’re looking for in their careers. There’s just been a massive amount of change”, says Chuck Moller, Founder and CEO of MCG Partners.

The generational divide is here — are you ready?

The new generation of talent entering the workforce requires companies to identify and develop new employee engagement tactics. Understanding Generation Z (Gen Z) is critical to empower teams and build the future — why?

Soon, Gen Z will surpass millennials as the most populous generation on earth. Company executives and leaders need to realize that as Gen Z enters the workforce, they have higher expectations and look for jobs that offer unique opportunities for career growth and development — including a competitive salary and benefits.

A recent Deloitte study, has found that to attract Gen Z, employers must be ready to adopt an evolution speed that matches the external environment. That means developing robust training and leadership programs, diversifying teams, and offering flexible work options.

Bloomberg’s May 2021 survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed that 39 percent would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work. Among millennials and Gen Z, that figure was 10 percent higher (49 percent): The generational difference is clear.

Eliminate the “head of the table” approach, and focus on increasing diversity, inclusion, and safety throughout all corporate activities

“It’s all about creating an environment where people feel safe — safety is everything from emotional safety to safety of failure, error, and effort”, says Moller.

A recent McKinsey study found that the idea of “eliminating the head of the table” often occurred during in-person meetings. However, post-pandemic, during hybrid/remote meetings, it’s vital to make “everyone an equal square on a screen, empowering people to speak and be heard.”

The study also points out how virtual meetings have helped global companies become more inclusive by breaking down geographic siloes. Before this shift to remote work, only those who could attend in person were included in meetings.

Combat the “Great Resignation” — get to know the person behind the employee

In the last 12 months, resignation rates have hit a global record high. A Harvard Business Review study found that, four million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. What can leaders actively do to inspire engagement and retention in their workforce in this scenario?

“You have to understand that people are people at the heart of your organization”, explains Morris.

During times of unprecedented workplace disruption, employee experience and wellbeing has been linked to a 62 percent increase in team productivity, employee engagement, and retention.

It’s significant to realize it’s okay to show interest and get to know your team on a personal level. A simple “Hi, how are you? How was your weekend?” on a Monday morning, encourages people to share snippets of their life outside of work, and proves that as a leader you are committed to your team’s experiences and wellbeing.

Download our global employee experience quick-start checklist today to learn how to actively incorporate the four key drivers of employee experience and wellbeing into your company’s global HR strategy.

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