Finding a way through the talent market shift

By Pauly Grant | 15 June 2022

Publicis Groupe chief talent officer Pauly Grant says now is the time to shift from employee experience (EX) to life experience (LX).

It is a truism to say that the talent market is in a state of flux. But while many believe this instability is simply a moment in time, research suggests the market won’t correct itself until 2032. And that’s a long time to wait before we see a return to the employer-driven status quo – if that power dynamic is ever even restored. So how do organisations need to change the relationship they have with their people, today?

While looking ahead to what the macro shifts in recruitment, retention and culture will be in ten years’ time may be difficult, we know it will be driven by a variety of trends that are symptomatic of people undertaking a great evaluation, not resignation. Resignations are just one of the many outcomes we’re seeing.

What this means for organisations, governments and industries is that they should be looking to undergo their own evaluation to understand how they can become not just more resilient in the face of change, but increasingly resistant to the impact of the inevitable market forces that drive it.

The media and marketing industry’s initial response to this overall shift has been a mixed bag to say the least. While we have seen progressive policies focused on the needs of employees, we are also seeing short-termist approaches – namely, unsustainable salary inflation. What this is already resulting in are huge capability gaps which will continue to hurt our industry for over the next few years.

But, by taking a step back and truly understanding the factors that motivate people, we can begin to look towards building ‘well organisations’ that prioritise the health and wellness of our workforce to drive productivity and performance.

So what’s actually happening out there? According to 
Gartner research, 82% of employees want the organisation they work for to see them as a person, not just an employee. And yet only 45% believe their employer actually views them in this way.

The current evaluation process people go through with regards to work encompasses a wide range of areas. The same Gartner research suggests their core areas of assessment are focused on creating: 
deeper connections, radical flexibility, wholistic wellbeing personal growth and shared purpose.

Beyond this, to score well in the AFR BOSS Best Places to Work list, 
the criteria set by innovation consultancy Inventium involves ten key factors that are underpinned by purpose – and which ultimately ladder up to the employee experience (EX).

The recent shift in cultural and employment dynamics means people are now evaluating how work fits in with their wants and needs in life. Love, family, pets – or a person’s shifting goals and ambitions can either change at the drop of a hat, or be well mapped out.

The point is, there is an increasing expectation that work needs to fit into person’s own life experience (LX), and not the other way round. 

Hence, as an employer, a shift in mindset from creating a great EX to LX is essential. If your employees perceive you as a barrier to their life experience, the cheque you cut every month will no longer be enough to keep them.

You don’t have to solve their LX, but you do need to assess your role in how you can enable them to do so. Again, it’s about how well an organisation is prepared to accommodate the diverse and individual needs of their employees.

This could involve reviewing what inclusive, support frameworks, policies and programs you have in place. From your philosophy and approach to flexible working, to how you’re supporting people’s wellbeing – emotionally, financially and physically in a very real sense.

With so many evolving factors seemingly out of the control of employers, it’s time for businesses to take a great evaluation of themselves. That means conducting a health check of your organisation to understand what needs to change culturally, operationally and philosophically.

In part two of this article, I’ll look more deeply into what goes into creating a ‘well organisation’, including the importance of gathering feedback that allows you to connect the dots across your business, aligned leadership which starts with your CEO, and an ethos that is actionable, not just aspirational.


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