Agenda & Speakers
- Impact of employee experience
- Strategies for improving retention
- Improving the employee experience with technology
Chief Marketing Officer
Director of Customer Success
Dive deeper with the Q&A transcript (slightly edited for clarity).
Question: What do you expect to change with the younger generation coming into the workforce?
Shaun: Oftentimes, I like to start out by saying not as much as you might think. Having worked with a lot of different generations of customers and employees, you hit various levels of digital literacy within any generational population. But for the younger Gen Z employees, for example, in the types of jobs that they’re in now and where they are in their careers – that mobile form factor is an important component.
Something else I’m having a lot of conversations with customers right now is that, especially with more employers being hybrid first and having spent so much time in remote mode in response to the pandemic, is that early career employees are missing out on some of that face to face interaction and the informal mentoring that happens in an office based environment.
And my customers are thinking about how can we extend our mentorship programs and informal opportunities to get together in digital realms? And how can we support these less formal get-togethers? Are there different ways that we can create community experiences or forums or other modes of engagement that our digital workplace can help us with? And that’s I think an important part of thinking about your employee capital. How can we invest in their mentorship?
Chris: Shaun I think we touched on this earlier, but kind of an important point to drive home separate from form factors and from some of the in-person things that people are missing out on today. I think younger employees are also much more likely to want to work for employers that focus on mission, focus on core values and are purpose driven. We see it with our own employees and particularly younger employees. It’s easy sometimes for people of my generation to forget that people are looking for more in work than just a job and a paycheck.
They want to be part of organizations that have a mission and a larger purpose than just making money or the next thing. And so that sense of community, that empowerment aspect, becomes incredibly important to attracting and retaining millennial or Gen Z employees to your organization.
Question: From a diversity and inclusion lens, what are some action items you would recommend to elevate the employee experience while continuing to create an inclusive culture?
Shaun: Employee resource groups have been a powerful driver of engagement in our customer base, especially through the pandemic. We saw a real uptick in activity, one because many of us were driven to mostly online forms of communication. But it was especially powerful for organizations that had structures in their digital workplace that formally constituted and gave people a place to engage in their employee resource groups and to capture a sense of history of that group. If that group gets together face to face and shares some photos or something like that, that helps create visibility for that initiative and helps give it real estate within a digital space. Technologists of Color program is one of the groups that I worked with.
I’m frequently looking for where we can take the value that’s posted on the wall? That corporate value. We’ve got eight of them and they are up on the board and we look at them as we walk through the office every day. How do we bring that down to the ground and make that part of our culture and part of our lived experience. And make that something that’s celebrated not just by our population, but by folks beyond our population. This brings visibility into the actions that they’re doing, the activities and the ways that they are organizing or representing the organization out in the communities.
Question: What should employees be encouraged to do besides just work?
Shaun: We’re employers. We don’t want to break anybody’s back, but there is a certain amount of slack in the system of what do I want to bring to this job? And am I energized from it? Do I want to give some of that discretionary time? And some of those ways of giving discretionary time are because it allows me to represent myself or bring my full self or allow me to contribute in ways outside of my immediate job duties and jurisdiction by contributing to a cost saving measure or an environmental cause that maybe I’m not in the org chart lined up to, but I can contribute to.
There’s a way of contributing to the organization and creating a sense of belonging and feeling like you have agency within an organization that in some ways line up with your job duties and in many other ways doesn’t. But its does come down to how I feel about my job, how I talk about my employer, how I represent my employer out in my communities, either formally, if we’re doing some sort of outreach project or Habitat for Humanity and we’re snapping pictures and we’re sharing them on social media or just in terms of talking to my friends about what it’s like to work for LumApps or any one of our customers.
There’s a lot that one can do, think about and bring. I think about our workplaces and we create these digital workplaces. What we do in the physical ones is a lot broader than just our jobs there, too. We socialize, we share photos, we chat, and when we don’t get to all be physically together in the same place, how can we extend those experiences and support them digitally is something I spend a lot of time thinking about.
Chris: And I think, Shaun, if you look at encouragement as really giving people the opportunity to do those things, to interact beyond just producing work and performing your job function, but really giving them a digital environment that encourages them to interact both professionally and personally with other employees becomes incredibly valuable.
And you talked about this in terms of how an organization finds new business, how an organization finds new employees. I have to tell you, early in my career, I worked for a consulting company with an incredibly engaged employee body. And I can’t tell you how many new business opportunities we got from those consultants sitting on airplanes next to people and being unable to contain themselves – talking about how great their employer is. So I think that really it’s about giving people the opportunity to participate in other things outside of work, but also driving engagement around what they are actually doing and giving them excitement about that place of work and the work that they’re doing. So both value based but also kind of really getting them involved in the organizational outcomes.
Field Marketing Associate
November 3, 2021