360 Attract Engage


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Research based article by Steelcase on Attract and Retain.

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360 Attract Engage

  1. 1. August 09 e-zine Attracting & Engaging Today’s Workers S h i f tS i n at t i tude S and behavior S m a k e t h e w o rkplace more important than ever.
  2. 2. “we have a lot of meetings around gen y wor k er: here. there are certainly elements of my job i could do from home, but the collaboration is what we do at work.”
  3. 3. As Gen Y drives biG chAnGes in All worker Attitudes And behAviors, the right workplace becomes more important than ever in attracting, engaging, and retaining talent. Add one more wrinkle to the current work during the day, for them to be an economic crisis: filling knowledge attractive employer.” work jobs. While unemployment is at “It’s the workplace, people!” is the core a 25-year peak and thousands of highly takeaway of global architecture and educated people are out of work, finding design firm Gensler’s 2008 Workplace the right talent is still a challenge for Survey. It says high-performing compa- many organizations. For that, thank new, nies (with higher profits, stronger market highly specialized skill requirements and and brand position, better employee a global market for talent. engagement, etc.) have similarly high- And then there’s the complication of performing workspaces. Knowledge decreased loyalty. Keeping knowledge workers couldn’t agree more. The vast workers already on staff engaged majority say having an office that helps and motivated is a growing challenge. attract and retain knowledge workers Among the survivors of layoffs, 75% is important to them, according to say their productivity has dipped. Cuts the Steelcase Workplace Satisfaction in compensation haven’t helped either, Survey, an ongoing global survey of which may explain why one study says knowledge worker attitudes on work as many as 76% of workers are looking issues that to date has engaged nearly for a new job. 23,000 respondents at 133 companies. In fact, it’s the single biggest issue not To deal with these talent challenges, being met – and it’s been that way every smart workplace planners and year since the survey began in 2004. managers are refining the workplace to better attract, engage, and retain Now comes the tricky part: the key knowledge workers. elements of a high-performance workplace are changing faster than a “You can only do so much with salary,” 19-year-old’s Facebook page. That’s says David Stoutamire, managing because work, and worker attitudes director of Sempai Services, Inc., an and behaviors are transforming before 360 Atlanta-based consultancy for commer- our eyes, thanks to the influence of the cial office development. “An employer youngest generation in the workplace: has to be able to offer those intangibles, the earbud-wearing, texting, Twittering, both in the workspace and in what the Facebook-loving, newest iteration of person does, and in how they do their the knowledge worker. ezine 3
  4. 4. The 70 million-strong Generation Y, that shaped earlier generations. Four dramatically in some cases, subtly 32 million of whom are already in the Gen Y work habits stand out: but no less assuredly in others,” says workforce, is exerting its influence in Lahade. “Workplace design and planning high-intensity work — Easily uses ways that demand attention. Like their must likewise shift if the company wants two monitors and keyboards. Checks Baby Boomer parents before them, Gen to attract, engage, and retain talent in a frequently with peers for feedback and Y is changing the world. New primary knowledge economy.” collaboration. Shifts easily between research by Steelcase involving in-depth focused work, socializing, collaboration. As one Gen Y worker interviewed by interviews and observation of more than Multi-tasks big-time. Grew up with an Lahade’s team explained, “I think it has 160 workers at nine U.S. companies has intense lifestyle and brings it to the a lot to do with the high expectations uncovered eight dramatic shifts that Gen office. we were brought up with. ‘You can do Y is driving in knowledge work and the it. You can have what you want.’ We’re workplace. Just as important as where extreme focus — Comfortable working criticized for wanting it all: high pay, these shifts in attitudes and behaviors with and among others. Can focus purposeful work, flexible hours. It’s are coming from is that they’re being attention and activity with laser-like hard for people in our generation to embraced rapidly by all workers of precision on a specific task, such as just do work.” all ages. working on a laptop or smart phone in the middle of a chaotic office. Can settle “The workplace has to show them “Gen Y is transforming the rules of quickly in a lounge chair or a corner of a who we are as a company, our values, engagement between employers and project room, deploy earbuds, iPod, and the business we’re in,” says Bethany employees,” says Sudhakar Lahade, a Zen-like focus to get the jo b done. Davis, director of workplace concepts senior design researcher with Steelcase’s and strategy for telecommunications WorkSpace Futures group, which led the Megamulti-tasking —Grew up with a giant Nokia. “More than anything else, nine-month study. “Younger knowledge packed schedule (school, sports, clubs, our workplace needs to show we value workers’ attitudes and behaviors are yadda yadda), so multitasking is no big our employees, and give them every being adopted by their older Gen X and deal. Juggles multiple tasks simultane- opportunity to be productive.” Boomer colleagues, creating a whole ously – project work, email, IM, web new set of requirements for any com- browsing, listening to music. Becomes Jumpstarted by Gen Y and taking hold pany that wants to compete for talent. restless and bored quickly, constantly fast across generations, the following From mentoring spaces to integrating looking for the next challenge. Speed, eight major shifts identified by Steelcase work and life styles and leveraging social change, and uncertainty are typical. researchers represent big changes in the networks, a high-performance workplace rules of engagement between employers will look much different from most Peer-to-peer networking — Social and employees. Any employer today workplaces today.” networking is part of life. Checks in that’s intent on attracting, engaging with peers constantly (been doing it and retaining workers can benefit from since high school). The chat line is how gen y is changing work rethinking their workplace through the always open. Gen Y brings to the office new ways of lens of these shifts: working that stem from an upbringing in “Thanks to the influence of Gen Y, work a world radically different from the one attitudes and behaviors are shifting – ezine 4
  5. 5. Shift #1 our thoughts before we can finish typing them, while Twitter, RSS feeds, and text schedule job training; workers now are taking charge of their career skills messages continually tug at our sleeves, with a long-term view of their own From: Personal achievement offering more information and ideas. personal growth and development. through a career Instead of learning skills in formal Shift #4 training, they’re more likely to learn in peer-to-peer knowledge trading, to:personal identification From: Trust is developed blogs and forums, and websites. beyond work in person Shift #7 The old path was a single career, clear roles and responsibilities, regular to: trust is developed From: Work and life advancement up the ladder along with both offline and online are separate changes in title, pay, and office size to match achievements. Today, the Trust was formed one way in the past: corporate ladder has been replaced face-to-face. But shared online experi- t o: work and life are one by a web or lattice of job changes and ences offer faster ways to communicate career shifts. As a result, knowledge and engage with others, and let us workers are as loyal to the company initiate and deepen relationships. The The clear separation between work as the company is to them. They want advantages of this virtual trust build- (office, meetings, transactions) and to know – now – the organization’s ing – unprecedented speed, limitless life (family, play, social activities) mission and plan, and they seek contacts, and no real boundaries – are has shifted to a blurring of work and purposeful work that has meaning demonstrated continually on Facebook, personal lives, if not a fully realized to their life. MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. They aren’t 24/7 work/life. Since work often Shift #2 called social networks for nothing. intertwines with personal life (nighttime email, off-hours phone calls, online From:The workplace Shift #5 meetings, etc.), workers increasingly look for support for personal needs is my office through the workplace, such as From: Conformity flexible scheduling, telecommuting, and onsite amenities. the workplace is to: wherever i am Shift #8 to: identity The office used to be based on the From: Serial collaboration organization chart and maximizing Job security is an antiquated notion. real estate. Most work happened in Boomers who remember it know job a personal workspace or meeting security is as passé as a three-piece and conference rooms in the same suit; younger workers have no experi- t o: continuous connection building. Knowledge work is now an ence with either. Career expectations anywhere, anytime affair. Accumulat- and personal identity have shifted ing face time has been replaced with from a company and position to career The structure of scheduled achieving results. autonomy and gratifying projects. Work- meetings, formal agendas, and Shift #3 ers want to make an impact through personal and collective success. They leader-led discussions has shifted to a continuous series of connections admire companies for commitment to and collaborations with colleagues, From: Technology is a tool identifiable ideals such as sustainability, suppliers, clients, and other workers diversity, and other best practices. who are either co-located or distrib- uted. Social capital that was once built to:technology is a part Shift #6 through infrequent collaboration is now built through personal and digital of me networking. From: Training 360 Under the old paradigm, technology was a helpful tool workers used as needed. Now, innovative technology offers provocative ways to: growth to communicate, collaborate, and manipulate the coin of the realm, For today’s knowledge worker, a career knowledge. Technology tools even is like a Swiss Army knife: multi-faceted anticipate our needs: software fills in and quick-changing. Bosses used to
  6. 6. “In our experience, there’s no substitute for as much true face time as you can possibly get,” notes David Fannon, vice “The workplace has to show them who we are as a company, president of Office Depot who recently our values, the business we’re in— more than anything else worked on the company’s new corporate to show we value our employees and give them every oppor- headquarters workplace. “All companies, tunity to be productive.” all of corporate America, all of American business is having to accomplish the – b etha ny dav i S, di r e ct or of w or k pl ace conce pt S and St r at e g y, nok i a same things with fewer resources. That makes it even more critical that the folks you have gathered in a facility... be able what workers want will be onsite at the business, others to collaborate openly.” How do you create an uber-effective may be in satellite workplaces, client workplace to address the fast-shifting spaces, home offices, third places, etc. Clearly, the importance placed on a com- needs and behaviors of today’s knowl- pany’s size, brand image, and history is Based on their findings, Steelcase edge workers? researchers have developed a suite shifting to how well the company can support a worker’s preferred workstyle, It all begins with the concept of a of strategies for designing high- how much a person can learn with a range of settings. Since workers are performance workplaces to support company, and how well it supports work/ networked across geography and time today’s new breed of workers. life integration. Workers expect the office zones, they need a range of shared “We believe the extent to which a to ooze technology, morph quickly to the settings to connect with other workers workplace reflects these new design needs of the moment, and foster easy, who are nearby and frequent collabora- strategies in turn indicates how well it personal connections. It’s a tall order, tors, as well as sometime visitors or will help attract, engage, and retain the but vital to any company that wants to those who are based elsewhere and company’s most desirable workers,” attract, engage, and retain good people. present only virtually. In other words, a says Lahade. distributed workforce requires a “palette of place” — a range of settings where For example, the shift from serial all four knowledge work modes are collaboration to continuous connection supported. Some of these workspaces means the workplace needs to be Gen Y: Natural Knowledge Workers Gen Y seems to have a natural proclivity for the four basic modes of knowledge work: focusing, collaborating, learning, and socializing. These were first described in the seminal 1995 book, The Knowledge-Creating Company by Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi. Every knowledge worker — whether an interior designer, IT consultant, financial analyst, or finance teacher — uses these four basic elements of building knowledge, which in turn drive creativity and innovation: Focusing - Concentrating on a specific task; thinking, close study, contemplation, reflection, analysis, and other “head down” work. collaborating - Working with one or more people to achieve a goal, such as collectively creating content; listening, discussing, presenting information and ideas, brainstorming, etc. learning - Building knowledge through education or experience, either in a classroom or a conversation with peers. socializing - Interacting, networking, mentoring, sharing along interpersonal connections that lead to common bonds and values. Rapidly switching from focusing to socializing to collaborating is how Gen Y typically functions. Learning is a comfort zone for them, too; they’ve been raised as active, lifelong learners and consider it a path to personal and professional growth, as well as a means to further their skills. Most knowledge work – three of the four modes – involves communication and collaboration with others. As Gensler points out in their 2008 Workplace Survey report, employees at top companies spend significantly more time collaborating, socializing, and learning than those at average companies. A workplace that supports all four modes helps drive organizational success. ezine 6
  7. 7. b oome r w or k e r : “how do you reinvent the corner office for today? gen y attitudes are being adopted by older workers. if they’re open to change, they’re open to anything to help them engage better with the team.” 360
  8. 8. “i prefer to design web pages g e n y w or k e r : and logos while i’m on the treadmill. i have no idea why; it’s just what works for me.”
  9. 9. saturated with support for social networks. People work in offices because of the power of place and their “The workspace should be mobile so people need to interact with colleagues. Yet how collegial networks develop is changing. aren’t stuck in one place. Free to come and go as long as I get my work done.” There’s unprecedented opportunity to support forming bonds and networking – g e n y w or k e r quickly by providing both virtual and physical environments that support interactions with peers, such as kitchen- kind of collaboration spaces with a knowledge bar to plug in computers and have meetings — places where workers can “chill-lax.” A good approach is to locate these spaces strategically near the entrance or elevator core so people go through them as they enter or leave the workplace. Providing ample tools for projecting content from a laptop or PC to a larger display is another way to design workplaces strategically to support continuous connection. Equally impor- tant is fully supporting videoconferencing and remote collaboration, quickly and easily. building the business case Office Depot is just one company that recently completed a new corporate headquarters building to address today’s knowledge work requirements, and the results are telling. “There are two things that we’ve learned and are reminded of every time that we make a move — the two things that are really important to associates. One is pay and the other is their space. If you can create an environment where their space is really working for them…, then it does a lot in terms of building morale…, making them more productive and making them proud of the place where they work,” says Daisy Vander- linde, vice president of human resources for the company. “We’re running the business smarter now,” adds Fannon. “It’s an impressive and exciting environment when you first walk in. It encourages people to 360 remain with the company. We think it’s a great advantage in recruiting talent.” ezine 9
  10. 10. Addressing the shifting attitudes and how worker attitudes and behaviors are It’s what the physical space says about behaviors of knowledge workers should shifting, and how knowledge workers the company, those subtle messages be integral to every workspace design, of all ages can best be supported to you get – access, openness, com- says Lahade. “A workplace that helps do what they do best: learn, create, munication – that say a lot about what attract, engage and retain knowledge and innovate. A high-performance you are. If the workplace creates hurdles workers is not an option for any com- workplace, like the right technology tools to being productive or barriers, it can be pany that wants not only to survive or a competitive compensation program, a detriment…. We’re doing the things the this economy, but to flourish in the is another expression of the company’s business needs to do.” years ahead.” investment in the talent that drives the organization. Workplaces aren’t the only The traditional “attract & retain” model is outdated, he adds. “Businesses should “As a workplace professional, I believe way to attract, engage, and consider their workplace, their HR and we have some impact,” says Davis of grow knowledge workers, IT policies, and other means to find and Nokia. “It’s not more important than but they’re certainly key to keep the best talent in an overall strategy the quality of the work you do, or to ‘attract and grow’ the people in the the colleagues you work with, or the surmounting the challenge. organization.” challenge of your work. Those things are always going to be more important. But This larger view incorporates how the workplace reinforces those things. knowledge work has changed, ezine 10
  11. 11. 360: Designed to inspire and inform architects and designers, 360 explores the latest in workplace research, insights, and trends. © 2009 Steelcase Inc. All rights reserved.