(Editor’s Note: Today’s article is brought to you by our friends at Workhuman® [formerly known as Globoforce]. They help organizations energize their cultures and unlock employees’ passion and potential with the fastest-growing social recognition and continuous performance management platform. Enjoy the article!)
Regular readers of this blog know that I sometimes facilitate a SHRM seminar on talent acquisition. In it, we talk about employment branding and how part of developing the organization’s employment brand happens by creating an employee value proposition (EVP).
The EVP is what organizations provide to workplace employees in exchange for the work that they do. It includes the things you would expect like compensation, benefits, company culture, training and development, etc. But in thinking about those things, it occurred to me that they’re very fluid. What I mean by that is that they can easily change based on the company or industry.
For example, when I worked in the hospitality industry, I didn’t always make the highest salary. And I worked long hours. But in exchange for that, I got some fun perks like free meals, dry cleaning, and spa time. In a different industry, I might make more in salary, but then I’d have to pay retail for all of the things I got free in hospitality.
I’m not complaining. And what I’ve described isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but wouldn’t it be great if, when it came to certain aspects of employment and the employee experience, there were guarantees? Things that every organization said, “Yes, we will support that.” Those guarantees would be focused on giving every employee a more human work experience.
I could see candidates and employees loving this. Candidates would know that when they accept a job offer, there are things about their new employer that they don’t have to worry about. Frankly, I could see workplace senior management and HR leadership loving this idea as well. They don’t have to spend hours in conference rooms trying to figure out the perfect employee experience. It’s something that they have already agreed to do.
The Workhuman Charter of Workplace Rights
In the book “Making Work Human: How Human-Centered Companies are Changing the Future of Work and the World”, authors Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine did just that. They came up with that list of things (aka guarantees) that every organization should do to make work more human. To take it one step further, they’re proposing that the list can be viewed as a charter of workplace rights.
Think of these guarantees as something that every employee can rely on. It doesn’t matter what the employee’s job title is, or what size company they work for, or where the business is located, or even what industry we’re talking about. This is the baseline for the employee experience. The Workhuman Charter of Workplace Rights outlines a place where:
- Environmental, social, and economic sustainability is supported.
- People feel secure to express their views and ideas, with respect for themselves and others.
- Individuals can use their talents and voice for good.
- Employees deserve to grow to their greatest potential through training, feedback, and rewards.
Some of you might be saying, “The Charter seems very reasonable and logical.” And it’s true. That’s what makes it so great. No organization really wants to say:
- “No, we don’t want to our employees to learn and grow.”
- “No, we really don’t want people to do good things.
- “Nah, we’re not really into listening to what others have to say.
- And finally, “We’re not really into supporting our community or world.”
It simply doesn’t make good business sense to say or do those things. But what makes the Charter so impactful is that the Rights mentioned above are backed by science. They aren’t something simply made up. No offense to the creative people out there, but there are moments when we need the data and science. Organizations can save their creativity and innovation for how to implement the Charter. (Note to self: More on that in a future article.)
Organizations: Tell the World You’re Serious about Employees
Many organizations highlight that their employees are their business. They say that their talent is what sets them apart from their competition. Then now is the time to commit to a Charter of Workplace Rights that tells the world that the company is serious about it. I can’t think of a more perfect time for organizations to adopt a Charter like the one mentioned in “Making Work Human”.
Some organizations might say to themselves, “We’ll just implement our own charter.” And honestly, that’s certainly an option. But is that really how you want to be spending your time right now? Many organizations are looking to next year as an opportunity to recover from the pandemic. They know as part of that effort they need to redefine their workplace.
“Making Work Human” is the guidebook that can help the organization refocus on those guarantees that every employee should have. You don’t have to do it alone. Mosley and Irvine have started the project for you. They gathered all the data. You can pick up a copy of “Making Work Human” on Amazon. It’s a great read and an ideal blueprint for the employee experience.12