When I started my first job after the velvet revolution, the only measure of employee experience at that time was salary. Everything else was “nice to have,” but as an employee, it would never have occurred to me to ask my employer for something extra on top of my pay. There was often an unspoken threat in the air: ‘If you don’t like it, you can go elsewhere. Ten others are waiting to take your place.”
Soon enough, the first benefits emerged, such as a meal allowance, a bonus for good work results, or the first company teambuilding. However, it did not shake up my employment experience too much back then. The salary was still the primary measure of employee experience for most employees and me.
Then I witnessed another shift. Employers began to place more emphasis on a pleasant work environment. For the first time, I have seen someone leave a well-paid job because of an inadequate working environment and tools. Gradually, the working environment became more and more adapted to the employees, and the first perks appeared: equipped kitchens with soft drinks and fruit, gyms, video games, and other fun elements in the workplace.
Diversity and inclusion
Later, especially in Western countries, another big issue surfaced: diversity and inclusion. In our context, it was first an attempt to level the playing field between men and women in the workplace. However, in the last years before covid-19, the topic of equalization of age groups and ethnic minorities began to emerge more and more among employees.
Watching the Apple Event yesterday, I realized how much emphasis today’s companies place on sustainability and the environment. Yes, the environment has been influencing the workplace for some time now. But never has it had such a profound impact on the employee experience as it does now. Whenever we have been screening the employee experience at EMPLORES recently, we have been struck repeatedly by how much importance employees place on the topic of sustainability. Especially for the younger generation, it is one of the critical aspects of deciding where to work.
And what’s next?
Of course, a good salary remains one of the essential measures of employee experience. But it has long since ceased to be the only and primary one. Are you also curious about where the employee experience is going next? What will be the most important criteria for employees when looking for a job or retaining a job in a few years? Thursday’s Apple Event gave us a little hint.
I believe it is the emphasis on physical health and mental well-being. Look at how many people use various sensors to measure body markers and apps to assess them. How many employees are exercising regularly, exposing themselves to cold, and keeping an eye on their health? Physical and mental health is becoming increasingly important to employees. What do you think? Do you see employee health promotion as an essential topic in your company?