The Changing Employer-Employee Dynamic

The past year’s labor shortage, pandemic restrictions and economic shocks have been felt in boardrooms for some time. Now, these disruptors are trickling down to the office floor, shifting the delicate power balance between employer and employee.

Newly empowered employees are finding themselves with a lot more leverage than in previous years. As companies struggle to fill a record number of job openings, workers are able to shop around, negotiate, and push for greater perks.

But where does this leave employers? For many, an emboldened employee is their worst nightmare - a worker who demands too much and contributes too little. But redrawing the lines in professional relationships isn’t necessarily a hindrance to productivity or your firm’s growth.

In fact, research shows that employee-centric companies tend to be more successful than those that don’t put employees first. Putting your people first ensures a company culture of respect, loyalty, and inclusivity.

The employee-centric workplace

The hallmarks of an employee-centric workplace are practical measures that improve employee wellbeing and an office culture that’s supportive and nurturing.

Practical steps can take the form of benefits, vacation hours, performance reviews, salary hikes and other perks. A big consideration for employers at the moment is flexibility. With most workers now comfortable working remotely, the old 9 to 5 routine is becoming a relic of pre-pandemic days and companies will have to accommodate new models of home or hybrid working.

The pandemic kept workers isolated. It also significantly impacted our mental and physical health. Embedding employee wellness initiatives into your workplace can give your company an edge over competitors when it comes to securing staff. Mental health support, health benefits and peer support groups all show your employees that you’re invested in them personally, not just professionally.

An organization that looks after its workers is an organization in demand. Your employees are your brand advocates, so you want them going out into the world singing your praises. Not only does this boost brand image, it also makes you more attractive to future hires. When people in your industry hear about your high levels of staff satisfaction, they’ll want to work for you. Happy workplaces attract talent.

In addition, companies that take the time to refine the employee experience are more likely to survive through uncertain times. Research shows that workers who report a positive employee experience have 16 times the engagement level of those who say their experience is negative, and they’re eight times more likely to stay with their company.

Employee empowerment leads to long-term loyalty

Good times or bad, employees should always feel empowered by their employers. The most successful companies don’t wait until they’re backed into a corner, they recognize that they thrive when their employees thrive and act accordingly.

One of the few positives to come out of the pandemic is a renewed focus on employee rights. This unprecedented period of disruption has forced firms to take stock of their staff, seeing them as invaluable contributors rather than cogs in the company machine. 

If your employees have suddenly started demanding raises, refusing to take on tasks, or abruptly quitting, perhaps that’s a sign to reevaluate your HR policies. Maybe salaries didn’t keep pace with the market, perhaps some members of staff were overburdened, and it’s possible disgruntled employees are leaving now after years of being ignored and unappreciated.

Meeting employee needs will always be the foundation to building a productive team, in good times or bad. Treat your team well and they’ll reward you with their commitment and loyalty, no matter who holds the cards.

Get greater insight into your team’s activities with productivity intelligence tool, Prodoscore. This integrated platform improves visibility into how staff work, highlighting opportunities for improvement and keeping employees accountable. Contact our team today for a no-obligation demonstration.

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