Crisis or not – good employees are always wanted. And companies are still doing their best to be seen as attractive employers. Basically out of pure self-interest, because studies show that attractiveness as an employer increases company performance by 19 percent. But the world of work has changed dramatically in the past two years: While companies used to be able to score points with cool office equipment, extraordinary team building events and similar goodies, such benefits have lost their importance since Corona. The question “What is a good employer?” Arises again.
Anna Nowshad is a partner at Deloitte Consulting and heads the Future of Work division. The definition of an attractive employer, according to Nowshad, has certainly changed: “On the one hand, it has become more diversified. On the other hand, demands on leadership, cooperation and, above all, job design – how is my job designed, which activities make sense, how can I be as productive as possible and at the same time have a manageable level of stress – have increased. ”
Open communication as an important factor
In their opinion, classic events and meetings in particular have lost their importance. On the other hand, the professional handling of the home office has become an important asset. “After the first few weeks, in which everyone – employees, managers and customers – have made the best of it with some minimal equipment and quickly learned a lot of new things, there is a real boost to digitization. It starts with the cooperation tools and goes on to professional HR, CRM, finance and management systems, ”explains the consultant. Across all industries, Nowshad continues, virtual or hybrid work has led to higher productivity: “But there are definitely downsides too. Maintaining mental health and dealing with stressful situations are more present than seldom before. This presents managers and teams with the challenge of remaining closely connected to one another despite the physical distance and of discussing these issues openly. ”
In order to attract high potentials and to be seen as an attractive employer, she believes that open and honest communication is crucial. “If things are communicated to the outside world and during the application phase that cannot be adhered to, this is usually difficult to fix.” In addition, according to the consultant, a conscious examination of the future of work versus old habits is required: “In which jobs and when is physical presence actually necessary? How strict do our working hours have to be? Where can digitization be a real relief for employees? What are the actual requirements, where are they just relics in outdated job descriptions? ”Explains Nowshad.
In her opinion, it is also essential to enable employees to use their actual strengths and skills – regardless of whether they are needed in their own job in the narrowest sense or not: “That requires thinking beyond departmental boundaries and making roles and skills more flexible of tasks. This is why managers and their social skills play a very central role in making a company more attractive. “
“Pimp my Boss”
Martin Giesswein, Co-Founder of Talent Garden Vienna and Christof Stögerer, Head of Continuing Education at the WU Executive Academy, are also asking themselves how leadership can succeed in today’s modern working environment. Based on the observation that classic management training courses have their limits, they developed the new leadership workshop “Pimp My Boss”. Based on the principles of modern design thinking, managers work with their teams to develop solutions for better leadership. In this way, employees can also contribute to increasing the company’s attractiveness. Giesswein: “How often do employees hear from the boss: Tell me how I can support you even better in your work? But this invitation to better teamwork is not a one-way street. We also need employees who help to bring the desired leadership behavior to success. ”Christof Stögerer adds:“ There is the nice sentence: People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad leaders. That means that the manager is often an essential criterion for whether an employee feels comfortable in the company or not. ”
Individual leadership as a success factor
But what will be particularly important in the future in order to succeed as a manager and make the company attractive to good employees? Stögerer: “Everything related to the topic of control has lost importance. At the same time, soft skills are becoming more and more important: in other words, being able to motivate, inspire, trust and, above all, to be able to listen. ”It is also crucial to clearly communicate the advantages and disadvantages of new regulations Satisfaction in the company tends to be counterproductive, ”says Stögerer. Martin Giesswein had personal experience of this: “I managed 22 people at four locations in Germany. I made an individual agreement with each colleague: What medium and how often do we want to communicate? How much support do you need? How do you keep me informed of progress so that I can report to the top? We hardly needed any team calls, but sales growth and satisfaction were great. For me as a manager, it meant adapting my day-to-day work to the preferences of the employees. “
His advice is therefore: The greater the distance to the team, the more individual the leadership must be. It therefore makes sense to pay close attention to the manager when asking about attractive jobs. “Pimping – that is, doing better – means changing a manager’s behavior pattern so that the team can do its work better,” explains Giesswein. This includes better availability, fixed feedback discussions instead of spontaneous control calls and more precise work instructions. Above all, critical ability is important for improving attractiveness. Giesswein: “I myself worked as a manager in unsuccessful organizations that encouraged power play, selfishness and the search for the culprit. Successful organizations offer a good leadership experience to attract and retain capable leaders. The key areas of this supportive environment for managers are space for personal growth outside the hierarchy, radical honesty and the rejection of selfishness. ”