You’re walking down the street and every step you take is one meter long. How many meters have you crossed after 6 steps? 6 meters. That’s what’s called linear growth, where you simply add the constant (1 meter).
But now you’re walking down the street and every next step you take is twice as big as the previous one.
How many meters have you crossed after 6 steps? 32 meters. That’s what’s called exponential growth, where you square the constant (1 meter).
But here is the fun part.
You’ve crossed 32 meters in 6 steps. How many meters would you cross after 24 more steps if each consecutive step is twice as big as the previous one (a total of 30 steps)?
You would end up circumventing the Earth 26 times!
30 linear steps take you across the street, but 30 exponential steps take you across the Earth… 26 times.
That’s why linear growth is easy to predict, but the exponential growth takes us by surprise. And the same rules apply to employee experience as we will see. You’re either in the loop with the changes or you fall behind so much that turnover skyrockets, employees disengage, and your business shuts doors.
But even though it’s hard to predict the changes, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible as we will see with the application of Moore’s Law. And if you want to find out what it is, read ahead.
The standards have changed
The current employee experience situation in the global workforce according to Gallup studies:
Around 25% of the workforce feels burnt out always,
55% are currently unhappy at work,
85% are disengaged and seeking other employment opportunities, and
massive workloads on employee’s backs actually decrease productivity by 68%.
Taking just this data into account, you would feel like the workplace became worse than it was in the past. But the truth is that the standards have changed throughout the years and “what got you here, won’t get you there.” The workforce today is more demanding of its employer and the best talent gets to pick and choose where they want to work.
This shift in employee experience was fast and recent and it left most companies behind. All of this can be explained by Moore’s Law.
Moore’s Law is a reliable rule that tells us the world’s maximum computing power doubles every two years (grows exponentially). But Moore, who was the CEO of Intel, found out that this applies to multiple categories, verticals, industries, and areas such as general human advancement, and yes, even employee experience.
Top-down business structure (command-and-control) style of management that was the get-go for centuries of business came crumbling down in a couple of years and was replaced by the bottom-up style of management, where culture and employee empowerment take the head role.
And the companies that adopted the best (and fastest) to it have been reaping massive rewards like 60% lower absenteeism for sickness and 33% lower turnover, massive engagement, high productivity rates, and high profit margins.
But before you can be the leader in the space and become the next Buurtzorg, Mindvalley, of FAVI, let’s first start with today’s standards when it comes to employee experience and see how you can best implement these changes.
There are 5 elements that can be said are today’s standard (some companies would consider these a bare minimum) when it comes to the employee experience.
The 5 standards of employee experience today
These 5 are the standard in today’s world of employee experience:
Flat hierarchies are about having the least possible amount of management layers, even for a bigger company. Layers upon layers of management have been proven inefficient and slow— and in today’s business world, you can be anything, but you can’t be slow.
The inability to change fast is what spelled demise of many companies, and multiple management levels was part of the overall recipe. Employees want to work in an environment where their ideas are heard by the decision-maker today, not in 270 days when a competitor has already picked up on the opportunity.
So make your structure as lean as possible because you will become nimble and fast— something the market rewards today.
When it comes to beliefs about work, most employees have fallen into what’s called the Theory Y— workers want responsibility, they are self-sufficient and organized, and can make individual decisions and be productive without their managers hanging over their heads.
Ricardo Semler, the CEO of Semco, a Brazilian powerhouse that has no offices, said that if their workers can take care of their families and make decisions there, why should we treat them like children when they are at work?
Remote work means that you trust your employees that they will do their work even when no one is looking. And that’s what has become the standard today.
This is an odd one, especially when it comes to millennials— most articles out there describe the millennial generation as lazy and unproductive, but yet they rate professional and personal growth as one of the highest things they look for in an employer. Why is that?
The millennial generation demands a clear path of growth in the company that doesn’t just include a new position, but a new skillset that they will learn with a new role. They want to grow, professionally and personally.
And the best thing about this is that the older generations at work might, combined with the company’s program of growth, provide that growth.
If there is one thing the workforce today grades higher than growth, it’s great mentors and mentoring. Millennials, who make up the majority of the workforce today, want and need mentors at work— people who will guide and lead them to become a better professional and a better person.
Google gives its employees space to teach colleagues skills through its Googler-to-Googler program.
The workplace relationship for a millennial is both professional and personal— there is no longer a clear line between work and life— it all becomes integrated where life becomes work and work becomes life.
Wikipedia and Linux are a great example of purpose in the “workplace”— nobody paid for a single line of code on Wikipedia or Linux, yet they are both a major part of our lives. Why is that?
Because there was a strong purpose behind them both — Wikipedia wanted to have all information in a single place and to act as an encyclopedia, while Linux wanted to be a reliable, open-source and free operating system.
Purpose galvanizes people and makes them act as one and millennials demand it from today’s workplace.
What the future holds
The above-mentioned standards keep you afloat, but they don’t provide you with a leading position. The ones that have the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn, are the ones that will get ahead in the 2020 decade.
The future trends that are slowly emerging from pioneering organisations:
Increase in self-management by employees
Instant Feedback culture— gamification elements
Company Social Responsibility
And many other trends that you will need to follow and embrace if you want to stay in the race
Moore’s Law tells us that the rate of growth exponentially grows and so do the standards of employee experience. The ones that follow stay in the race. The ones that innovate are the ones that make the race.
Which one are you going to be?