We are confronted with a new reality which we cannot avoid – ever shorter employment relationships. What should we do? Engage in strategic and long-term thinking, because a fundamental change of values takes time.
A career where, for example, you do an apprenticeship at SBB, work there for a while, at some point get promoted and eventually retire is a rarity today. As a global average, employees stay with the same employer for approximately four and half years before moving on. For members of generation Y the figure is around half of that. German Ramirez, who recently held an interesting talk on the subject of employer branding 2.0 and digital transformation, sees the reasons for this in the so-called “crazy ings”, i.e. outsourcing, downsizing, restructuring, offshoring, which are responsible for the end of a paradigm – the workplace for life.
Loyalty in both directions
From the employee’s point of view it’s a simple calculation: “If the company isn’t loyal to me, I won’t be loyal to it.” Full stop. This attitude has become entrenched among employees. Loyalty towards a company is no longer the top priority, people are more flexible and oriented towards tasks rather than companies. Companies therefore risk losing key employees. This applies first and foremost for the talent of the future. In order to hold on to them, fundamental changes in the corporate culture are required.
However, changes in the culture are not easy to achieve. Far-reaching adjustments are required. A table football game is not enough, any more than a couple of coloured cushions in the corner near the break room. These things are cosmetic, almost as if you were to stick wings to a caterpillar to turn it into a butterfly. We all know that more than a couple of wings are required to turn a caterpillar into a butterfly. This metaphor – which by the way I also got from German – can be directly applied to a change in corporate culture.
Forward ever, backwards never
In the study of history, the term “watershed” is used to refer to the end of one era and the beginning of a new one, a dividing line which of course can only be precisely established in retrospect. Nevertheless, it isn’t difficult to see that a change is occurring. It manifests itself increasingly clearly. The new reality lies before us and the road towards it is direct. It goes forwards and turning back is not an option. For a company which wants to continue to be successful in the future, there is actually only one possibility, that of transformation.
Picture: Mantas Hesthaven CC0
Published 29.03.2017 © Brandsoul AG