New Rules of Employee Engagement #TChat Recap

(Editor’s Note: Looking for details from the week’s #TChat Events? See the Storify slideshow and resource links at the end of this post.)

“Our employees are our greatest asset.”
Year after year, it seems like employers focus on the same catchphrase.

Meanwhile, workforce engagement statistics continue to crawl along the ocean floor like bottom feeders scouring for scraps. It’s like being caught in a time-travel wormhole that loops back on itself, with only our clothing styles and digital technologies changing along the way.

Even professionals with specialized “knowledge skills” are caught in this spin cycle. And for too many in today’s workforce, it’s not just monotonous, but overwhelming.

Breaking the Perpetual Talent Spin Cycle

Of course, at the end of the day, “overwhelmed” workers are at the mercy of employers. But when all else fails, a disengaged employee’s only true leverage is the power to leave.

Until recently, the economic crisis made that option unthinkable for many. But today, a much different picture is emerging. The ability to exercise career choice is fundamentally changing the workplace, one painful decision at a time. You’ve heard it before – no pain, no gain.

Take Wall Street for example. The financial industry has had a long climb back from the darkest days of recession. But, as a recent NPR Planet Money podcast reports, many new banking recruits are struggling to stay immersed in an industry that puts money above all else. They want to do more than just make money — they want to make the world a better place.

Does Wall Street need to redeem itself, though? Does it need to realign with the needs of the best and brightest it wants to employ? Maybe. Or maybe those recruits should consider other employers — or make their own entrepreneurial magic.

According to new global talent strategy research, companies are focusing on retention, engagement and “attraction of talent” more than they have in nearly a decade. In fact, more than 60% of organizations say that dealing with “the overwhelmed employee” is a top priority.

Employees Rewrite Rules of Engagement

Yes, the overwhelmed employee is redefining the workplace — one painful change at a time. But smart companies are finding ways to be responsive. Here are two examples we discussed at #TChat this week with our guest, Josh Bersin, Founder and Principal of Bersin by Deloitte:

1) Continuous Development: Most knowledge workers are taking it upon themselves to “skill up” — to keep themselves marketable, relevant and valuable. Often this happens outside of the enterprise via MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and online learning sites. Video, in particular, is gaining ground as medium for “anytime” access to self-paced learning. Employers should look for ways to mirror these learning experiences internally.

2) Flexible Work Options: As it becomes increasingly difficult to recruit, hire and retain top performers for highly skilled positions, flexibility has become a negotiating chip. Remote work, nontraditional daily and weekly schedules, contract and part-time relationships, unlimited personal time — you name it. Again, wise companies recognize the value of offering these choices to attract and retain the very best.

Yep, no pain, no gain. Clearly, there’s a long road ahead. But progressive employers are starting to step up to the challenge that overwhelmed employees are presenting. And that’s a step in the right direction.

Want to know what the TalentCulture community says about this topic? Check the #TChat Storify highlights and resource links below. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas — let’s keep the conversation going on Twitter and Google+!

#TChat Week-In-Review: The Year of The Employee

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Watch the #TChat sneak peek hangout now

SUN 2/23:
#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topic in a post featuring a brief G+ hangout, where he talked with Josh Bersin about how today’s talent pool is gaining bargaining power from employers. Read: “Work: Employees Rewrite The Script

MON 2/24: Post:
In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, looked at trends affecting today’s talent strategies in: “5 Trends Driving HR Technology in 2014.”

TUE 2/25:
Related Post: “Growth From Within: 7 Ways to Compete on Employee Talent” — by Shawn Murphy

WED 2/26:


Listen to the #TChat Radio show replay

#TChat Radio: Our hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talked with Josh Bersin about the key talent and HR technology trends that are shaping 2014 and beyond. Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now…

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and Josh moved over to the #TChat Twitter stream, where the entire TalentCulture community  discussed 5 key questions about emerging workplace talent trends.

See highlights from the Twitter stream the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: The Year of The Employee

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Josh Bersin for sharing new global talent research with our community. Your insights brought tremendous depth and dimension to the discussion.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the workplace talent frontier? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll take a very special look at forces that are disrupting HR from the inside out, with our guest Steve Browne, Executive Director of HR at LaRosa’s Inc. See more information in the #TChat Preview this weekend, and save the date: Wednesday, March 5!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels.

We’ll see you on the stream!

(Editor’s Note: CONGRATS to Paul Thoresen — winner of the recent Pebble smartwatch giveaway from Dice! And thanks to all the #TChat contributors who shared tech recruiting ideas and questions with Dice and #FutureofTech.)

Image Credit: Mike Rohde via Flickr