It's called work, not awesome

Mike Carden
Mike Carden | October 02, 2018
Employee Experience
It's called work, not awesome

In my inbox last week. “I always read your HR posts with interest. They are sometimes very entertaining. I do however struggle to relate them to my job, as all my working years, its been a cat and mouse game of avoiding being shouted at or sacked. Ive never known an employer that gives the slightest rats arse about what employees might think.”

For many, worklife is bleak.

Later that week, visiting a clearly still bemused new HR Director of SoMa* start-up. “It’s like the Wizard of Oz. You’re not in Kansas any more when the biggest HR challenge is an argument about whether we should stock the fridges with Mexican Coke**.”

For many, worklife is mint.

Is EX driven by a tight labor market or by the promise of productivity gains?

Why is this difference so stark? Is the huge variation in EX in the worker economy based on how quickly business leaders update their thinking? Or is it based on how easy it is to attract workers in the first place?

Put another way: is your company a great place to work because your boss has figured out that great employee experiences lead to great business outcomes? Or is it a great place to work because the labor market is tight and the company needs to pull out all the stops to attract staff? Hey guys, choose us, the Coke in our breakroom is superior!

Because if it’s the latter, as soon as there is a downturn: corn syrup is back on the menu and the yoga classes are cancelled.

What’s your experience (pun intended): do more leaders embrace the EX philosophy, or are they just doing what it takes to get people in the door?


*SOMA is the area in San Francisco South Of MArket street.

**Mexican Coke is sweetened with cane sugar. This apparently makes it a healthier choice than US Coke, which is sweetened with corn syrup. Also, it’s supposed to taste better. Someone should do a taste test and get back to us on this.