Cost per square foot, risk reduction, service utilization, service level agreements…this is what many workplace solutions groups are measuring and managing to on a daily basis. But, let’s be honest, that’s probably not what’s being measured at Google, the company at the pinnacle of Fortune’s annual ranking of America’s top 100 employers in 2012.
Many of us in business watch for this list each year to see who’s on the list, of course, yet equally as curious about the reason why. This year’s study states: “Employees [at Google] rave about their mission, the culture, and the famous perks of the Plex: bocce courts, a bowling alley, eyebrow shaping (for a fee) in the New York office.” The article pictures a group of employees playing ping pong and foosball. What kind of culture is this? A VERY successful one… Google rose from #4 to #1 on the Fortune list this year.
I bet if Google was measuring value around the investments it makes in its human capital it would be measuring productive collaboration, innovation, opportunities for strategic “disengagement,” and overall quality of life. Attraction and retention of “top talent” is a known challenge impacting business success, employers cannot afford to use the same old metrics and the same old processes, which at the end of the day have very little impact in addressing these challenges.
Based on Sodexo’s research and collective experience as a Quality of Daily Life company, we know the workforce of tomorrow has completely different expectations around the workplace experience. As our Workplace Trends Report for 2012 points out, our clients live it because ultimately, as an employer, it’s up to the organization to address of every aspect in the workplace and provide integrated solutions that create value.
It may not always be more “ping pong tables,” but at the end of the day, individuals are now making decisions when choosing employers based on the attitude the company takes toward fulfilling lifestyle and work style scenarios which are unique to them. Businesses need to begin measuring the overall workplace experience value if they want to attract top talent and achieve lofty business goals. Where’s a good place to begin? STOP managing people and the workplace in bits and pieces and START creating a unified approach which delivers an optimal employee experience that results in the greatest operational value.
Debra Dailey is vice president, human capital outcomes for the Sodexo toLive offer.