This may seem iconoclastic, but when I see the number of initiatives taken by companies to help their employees, I end up wondering if they haven’t done too much.
The employee is the focus of attention
The employee is therefore the focus of attention and the subject of all initiatives. The goal? Compensate for all the negative effects that his work can have on him: fatigue, stress, malaise…. No matter whether we call it quality of life at work, well-being at work, happiness at work, employee experience, all this is based on an obvious premise: an employee who feels good is more productive, focused, committed than an employee who feels bad. So much for the short term because in the long term there are the challenges of health, turnover etc. In short, it took time, but willingly or not, businesses finally understood that this was an investment and not a dry expense.
So we won’t complain about it, but there is something in these practices that bothers me a little.
Well-being treats symptoms, not evil
It reminds me of something I often notice about engagement. Companies complain about employees who are not sufficiently committed, urging them to be more committed as if the problem were only at the employee level and without ever thinking that if their staff do not want to get engaged, it may be because businesses are not engaging.
Well, it’s exactly the same here. This gives the impression that everything can be solved at the employee level, a little as if the problem were at that level. This is in fact totally false: if the symptoms are perceptible at the level of the employee, the harm is often elsewhere. And often to identify the root causes, the company only has to look at itself in the mirror.
What causes stress, malaise, all these negative things that the employee may feel? Not surprisingly the pillars of a good or bad employee experience, what I call the PPT. People, process, technology. Faulty organization, heavy or even inadequate processes, inefficient or complex tools, managers who have only the title … you have the cause of almost all the problems, not to mention the impact on individual and collective performance.
So of course we’re not going to complain that companies are interested in their employees… but maybe they should spend a little less energy on that side and a little more on taking care of themselves. More difficult but with a more systemic and sustainable impact.