EMPLOYEE VS. ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES

There appears to be a gap between what employees and employers value, and also what employees value vs. what employers think they value. A report released by Mercer on Global Talent Trends 2019 highlights that employee perceptions about what makes a top employer has changed: They care as much about the way the company conducts business, as they do about the business it is in10. Employees’ collective voice on matters of culture, equity and ethics is now mainstream10. Employees are also increasingly focused on managing their work-life balance and report that it is one of the top five things employers can do to help them thrive at work10. The values of employees were echoed in a report published by the University of Waterloo, which highlighted that co-op students strongly value benevolence, self-direction and hedonism, while organizations strongly valued self-direction, security, and universalism33. It is important that these values are well understood by all stakeholders for effective job design and for employers to attract the best talent. There is an increased need for communication between employers and employees – including WIL students, who are the future workforce – about their respective perspectives and what they value.

With globalization, decentralized teams and hyper connectivity, organizations need to better articulate the values inherent in the work they offer in order to attract the best, and most highly motivated talent.

It is important that WIL students entering the labour market have the opportunity to develop a better sense of self and a better understanding of what their values are in order to pursue meaningful WIL experiences and make an informed decision about the organizations they want to work for after graduation. The future of work affords each of us opportunities to pursue our purpose over a lifetime of meaningful work, rather than through a specific job, or career path. With globalization, decentralized teams and hyper connectivity, organizations need to better articulate the values inherent in the work they offer in order to attract the best, and most highly motivated talent. This talent will be motivated by the nature of the work, the values and the purpose of the organization. Perks such as employee benefits, location, job title, and prestige in the hierarchy will become less significant as organizations de-bureaucratize in order to be adaptive, nimble and resilient.

Participation in WIL provides clarity for students on their values, their unique set of talents, their ability to be self-supporting/employed, and their awareness of the worlds’ needs. This leads to purpose clarity which is a motivational driver for student success in engaging in meaningful work. In addition, habits of mind, honed through reflective practices encouraged in WIL, will also lead to ongoing exploration of personal values and purpose leading to engagement in lifelong learning. Finally, post-secondary institutions can play an important role as a liaison between employers and WIL students to share perspectives of those student experiences to better promote conversion from student to employee after graduation and successfully attract the talent that organizations desire.

REFERENCES | WORK-LEARN INSTITUTE

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