Why Do So Many Companies Suck At Employee Experience?

The era of the employee-favored job market – brought on at the height of Covid-19 and the great resignation – is coming to an end. Faced with inflation, a global recession and overall economic uncertainty, the pendulum is swinging back toward a job market firmly in favor of employers. And many companies (perhaps predictably) are responding to this shift with a gleeful return to a ‘command and control’ approach to leadership.

When fear and uncertainty looms, humans instinctively seek the comfort of control. With the return to an employer’s market, you can guarantee the employer-dominance (aka ‘my way or the highway’) model will rear its ugly head. This inevitably leads to a sub-par employee experience with grave consequences.  

Poor employee experience stems from fearful executives who are reluctant to empower employees to determine how best to meet goals and solve problems. Instead, they prefer an authoritarian approach to managing people as they would manage systems, processes and actions.

At Peppercomm, we have long believed that the best (only) approach to employee experience is what we call the Shared Benefit Model. This model is centered on the belief that both employees and employers perceive and experience mutual value in the exchange. Through good times and bad.

In the latest issue of HR.com Ann Barlow and Courtney Ellul, our resident EX experts, offer companies advice on how to get the power pendulum at work to stop oscillating so everyone moves in the same direction – and wins. The secret sauce is simple: focus on leading rather than managing people.