Power dynamics shift between employees and employers

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The changing nature of workplace culture as a result of the pandemic has seen the list of demands grow from employees in a hybrid world.

Digital Nation Australia spoke to Krista Hunt, general manager of people and culture at Victorian based residential builder Carlisle Homes, to discuss the changing relationships between employees and employers.

When it comes to business transformation, Hunt said that organisations are adjusting their cultures in order to respond to the needs of the business, the customers and the employees.

But when asked what she thinks employees want, Hunt replied, “How long is the list?”

According to Hunt, “a lot of things have been inflated. So people's expectations are more. So the give-take relationship perhaps wasn't as there.”

Hunt suggests that the power dynamics between employees and employers has changed as a result of inflated employee expectations, which she believes is unsustainable.

“I think this growing list of offering all of these freebies and these perks and these extra things, I’m not sure that that's sustainable for a lot of businesses,” she said.

“It does work against what some of the smaller companies that perhaps are start-ups that might not have the cashflow to invest in those types of things. I am concerned in this inflation of the value proposition in joining a company, what that might do longer term in the expectations that come.”

According to Hunt, there are a range of psychodynamics to explain the changing relationship between employees and the business, but some of it relates to greater freedoms and opportunities.

“People are making bigger, bolder decisions on what they want to do with their careers.”

As employees experience a disconnect from the root purpose of the business, they are becoming more fluid with their career decisions she said.

“Given that we don't have that presence anymore and the employment market has been a lot more transactional, a lot more fluid, we're not getting that deep connection with what we do as an individual or as a team or as an industry.

“It's not that people don't care, it's just people know that there's another opportunity out there. So perhaps the level of investment or this level of authority that used to be there from the employer relationship down to the employee, it can't be there.”

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