New Work

How can employee satisfaction and performance be increased through new ways of working?

Current challenges such as a shortage of skilled workers, high fluctuation rates and the "Great Resignation" or "workerlessness" show: Especially in the knowledge society, good employees are increasingly becoming a decisive competitive factor! But they are also becoming increasingly important in social professions, in the skilled trades, or in production. While routine work can increasingly be automated, human skills such as empathy, flexibility, innovation and creativity are coming to the fore. 

However, these skills are difficult to demand, command, or activate through rewards. Instead, what is needed above all are permanently satisfied employees! For example, a meta-study in the Harvard Business Review shows that employees with a high level of satisfaction are 31% more productive, 30% more creative, and 37% more successful than less satisfied peers!

Satisfied employees are 31% more productive, 30% more creative and 37% more successful

Lyubomirsky, King & Diener, Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?, Psychological Bulletin, 2005.

But despite years of investment in attractive offices, innovative training, team-building events and numerous extra benefits, this important factor is rarely achieved in reality. Year after year, for example, Gallup's Engagement Index shows that the majority of employees are only doing their job by the book or have already resigned. Thus, according to recent surveys in Germany, only 15% remain satisfied, motivated employees! So how can employee motivation and performance be permanently increased through greater satisfaction?

Increasing employee satisfaction and performance through new ways of working

In most cases, at least in Germany, it can't be due to the general conditions. Companies in this country rightly like to point to the above-average salaries, many vacation days, and recently even flexible home office options. However, such conditions have become hygiene factors that are simply taken for granted by most talents, but do not ensure permanently higher satisfaction or motivation. 

Instead, the lever lies in the design of work per se, which must be tailored to the needs of the employees - and not standardized or "the way it has always been done. For such active design, seven relevant dimensions can be defined from research, in which ways of working can be reviewed and, if necessary, innovated in order to permanently increase employee satisfaction and performance (see graphic)

Image title: 7 dimensions for job satisfaction and performance
Source: Dämon, Eversloh, Sauberschwarz & Weiss, New Work Playbook, Vahlen, 2022

The systematic development of suitable ways of working in the dimensions with the greatest potential for improvement enables a step-by-step transformation towards an employee-centric organization with high performance and high satisfaction - and thus a lasting competitive advantage!

7x7 methodology for the systematic development of new, appropriate ways of working

To work on the seven relevant dimensions venture.idea has built up a dedicated systematic process. Based on proven innovation processes, it proceeds in seven steps from the objective of a corresponding New Work project to the analysis of the most relevant optimization potentials and concrete needs to their solution with the development and iterative implementation of suitable new ways of working. This procedure was also published as the 7x7 methodology in the New Work Playbook (Vahlen-Verlag) and documented there with numerous case studies. On this basis, venture.idea supports companies in their step-by-step transformation, either by completely taking over and implementing corresponding change processes, or by providing agile support to internal project teams in coordination with the company management. The systematic, proven methodology enables an efficient approach, which can, however, always be adapted in an agile manner to the specific needs of the company. Only the goal always remains the same: Better performance for the company through more satisfied and motivated employees as a long-term competitive advantage in the global "War for Talents"!

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Florian Lanzer

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