Reinventing the working environment to attract talents
In the Silicon Valley and everywhere else, firms try to keep up with the other firms to be more creative when it comes to optimize the organization of their workplaces.
When entering the Square’s office in San Francisco, the monumental alley will certainly strike you first. Many holm of activities show the inspiring and dynamic workplace Square tried to build. The organization of Square’s offices looks like a small city, a lively and inspiring one. The headquarter of Square is not an exception in the Silicon Valley. From the huge Googleplex campus to the surprising cultural patchwork of Airbnb’s business premises, offices with atypical design are flourishing. What is at stake with this property creativity is talents.
The organization of the immaterial era.
All the firms share the same challenge: how to get organized to fulfil its production goals given the available workforce. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the problem of the industrialists was to make complex products by a large workforce but very low skilled. the answer of Taylorism was to divide the tasks, to simplify the gestures and to compensate draconian rules by an attractive remuneration (for the time). Later, as education rose, companies tried to take advantage of the new skills available to increase the value added of their products without blowing up their costs. To do this, they streamlined the work of white-collar workers and gave them non-financial incentives, such as a personal office or a company car, in keeping with the idea of success.
But today everything is changing again. In current products, the immaterial part becomes preponderant. In the digital economy, of which Silicon Valley is at the forefront, it is virtually the same value. Marginal costs are declining and, thanks to advanced tools such as artificial intelligence or 3D printing, a single employee is now able to generate significant value. It is no longer necessary to be numerous: just have the right people. Attaching the best talents, putting them in the best conditions for them to express themselves, and keeping them, that’s what the work organization must now aim at.
The new attributes of success
Regardless of their age, today’s workers expect their business to treat them with the respect they are now accustomed to as consumers : attention and personalization, services that facilitate their daily lives, modern tools adapted to the tasks they are asked for, and brand values that justify their investment and give it meaning.
To attract, motivate and retain them, it is no longer possible to use the same resorts as before. The material attributes of success have gone out of fashion, or may be contradictory to the desired goals. Not only does a large office not necessarily dream, but it would make little sense when the goal is to stimulate collaboration, information sharing, pollination of ideas, mobility …
By reinventing the workspace, but also the management and services they offer to their employees (nurseries, all-day catering, concierge …), all seek to build the optimal working environment to recruit the best brains, a prerequisite for success in the digital age.
A unique work experience
From furniture to project management, from the professional smartphone to the cafeteria menu, everything is designed to echo the culture and values of the company. The resonance between all these ingredients creates for the employees a unique work experience, never quite similar to what they would find elsewhere. Thus, all those who recognize themselves there feel welcome, thrive, give the best of themselves and have little desire to leave what becomes for them a second family, demanding but caring and protective.
To win the talent battle, it is up to everyone to invent their own model.