The Great Workplace 2.0: EmployeeScreen University Guest Article
September 10, 2009
We like to celebrate innovation and thought leadership in the human resources world even if it doesn’t address background checks and employment screening. Robert Schepens, CEO of Champion Staffing recently wrote the book, “The Great Workplace 2.0” and we think you’ll enjoy this excerpt [which we published as a guest article on EmployeeScreen University] as well as the overall concept of tomorrow’s great workplace.
How and Why a Company 1/3 Your Size is Going to Have Your Marketplace for Lunch
A Great Workplace functions at a higher level of purpose and productivity and is a more interesting place to work than other “normal” organizations. It attracts great talent and it attracts great results…for the customer. It extends its intelligent self-interests beyond the executive suite into the depths of its own employment, into the rich treasure troves of vendor knowledge, the community and to other “Participants”. It reaches out to the crowd within its community for solutions. It simply does not adhere to the old model of corporate hierarchy and held power. The Great Workplace of today invites being benchmarked, but is always one step beyond being so static that its definitions are fluid.
The Great Workplace 2.0 is in fact a fluid community. It interacts with its participants and creates communication avenues that foster the immediate interaction of questions, ideas, opinions and therefore solutions or opportunities. It has substantially removed the obstacles to Open Innovation and discouraged most linear or legacy ideals. It uses knowledge gained through more “open-invitation” processes and feeds upon the rich knowledge and input from all sources that touch the organization. It is both created on and by purpose and has the ability to change its tactical or strategic directions quickly. The corporate legacy model focused upon impressive-sounding “Mission Statements” and “shareholder return” (regardless of what that meant). In many circumstances, businesses were operated not because they really wanted to, but because they “should”. They sustained themselves because there were stock certificates to support.
That old model was built upon relative size and the ability to do things for ITSELF on a grand scale: benefits, bonuses, unions, giveaways, charitable donations, dividends and having employees see their company in print or in TV ads. If you work for Shell Oil or for General Motors you must work for a great company. We feted big companies as “great” workplaces because they flowed forth with great benefits, nominally gave away their services as charity and in general treated employees as cats in Pharaoh’s chambers. Just the mention of “I work for National City Bank” meant something impressive. It was akin to saying that you attended Notre Dame while the Fighting Irish were a national football powerhouse. The “aura” was the value. The old model created strong Tribes and the reputation of that Tribe became the recipient of all things corporate.
But while employers reveled in being big and powerful, the very nature of WORK, who does it, where, why and with whom has been changing dramatically and forever. The “Social Contract” with employers and workers has changed. The “workplace” is no longer just hired employees and employer. It is no longer a space confined to a legacy corporate structure. And that has dramatically changed the way people and executives look at Great Places To Work, and in turn Great Workplaces.