By: Bri Flynn Witthuhn

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The way we work is changing. And in order for businesses to flourish, the people in its ecosystem must flourish.

The desire for fulfillment in today’s workforce is so strong that seven of ten workers would consider an offer for a more fulfilling job, and two out of three workers say they would consider lower pay for a more fulfilling job.

A paradigm shift with the employer-employee contract will be required for organizations to engage and retain top talent. Organizations that attract and retain the talent they need will be those that embrace a new talent philosophy focused on intrinsic benefits that appeal to workers’ higher purpose and investment in continual development.

It is a truism that the development and wellbeing of workers can no longer be considered an extra or a perk, as the next generation of leaders in the workplace desire greater meaning and purpose in the workplace. So how can leaders and organizations humanize the employee experience in an authentic way to the culture?

Tap into employees’ intrinsic benefits.

Offer development experiences that are important to your employees. Sure, you need to develop the particular capabilities that are most critical to your organization’s success. But if an employee has a passion to develop a capability that is outside of their natural scope, support them in doing just that. When people feel cared for, they will return that same level of care in the work they do.

[Related: Intentional Acts of Kindness: Practicing Throughout Your Career]

Enable policies that allow people to be people.

You’ve hired skilled, driven adults who are capable of doing great work — so let them work when and where they want, in a way that is fluid with their day. Evaluating your company’s flex work policies, remote work policies, and dress code are easy ways to create a more human culture where workers can produce the most value in their roles.

[Related: How I Engaged a Global Team to Launch a Product Line Without Meeting Them In-Person]

You have diversity and inclusion…but do you have belonging?

Allow people to show up as their whole selves, not just their best selves. Relationships are a series of conversations, so what you talk about is what you are building the foundation of your relationships upon. Talking to people about what is important to them — whether it’s their son’s soccer game, their graduate degree, or their most urgent work project — will create a sense of belonging where people feel cared for.

[Related: Five Combination Traits of an Effective Leader]

As a leadership development practitioner, Bri Flynn Witthuhn helps leaders understand and act on what matters most, then drive behavior change to build stronger, more capable teams.

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