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The customer employee must come first.

Major cultural and social changes are happening in the business sector, which includes a greater emphasis on employee satisfaction.

In this year's "Zeitguide," a book that gives advice to C-suite leaders, creator Brad Grossman outlines this trend, along with shifts like the growing popularity of crytpocurrencies, the decline of digital publications, and the #metoo movement. (Brad Grossman worked as a “cultural attache” for the Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer by teaching him about different subjects and bringing in "interesting" people for him to meet.)  

Grossman joined us to outline some of the big reasons companies are trying to treat their employees better. (You can listen to the director's cut of our interview with Grossman in the audio player above.)

Greater competition

With the unemployment rate at 4.1 percent for the fourth month in a row, employers are having a hard time finding qualified workers.

"As you get down below 4 percent unemployment, workers become harder and harder to find, and we are hearing about labor shortages in some industries,” according to Mike Baele, managing director for U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

And because of that, some employers are no longer requiring four-year degrees for certain jobs or raising pay, which could help explain the wage increases in last month’s jobs report. Average hourly pay rose 9 cents in January to $26.74.

“More jobs available means more competition for great employees. So it’s very important that you appeal to them in a great, amazing way, so that they choose your company as opposed to another company,” Grossman said.


If your company isn’t a great place to work at, potential hires have more resources than ever to find out.

“[That’s] because of social media and because of websites like Glassdoor, which enable employees to rate their work experience,” Grossman said. “People will know if your work experience is bad, and therefore, they’ll not apply to your company.”

In an interview with Marketplace, Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman said people want to work at a place where the job they’re doing is “aligned to something bigger than themselves.” 

Which is also why …

... having a good “experience” is important

When you work 40 hours a week at the same place, you probably want to enjoy your time there. Millennials in particular might be more willing to jump ship if they don’t like their workplace.

"Basically they learned — because it was hard for them to get a job after the stock market crash — to live more frugally," Grossman said. “To them, buying a car or buying a house — which we see from Uber, Lyft and Airbnb — is less important to them. To them, the experience matters most. So if they’re spending days or hours in the workplace, it better be a great experience or else they’ll go to one that has.”

According to a study from Harris Group, about 78 percent of millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences rather than on “things.”

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Follow David Brancaccio at @DavidBrancaccio