Not only are we working at a fast pace, we are moving careers, industry and countries for new opportunities quickly too. So how do we avoid the high turnover and the threat of losing top talent in our organizations?
Employee engagement and retention is a piece of work most HR professionals love to get involved with. Reviewing data such as staff surveys or information following exit interviews along with putting in place HR strategies are all key tools in order to review turnover in companies. Creating a positive culture that allows for autonomy, recognition and value are vital to retaining staff.
However, what can be underestimated is the importance of small perks that can have an impact on employee motivation and their perception of the workplace.
Having worked in HR and recruitment, what I can say for certain is that career progression is one of the most important factors that candidates consider when thinking about changing their jobs. In fact I would go as far as to say that this along with recognition and reward are the main reasons candidates look to us for new opportunities. Employees want to feel valued, weather it means that they get an opportunity to grow and develop, get some extra responsibility or receive benefits and salary increases. However, sometimes the room for improvement in these areas can be limited and this is when simple, cost-effective benefits can make a difference.
Food can be a powerful tool. It can help your employees to be more productive, less tense, more sociable and even happier. Free food is also relatively inexpensive perk and it is especially appealing to millennials. It's important to bear in mind that using food perks as a way of encouraging your employees to work longer hours may backfire if this is noticed by your staff. However, used for genuine purposes such as helping your employees stay healthy and happy to increase their productivity and job satisfaction is a great way of elevating your corporate culture as well.
There are a few different ways you could approach the implementation of flexible working policy:
- employees have to be at work during defined time range or core hours, but they can set their schedules around this,
- employees can put in hours at their own discretion and simply share their schedule with managers managers in advance,
- employees could work from home part- or full-time with the help of technology,
- or you might offer sabbatical leave as a form of rewarding for length of service.
If providing full gym membership or setting up a gym in your office is not an option, you can create a mini, pop-up wellness space in your break-out area. In most companies, the break-out space is usually an area where employees can relax, have lunch or even hold informal meetings. You can add another dimension to this space by turning it into Wellness Zone. Simply include flameless candles or diffusers for aromatherapeutic effect, if you can, use lighting to create ambience and include bamboo decor or soft texture on the floor for foot comfort. If you have no rooms you could use to create this space, you can use wall dividers to reduce to noise.
Here are a few examples of what break-out areas look like in some of the biggest companies:
Corporate Social Responsibility
Organisations that have CSR programs will often be favourably positioned against their competitors. This is because CSR initiatives such as for instance employee volunteering offers support to causes that matter to your staff as much as they matter to the company. Therefore, volunteering can make employees feel more satisfied by contributing to their sense of self-fulfillment, which in exchange leads to happiness in their work.
More Relaxed Rules
Having a casual dress code is one of the most popular perks as it costs employer nothing while it helps employees feel more relaxed and creative. This trend toward casual dress code began in the tech companies in California's Silicon Valley and spread across the country and then world as it entered more professional types of companies as well. The general perception is that the casual attire creates a less stratified work environment as it emphasizes employees' contributions as opposed to their wardrobes.
The above are just some of the examples of inexpensive perks that you can offer your employees. You can be as creative as you wish when designing your workplace benefits. To make it more inclusive, why not invite your employees to give you their feedback on what works for them, what doesn't and what else you could do to make them a little bit more happy when they're at work.