How to Create the Right Workplace Experience to Attract the Best Talent
The current job market is candidate-driven which means high-quality, experienced knowledge workers can afford to be picky when it comes to choosing the right company for them. In this day and age, choosing the right place of work comes down to more than just the salary. There are many factors that go into an employee’s decision to join and stay at a company that are just as important as the pay. Ultimately, the whole workplace experience on offer will have a big impact on whether you attract (and retain) the best talent. But why is it so important? And how can you make sure you’re offering what people actually want? Read on to find out more…
In recent years, there has been a shift in compensation models in the workplace. Of course, the salary on offer for a post can help entice the top talent to your company, but there are lots of other factors that play a part. As the demographics of the working world shift, what potential employees value most is changing. It’s estimated that by 2020, millennials will make up close to half (46%) of the workforce, so their wants and needs cannot be ignored. The “traditional” work environment and experience, with 9-5 working days and offices filled with cubicles is vastly different to what most want today. The best talent wants more than just a good salary; they want flexible working, they want their wellbeing to be taken seriously, and they want to enjoy their work. According to Gallup, more than 1 in 5 of Millennials has changed jobs within the past year, and 60% are open to a new job opportunity at any time, which highlights how important it is to ensure you’re offering the best overall employee experience possible.
Corporate culture and the workplace experience is a huge driver of job satisfaction and not only influences whether a candidate joins your firm, but whether your current team start to look for employment elsewhere. According to recent Robert Half research, 35% of workers surveyed said they would decline a job offer if the role was perfect but the company culture was not. This highlights the importance of getting it right. Company culture and workplace experience are intertwined. It’s the “vibe” you get when you walk through the door, the mood and tone of the workplace, the leadership style, the structure and the people making up your team. Both the physical and psychological environment have an impact on the overall culture, so it’s important to address both.
Sweat The Small Stuff
Contrary to the well known saying, when creating a top notch workplace experience, the “small stuff” is important. Making a few small changes can often have an enormous impact. Sitting down with your team and asking their opinion on how their workplace can be improved will likely bring up a host of small, niggly issues that can be solved nearly overnight. Perhaps it’s a more flexible working schedule, or offering a non-dairy milk in the kitchen, or maybe something as simple as offering fresh fruit in the morning. An open and honest discussion will get the ball rolling and you may find that you can achieve a lot with a small (or no) budget.
Invest in Your Space
The physical environment in which your employees work can have a huge impact on their experience at work. However, not all companies see the importance of a well-designed, thoroughly thought out space that puts the occupiers’ needs first. Agile working is becoming more prevalent, and many designers and companies are seeing the benefits of offering different spaces tailored to different working styles. This may include collaboration zones, third spaces, meeting rooms and more. It’s the best way to make your space work for everyone. Beyond this, start with the basics. Your employees spend upwards of 8 hours every day in the workplace, so simple things like the lighting and acoustics are important to get right. According to the Leesman Index, only 30% of office workers are happy with the noise levels in their workplace. Creating a variety of work environments with the right level of acoustics can help improve productivity and reduce stress levels, but minor details like this can easily be forgotten or overlooked.
The surefire way to stand out from the crowd is by offering an innovative experience. This may be a space filled with innovative and disruptive technologies, or it may be through offering innovative ways of working, such as flexible working or offering annual/monthly working hours, which is where an employee has a set number of hours they need to work in a given time period, but they have complete autonomy to decide their working schedule.
Innovation Hubs in workplaces are becoming more popular, with many firms using their Innovation Hub as a space to showcase what different teams are working on both to company employees and external figure such as visitors or clients.
Focus on Wellbeing
The importance of employee wellbeing has been well documented (click here to read our thoughts on why it’s so important) so it’s important to take it into consideration when making any changes in the workplace. Improved employee wellbeing leads to increased productivity, which can only be a good thing for the business. There are lots of simple and effective ways to promote wellbeing. For example, introduce biophilic design into the space with the addition of some potted plants. Show them they are valued by acknowledging the accomplishments of your employees and rewarding them accordingly. Provide a range of healthy refreshments including access to fresh water, tea and coffee. And encourage your team to take regular breaks to decompress, catch up with colleagues and avoid mental exhaustion.
Adapt to your Team
Despite how competitive the current hiring environment is, lots of companies still don’t see the importance of a positive and memorable workplace experience. The workplace experience 30 years ago is very different to what’s expected today, and this process of change regarding the expectations of the workforce is never ending. As each generation joins the job market, what they want from a workplace is likely to be slightly different to their predecessors, so it’s important to adapt your strategy to cope with this. You’re unlikely to be able to have a complete overhaul every 5 years, but making small changes more frequently is the best way to guarantee you won’t be left behind.
Promote Collaboration & Conversation
Friendships and camaraderie in the workplace are very important and can be a huge influencer on whether an individual will stay or go. Research shows that when people not only enjoy their work, but like the people they work with, they are more likely to stay in the organisation. The management team can play a big role in helping build these relationships. Encouraging team members to take breaks and catch up over a coffee is a good way to promote social interaction and engagement, can help with productivity, and lead to idea sharing and collaboration. A strategically placed TopBrewer is a great enabler of social interaction. The unique design and uber-quiet brew unit mechanics make it the perfect coffee machine to serve premium beverages in a way that encourages employees to chat and catch up.
Click Here to find out how TopBrewer can help enhance your workplace experience.