Company culture is changing
The days of long-time employment at a single company are long gone. As job roles become increasingly varied and more competitive, the nation’s workforce and company culture have demanded their roles to incorporate a better work-life balance than their predecessors.
Whilst in the past job security was a concern for many, with growing and expanding industries this is no longer the case for the modern employee.
Accused of being ‘the most high-maintenance workforce in history’, millennials are the largest demographic in the office, and yet the hardest to keep hold of.
With opportunity knocking at every corner, they are more aware than any workforce before them of the roles and salaries available, and of the effects that working life can have on health and family life.
It’s well-known that loyal employees are the heart of a successful company, but now that the goal posts are moving, is your company prepared to take the steps required to keep this workforce happy and secure?
Retention isn’t just about keeping the cost low on recruitment, in today’s conscientious society employees value company philosophies and want to make positive connections within the workplace, as well as be recognised for their contribution to the company.
When people feel fulfilled they are less likely to be swayed by competitors and are more inclined to be loyal to the company.
Outdated policies and draconian business politics are no longer common place in a company and need to be side-lined for a more flexible space that harnesses employee’s creativity and allows them to flourish.
Adopt these basic principles and you will build a company culture that becomes the backbone of employee retention.
Together is Better
A hierarchical office can see senior team members separate themselves from their employees.
Whilst this has been the traditional set-up in many companies, this physical barrier creates a feeling of seclusion, and can lead to a ‘closed door’ policy that reduces communication.
Start-ups have been the first to break down this wall with an increasing number implementing an open plan office that sits directors next to interns and team members,
increasing collaboration and encouraging a team atmosphere.
A lack of physical boundaries only helps employees to interact with each other on a regular basis and works to generate a sense of camaraderie.
Colleagues can turn to their team for advice or assistance, and feel supported.
Tame the Tech Talk
Unfortunately, as we’re all plugged into our computers it’s all too easy to ping an email, send a skype or pop open a slack chat rather than actually talking to the colleagues sat opposite you.
Although these tools have their uses within an open plan office, the default of using such systems is causing communication to be done through tech only. Reducing the buzz in the office and opening streams that could be used for negative conversations between particular individuals rather than the team as a whole. Leaving the company vulnerable to growing negativity and gossip.
Banning internal systems and integrating a CRM could be a possible option to reduce any unnecessary office politics. However, businesses should also ban work calls and emails outside office hours.
France has recently implemented a ban on work emails after working hours under their new labour agreement, and this could have a ripple down effect for many other countries, as employee well-being is finally being taken seriously by businesses.
Implementing a strong policy around this will show your employees that you value their health and are respectful of their personal time.
Work Hard Play Hard
A growing trend amongst many small businesses and start-ups is the importance that is pledged on company culture.
Big brands such as Google and Facebook have been the leaders in this trend, with their office sweet shops, napping pods, and bicycles on campus, but as more employers are becoming aware of the demand for millennials to make working life a love and not a chore, businesses of all sizes are embracing the trend in various ways.
It doesn’t have to be a big change, but small changes can have a dramatically positive impact on the office environment, as well as productivity.
From having just one day a month where you do something fun for an afternoon, offering a constant supply of fruit and healthy snacks for employees, or even a bring your dog to work environment.
Find something that works for your employees, and they will embrace this and be grateful.
After all, life doesn’t stop during 9-5, so offering flexibility in the working environment will only help them feel more dedicated and productive when it comes to the workload.
Create a Ladder
Today’s modern workforce will be working for the longest period of time due to the pension reforms, and with such a drive to be successful and retire with a healthy pension pot, this generation is ambitious and career driven.
It’s no longer ‘just a job’, it’s about having a meaningful role that not only enables them to grow professionally but also offers them the flexibility to juggle both a career and a healthy home life.
Giving employees a clear professional ladder with a pay structure can resolve any underlying issues they may have about their career prospects within the company.
A recent report by Pay data found that many employers are neglecting to detail such prospects in contracts and policies, leaving employees to feel that their contracts no longer align with the roles they have within the company.
This can leave a bitter taste in their mouth as such neglect towards pay reviews and structure can instantly make a team feel demotivated, and begin to seek better rewards from competitors.
Hold annual reviews of job performance and ask the question of where your employees want to be positioned in the company.
Establishing a culture of support and progression will help employees develop, and the company along with them.
If employee retention is a battle that you have to face, it’s worthwhile looking at more areas than just pay. When a leaving flow begins this should strike a cord that there is something fundamentally at fault with the way the business is running.
Don’t be naïve that these trends will falter, as it’s clear from the start-up culture that has bred them, that they are a recipe for employee success.
As a freelance writer within the business and marketing sector, I’ve spent many years working alongside SME’s in an effort to grow and boost their business in the new digital age of marketing.