Over the years, what employees want in the workplace has evolved. The days where employees were content with a competitive salary and free coffee have passed. Employers are now under increasing pressure to keep on top of the latest trends and tips for keeping workers happy.
However, how many employers can say that they know what their employees really want? If your workplace simply isn’t responsive to employees’ desires, then you’ll be faced with a disengaged team that’s more likely to leave. As such, organisations need to tackle this problem head-on.
While attracting good employees relies heavily upon a competitive salary, there are plenty of other factors that can boost employee retention, some of which companies tend to overlook. With this in mind, our guide will help you to understand what your employees really want.
1. Wellness initiatives
As a society, we’re increasingly conscious of looking after our health and wellbeing. So, it makes sense that employees want to work for a business which endorses this and enables them to further demonstrate self-care.
For example, why not find out what sports your employees are most interested in and create a company sports team – you can even enter a league! This is an instant morale booster for the company and also promotes a healthy lifestyle.
For employees who aren’t interested in team sports, consider offering discounted rates of gym memberships. This can cover gym, swim and a range of other facilities which can help to improve health and wellbeing.
Moreover, consider implementing mental health days. This means permitting employees to take the day off work if they feel too overwhelmed or stressed out to come in. These should be given the same value as regular sick days, as it’s completely ineffective to have employees in the office who can’t focus on their tasks.
Promoting wellness initiatives should see your employees returning to work less stressed and more engaged with their job!
Extra holiday is one of the most desirable workplace perks that employers can offer and its benefits should certainly be considered. Minds and bodies that are well-rested tend to be far more productive. Moreover, encouraging employees to travel shows that you’re nurturing a socially-aware workforce.
You can implement holiday schemes in many ways. You might simply give a generous amount of holiday, which is usually over 25 days per year. In a forward-thinking movement, some companies, such as Netflix, even offer unlimited holiday.
If you feel like this might be a bit of a stretch for your company, you can consider implementing a ‘buy back’ scheme. If employees want to extend their annual leave allowance, they can choose to ‘buy’ more holiday or even roll-over annual leave days into their next holiday year.
3. Work-life balance
As most tuned-in employers will know, a good work-life balance is paramount to having happy employees. However, this delicate balance is something that many employers struggle to put in place. If you’re able to figure out how to adapt the working week to suit your employees’ needs, your organisation will surely stand out from the crowd.
When working out how to improve your employees’ work-life balance, be mindful that having more ‘bums on seats’ in the office isn’t as productive as it may seem. In fact, many companies have kept the four-day work week after seeing an increase in their output.
By setting clear objectives and showing employees that you trust them to manage their own schedule, you won’t have to tie them to a 9-5 working day in the office. You’ll still be able to measure their output, but employees will also be happier and well-rested.
4. Learning and development
In-house training and providing opportunities for personal and professional development helps employees to recognise that they’re being invested in. Naturally, employees want to know they can enhance their prospects and further their career progression within your company.
Furthermore, you can tailor training to best suit your business’ needs, whether this is a seminar on leadership, or a lunch time yoga class for coping with stress. Not only is this great for employee retention rates, but you can look forward to having a more knowledgeable and well-rounded workforce too.
5. A shared purpose
Connecting employees to their company and work is often undervalued in today’s corporate world. Indeed, employees are generally put together with a team of people that they might never interact with in their day-to-day lives. So what better way to unite your employees than with a shared goal?
In order to increase motivation levels, ensure that you share a company vision. Get into the habit of communicating important company milestones and updates with employees. Also, take the time to recognise individual efforts.
Small, but frequently repeated actions will make all the difference to employee satisfaction. Reminding them of how they shape the bigger picture is highly motivational!
What employees really want
Although this article will have enhanced your understanding of what employees really want, there’s no denying that it’s a challenge to stay on top of your workforce’s desires. This, however, is a challenge which is worth confronting.
Addressing your employees’ wants and needs will undoubtedly benefit your company. Understanding how you can make a real difference to employees’ lives is the first step towards improving their satisfaction and performance at work. Use our top tips to get the ball rolling in your workplace!
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