Aren’t we stoked that workplace practices evolve with the times? If they hadn’t we might still be stuck in a Mad Men-esque nightmare with pinched bottoms, plumes of cigarette smoke and gender pay gaps all over the show. Oh wait - that last one is still being addressed, but at least Iceland is setting a prime example for the rest of the world while everyone gets with the 21st-century programme.
If your business is currently in the process of addressing employee engagement in a bid to improve company culture and boost talent retention, there are few awesome workplace practices you may want to consider. Have a look and imagine what the following changes might mean for your workforce:
1. Nimble leave structures that allow for work-life balance
The notion of work-life balance is a very important one for the modern-day employee. Whether you’re dealing with a working parent that has to figure out how to align their schedules with school holidays, or a rip-roaring Millennial with a serious case of wanderlust, it helps if your leave structure is nimble enough to let them live their lives while still meeting their work commitments.
Companies like Ernst & Young Australia give their employees the option of taking up to 12 weeks of leave per year in order to follow their passions and keep up with the needs of their families. This may seem like a radical idea, but think about it this way. Wouldn’t you rather have a fully-engaged employee on board for 40 weeks a year, than a full-time, ragged, red-eyed parent who’s stressed out about their child-care situation or a cooped-up traveller looking for greener pastures? The choice is pretty clear.
2. Plenty of scope to upskill
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson famously said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.” As far as effective workplace practices go, this one is solid gold. People want to excel in their positions and when you give them the tools to do so, they are far more likely to jump at the opportunity than they are to go ‘nah, I’m good cruising the status quo, but thanks’.
Upskilling can be facilitated in countless ways. It can include anything from business trips, to seminars, online courses, peer-to-peer support, mentoring, or even something as simple as learning to use a new digital platform. When you are actively helping your employees to grow in terms of skills acquisition, you are also improving productivity and boosting engagement. It’s a huge big WIN all around.
3. Consistent recognition & reward
If your company doesn’t currently have a recognition program that is aligned with your business goals and objectives, it’s time to jump on that ASAP. A study by Bersin & Associates has revealed that companies with recognition programs that are highly effective at improving employee engagement have 31% lower voluntary turnover. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg - consistent recognition efforts are also associated with cohesive company culture, tip-top engagement levels and general happy vibes.
In essence, it’s as simple as saying thank you in a way to promotes behaviours that are aligned with your company values. In practice, it can be taken far beyond that. When tailored and implemented correctly, an innovative recognition initiative can align your employees to strategic initiatives, retain your top talent and drive core values among your employees. It’s all about finding a platform that slots in seamlessly with your current HR processes and ensuring that the type of rewards you offer are in line with the needs and incentive preferences of your team.
There you have it - three awesome workplace practices that have proven effective for forward-thinking enterprises around the globe. Are you ready to try something similar at your place of work to boost employee engagement?
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