From startups to conglomerates, companies of all sizes have stepped up their game to recruit and keep top employees by giving larger, better, and more unusual perks and bonuses. Yet, according to a 2008 article in HR Management magazine, replacing a worker costs between 100 and 125 percent of their annual income. When you factor in executive recruiter fees, advertising, and training expenses, replacing an employee who earns $75,000 a year can cost anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000 (Taylor, 2019). Furthermore, the company loses productivity and frequently suffers a drop in morale as coworkers question why they are here and whether the grass is greener elsewhere. Despite this, many businesses continue to overlook staff retention. By focusing on employee-centered measures, you can reduce turnover and retain a considerably more significant percentage of your staff (you will always lose some).
What Employees Want
Everyone is human. This means that they all have the same basic needs and desires (Tyme Commerce, 2020). Safety, belonging, respect, regard, a sense of community, and so on are examples. (Psychologists have a significant body of study on human wants.) Food is considered one of the core human wants, which is stunning, as you'll discover later. It was realized that people try to fulfil demands at work just as much as they do at home. When these requirements are taken into account, employers may find it easier to comprehend their employees' requests for particular workplace benefits and perks (Tyme Commerce, 2020). Meeting these needs might make employees feel more at ease and satisfied at work.
An employee-centred workplace is one in which all individuals, programs, processes, and systems are focused on helping employees become fully successful (Lynch, 2009). Individuals who feel appreciated are more likely to produce exceptional products and services, resulting in the attainment of corporate objectives. Everyone benefits in such an environment: employees, management, customers, vendors, and other stakeholders.
A true employee-centric mindset is one that businesses adopt for all their employees, the environment, and those less tangible variables. Ann Frey, a Corporate Leadership Coach, says it’s best when she defines employee-centric organizations as ones who “create an environment where you honour your employees, where you take care of them, so they can take care of your customers” (Haines, 2019). This definition addresses the needs of employees and points out that optimal customer experiences are directly related to the company’s environment and culture.
Why is it essential to your business?
A 2018 study on employee engagement found out that:
“About 4 out of 10 employees at any given point in time are having a less than positive experience in how they are led, inspired, rewarded, recognized, developed and enabled.”
– Ken Oehler, Global Culture & Engagement Practice Leader at AON 2018.
And if one is wondering what the big deal is about that, they have to look at it in dollar signs. Each disengaged employee costs the company $2,246 in revenue yearly. This makes sense because money is linked to customers, and customers interact with your company through your staff. So unhappy employees translate to dissatisfied clients who won't spend their money with you.
Instead, management must make the deliberate decision to establish an environment in which everyone and everything is focused on employees' success. The following are ten steps that businesses may take to build or improve a positive work environment that drives people to do their best.
- Positive Culture
Culture is defined as an organization's personality that embodies the company's or organization's principles and values. Workplace culture not only encourages employees to interact based on ingrained attitudes and customs, but it also takes into account the physical environment in which they operate (Haines, 2019). An organization’s culture is directly tied to the employee experience. According to MIT research, businesses in the top quartile experience have two times the innovation, double the customer happiness, and earn 25% more profit than businesses in the bottom quartiles (Haines, 2019). Working productivity, turnover, and overall wellness or absence are all strongly linked to a positive culture in an employee-centric organization. From lighting and break rooms to worker mobility rules and smart building technology, workspace design may be a physical reflection of a company's culture.
- Agile for all Scenarios
Business agility refers to the ability of businesses to adjust quickly to changes in their internal and external environments without losing momentum or jeopardizing their established business goals and objectives (Haines, 2019). This can include planning for growth, contraction, or recession, and organizational adaptations based on market developments. It can also indicate acting quickly to take advantage of a business opportunity. Scenario planning software includes visual displays and dashboards that give you the data to analyze different choices and act decisively. When it comes to modeling for the modern workspace, outdated, manual planning that involves physical drawings and the integration of many data sources is insufficient. This method falls short in areas such as cost breakdowns and different space arrangements. Your company must act quickly while preserving flexibility and balance for both employees and customers to be agile (Haines, 2019).
- Employee-Centric Mission
A mission statement outlines what a firm accomplishes in the past and aids in communicating the company's beliefs. The mission is usually stated in a statement that explains the company's role, markets, competitive advantages, and why it exists. The aim of an employee-centric firm is less about "what a firm does" and more about "how we all achieve it together" (Haines, 2019). In its 2019 Human Capital Trends survey, Deloitte proposed the concept of the "human experience," asserting that as people, rather than as employees, we are untethered by the shared goal of finding meaning in our work. This is the most important aspect in establishing and maintaining a great workplace culture. You've succeeded if your workspace design and practices support your objective.
- Technology to Do the Job as Efficiently as Possible
Giving employees the tools they need to execute their tasks swiftly and successfully is one way to show them that they are appreciated and valued. It is absurd and defeating to expect employees to perform repetitive and dull jobs that can be handled with newer technology and automation. If you've ever had to battle with your job tasks while using subpar tools, you understand how frustrating it can be. The Millennial generation is rapidly entering the workforce, and Generation Z is only getting started. Gen Z is the first generation to grow up exclusively online, and it is predicted that by 2020, they would account for 36% of the worldwide workforce. To satisfy these digital natives, businesses must employ better technologies. Unfortunately, the Mills and Zs are far too tech-savvy to find any employment that will fulfil them with outdated technology.
You show your employees that you value their skills, abilities, intelligence, and time by investing in technology to improve their experiences and make their work easier. You enable them to focus their energies on higher-level activities that boost their value and the worth of your firm.
- Supporting Teamwork and Collaboration
There is always space for improvement in communication and collaboration, whether inside a team or across teams. Effectory presented the following figures in a 2018 article to back up their claim that workplace collaboration is challenging to master:
85% of employees are satisfied with their colleagues.
78% of colleagues work together well within teams.
BUT… this number drops to 47% when you look at satisfaction between teams.
70% of employees say they can get the information they need from within their team.
BUT just 58% can do so between teams.
Companies are also bringing employees together by offering lunch daily to boost inter-and intra-teamwork. Employees can get to know each other more casually by sitting down together in the middle of the day. Food is something we all have in common, and that unspoken reality may help us get over many problems and form new friendships. Employees who don't regularly communicate at work may strike up a casual discussion that sparks a new idea or improves comprehension. Teams afraid of one another may discover that they have more in common than they do differences.
- Emphasizing Diversity and Inclusion
Inclusion and diversity improve employee performance, according to multiple studies, since their teams are more creative, engaged, and motivated in their job (Tyme Commerce, 2020). According to Deloitte, "businesses with inclusive talent strategies in leadership, development, promotion, and other divisions produce up to 30% higher revenue than competitors". Of course, it's critical to remember that "acting" to employ and retain a diverse workforce doesn't necessarily include putting up a sign in the break room. Only organizations with the most advanced talent management procedures saw the 30% increase in revenue noted before. These businesses also devised high-level plans to emphasize the need to bring in employees with varied backgrounds. Of course, employees benefit as well. They like the gratification of working for a company that lives up to its proclaimed ideals, knowing that their boss will make the best judgments possible.
- Reinforcing Employee Health and Wellness
A person's health directly impacts his or her ability to perform and produce as an employee (Tyme Commerce, 2020). Isn't it self-evident? Employees who are in better health are less prone to take sick days, work faster, and so on. Employees would appreciate some assistance with their health and wellness. According to a 2018 survey, one out of every two employees wants their employer to put a greater emphasis on employee well-being. Thirteen percent awarded their firm a below-average grade when it came to health and fitness. Employees suffering from anxiety, addiction, or depression can benefit from support, which can help reduce absenteeism and increase retention and engagement.
- See Things from the Employee’s Viewpoint
Consider your employee to be a close buddy. Of course, you always want to be there for your friends, but you also have to be honest with them and explain what they've done wrong at times (Taylor, 2019). The same is true for your staff. You will keep them as long as they believe you respect them, are on their side, and give them challenging opportunities to extend their abilities.
Assist your personnel in their development. Assist staff in achieving long-term objectives. Extend their abilities. They should improve their abilities. Invite your top employees to attend conferences to broaden their horizons and learn about new trends (Taylor, 2019). Consider this: How can I assist my staff in achieving their objectives while also bringing the company forward? How can I get the best out of my team while simultaneously ensuring that they receive what they need?
- Avoid Micromanaging
Micromanagement is something that the majority of employees dislike. The fact that your employer is looking over your shoulder screams distrust. Most people don't want to work for a supervisor who doesn't believe in them, doesn't trust them, and waits for them to make a mistake. Trusting your staff and challenging and supporting them is the polar opposite of that.
Every organization is built on people, and its employees – its people – are the most significant investment it will ever make. Even when technology progresses and capital transfers, an organization's workforce is ultimately differentiated by the leadership and personal contributions of the individual individuals that make up its workforce. Employees need a unique experience that allows them to be their healthiest, most productive, most motivated selves at work. It's all about building a basis on which work can improve life and life can improve work in the people-focused workplace. The possibilities for what your team may accomplish from there are limitless.
Milton Jack is an Organisational Development Specialist at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
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