Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed unprecedented shifts in the business landscape. Flatter organisational structures and new ways of working mean that the traditional career path is fast becoming an outdated concept.
While many view this as positive change, it has also left employees with no clear idea of how they can develop or reach the next rung of the career ladder. UK job satisfaction is now at a two-year low, so it’s critical employers address this, consider the workplace experience they’re providing employees, and how to reward them in a way that makes them feel valued and understood.
Pay won't solve the problem
Pay plays a significant role in employee satisfaction, but increasingly this is not a certain solution to retention woes. In most cases, offering employees a large pay packet to retain them is symptomatic of larger problems within the organisation. These could include a lack of learning and development opportunities, or issues with the working environment.
Read more: Three tips to keep your staff happy
Create a culture of choice
Employees don’t want to work for a fusty organisation. They’re looking for a dynamic environment where they can make a real impact – somewhere they want to spend most of their week. Games rooms and free vending machines are popular, especially with the young, but flexible working is universally important. This enables employees to work in a way that suits them, while positioning the business as open to embracing new tech and change.
The employee-employer relationship is changing. Staff still expect to work for an organisation, but they also expect it to work for them. Employers need to think about how they can personalise rewards to respect individual interests and requirements. One of the most effective ways to do this is through segmenting their workforce and targeting benefits.
Stereotyping of employee groups should be avoided, but analysing employee demographics and introducing more choice is a good place to start. For example, workers in their 40s and 50s are more likely to have elderly parents, and to appreciate an eldercare care scheme. Millennials are more likely to be interested in Isas than a pension scheme, and would no doubt appreciate a free Friday drinks hour.
Employers need to be more vocal about what they offer, as staff frequently underestimate the true value of their benefits. Better communication around the topic can help differentiate them in today’s competitive employment market.
Employers really need to think about how their workforce consumes communications, and adapt these accordingly for maximum impact. It shouldn’t just be about posters or newsletters. Webinars, apps and enterprise social networks can be used to provide employees with a complete understanding of their entitlements. Such visibility will help employees feel appreciated, increasing the discretionary effort they put into their work.
Praise, when given appropriately, doesn’t incur a cost and can be very motivational. It is important at both a team and individual level.
Managers shouldn’t wait for a formal review to thank employees. A shout-out during a weekly meeting can be far more effective. Team nights out are also a great way to thank them for a job well done, and discussing such benefits with prospective employees can help demonstrate a culture of recognition.
The world of work is changing. A job for life no longer exists, and it would be naive to think that fairly rewarded employees will never leave your organisation. But with average employee tenure falling, it’s more important than ever that employees get the most from employers while they’re with their organisation.
Providing a benefits package that makes them feel understood and appreciated will go a long way towards doing this, while enhancing the overall culture of the organisation. And who knows, they may just stay a little longer too.