With the unemployment rate trending downward these days, many successful companies are implementing employee-friendly benefits to attract and retain top talent.
According to recent research by Kelly Services, today’s employees want to work where they can have greater control and ownership over the seamless integration of work and life.
“Historically, people were taught that they had to sacrifice in order to have a good job and that it was the responsibility of the worker to arrange life around work,” said Teresa Carroll, senior vice president and general manager, Global Talent Solutions for Kelly Services, a global leader in providing workforce solutions. “But today, increasing numbers of people are saying ‘I’ve watched how my parents and my grandparents did that and I don’t want that life.’ ”
The research found that 63 percent of today’s workers look to flexible work arrangements such as remote-telecommuting work options and flexible schedules or hours. They also want to achieve work-life design through:
• Work governance—employer-driven restrictions to protect workers from “work creep” into their personal lives. Thirty-seven percent of workers want limitations on working beyond business hours, 23 percent want encouragement from their employer to use vacation time and 17 percent want limitations on e-mail communications after hours.
• Personal realization and empowerment—More than 80 percent believe their skills and knowledge will need to evolve and grow to keep up with industry changes and 37 percent seek opportunities to work on innovative projects.
• Workplace culture—Nearly 60 percent value a highly collaborative environment and cross-functional teams and 37 percent want a fostered environment of friendships.
• Lifestyle/life stage amenities—Wellness programs, cafeteria-style amenities, and benefits and child care/caregiver support programs are among the amenities that workers value most.
Companies can improve retention several ways. For example, while clients expect 24/7 service, to help talent thrive, personally and professionally, this should be managed by company leaders. The entire team should not feel pressured to work nonstop.
Also, in today’s highly networked world, it’s wise to remember that potential talent can quickly determine whether your company is a place they want to work.
Firms prepared to offer flexibility have found it can lead to greater accountability and loyalty from valued workers—and stronger working relationships.
Finally, to keep workers happy, let them see their work has meaning. When they understand their role in the greater company mission, they have a sense of purpose and importance and are more committed.
In this era of talent supply chain management, talent has a choice of where and how to work.