We’ve all heard the stories of some of perks offered at dot coms around the country: Slides, foosball, nap pods, yoga, free food– the lists go on and on. While these things certainly go far in driving a company’s culture, are they the things truly driving today’s workforce to choose Company A over Company B?
How did this culture shift even happen? Did employees begin demanding more of their employers, or did employers see a need and adapt? Kani Sterling, Director, Human Resources at Statesman Media, had this to say: “Part of this shift includes the emerging technology tools, where employees are always ‘on,’ highlighting the needs for wellness and work life initiatives more than ever before. With so many Baby Boomers retiring, we are left with a gap in our workforce overall. This, combined with an incredibly low unemployment rate, makes this a candidate’s market. Employees today want more flexibility, and the opportunity to contribute their abilities to society in meaningful ways. Combine these things with companies trying to contain costs, more and more employees are going shorter term or even independent and it eventually leads to what some have referred to as the “gig economy.” This perfect storm is making attraction and retention critical metrics for many organizations, and we are having to get more creative in how we approach both.”
Gone are the days of people working at one job until they retire, being loyal to the company no matter what. Today’s workforce is looking for ways to make a difference, not just at their job, but in the world. They want to know that their contributions are given the recognition they deserve and that their employers are invested in their personal growth and continued well-being. And as Ms. Sterling points out, technology now allows employees to be always on– essentially accessible to their employers and/or clients 24/7, so it only makes sense that technology is playing a role in giving these employees a better work/ life balance.
One such tech company, Austin-based Student Loan Genius, finds that 70% of today’s graduates carry an average loan debt of $61,223 and that employers who offer to help an employee alleviate some of that debt are much more likely to attract higher caliber talent. Their website, studentloangenius.com, gives individuals various payment options Evolving Culture in the Modern Workplace to help them pay off their debt faster. But, more creatively, they also work with employers to tie payments into payroll, taking the onus off of the employee to juggle sometimes multiple payments. And where employers once used 401(k)s or pensions as perks, they can use services like Student Loan Genius and others like it to match an employee’s loan payment, or to tie in a matching payment to the employee’s 401(k) when that student contributes to his own loan payment. According to a 2012 Study by Employees and management can routinely give kudos and recognition at the moment it’s due, not just at annual reviews or occasional company gatherings.
Employees and management can routinely give kudos and recognition at the moment it’s due, not just at annual reviews or occasional company gatherings.
We’ve all heard the stories of some of perks offered at dot coms around the country: Slides, foosball, nap pods, yoga, free food– the lists go on and on. While these things certainly go far in driving a company’s culture, are they the things truly driving today’s workforce to choose Company A over Company B? SHRM/Globoforce, “Companies with peer-to-peer recognition are 35% more likely to report lower turnover” (www. globoforce.com/resources). Addressing that truth is another Austin-based company, YouEarnedIt, which has taken employee rewards and recognition to a new level. By giving businesses an individualized company platform, employees and management can routinely give kudos and recognition at the moment it’s due, not just at annual reviews or occasional company gatherings. Employees get to share each other’s successes and be recognized for their achievements in real time, and on a public platform. There’s even a points system that translates into monetary, charitable, or other fun team rewards, incentivizing peers to recognize each other.
Studies do show that, all other things being equal, potential job candidates will choose a company that has a culture aimed at bettering employees and that shows an interest in their current and future well-being over one that doesn’t. And in today’s tight job climate, that could make all the difference in a company’s future. So, while being able to have a Pajamas Day might be a hip thing to do, it’s not going to pull in that programmer three other companies are clamoring over. But explain to her the rewards and recognitions platform you have in place or let her know how much you value her current and future contribution to the team by helping pay off college debt or provide continuing education? Now you’ve got the competitive edge.
Last modified: October 26, 2017