You can probably think of a few companies with really great work culture. It’s easy because people are talking about them. Creating a unique and positive work culture goes a long way in recruiting and keeping employees, engaged, productive and likely to stick around for years. Bottom line, your organization will be more successful.
According to Sodexo’s 2012 report, top workplace trends include workplace flexibility and rewards and recognition. The good news for you? Trendy doesn’t always mean spendy.
The board game Twister might have had a rocky start, but creators knew they didn’t need to spend a lot of money to make flexibility a winning product; they just needed to be creative. You don’t need money or a board game to promote a flexible work culture, just be creative.
Telecommute: For everyone who’s checked work email on the weekend (guilty), you know the technology is in place to work from home. If you can work from home on nights and weekends, why not weekdays? We no longer need to be in the office to work. When you allow employees to telecommute you not only created flexibility, but you save them time and money. You do your part to lighten up rush hour traffic and make a greener planet.
Bring your own device (BYOD): Since you already use our own devices to work from home, why not use them at the office too? BYOD is a way to enable mobility of work and simultaneously save money on office technology. You are most familiar with your personal devices. Plus, you probably have a more up-to-date personal laptop than the computer your company supplies. Globally, companies use BYOD to facilitate ease of working offsite and create positive work culture.
Be flexible with time off: In order to create a more flexible work culture, Advanced Informatics in Minneapolis, an industry leader in online healthcare education management software, implemented a system giving employees autonomy over when and how much paid time they take off. Although PTO is still tracked, employees don’t accrue it, they just have it, as much as they want, and requests are rarely denied. Advanced Informatics creates flexibility by valuing productivity over hours worked.
So you can’t afford to buy their loyalty, no problem. The best things in life are free, and that includes employee rewards and recognition. Even if you can’t afford to give everyone a raise, there are other ways to recognize hard work, make your employees feel valuable and encourage them to stay.
Reward with time off: Even if you’re not comfortable with an open policy on PTO like Advanced Informatics uses, you can still find ways to reward employees with time off. Time off fits right in with the culture of flexibility and has universal appeal. Think about offering “free days off” to be used anytime to do whatever you like. You love time off; everyone does.
Talk about the future: Find out what your employees’ goals are and then introduce them up to people who can help them advance their careers or be mentors to them. It’s free for you and lets them know you appreciate them and recognize their goals. Finding a mentor or making a good connection is more valuable in a career path than a pay raise.
Do what you do: Use what you’re already doing to reward your employees. Three Son’s Signature Cuisine, a by-design catering and event planning company in Minneapolis, allows employees to eat gourmet lunches on the job for a nominal fee. We’re talking brown butter seared beef tenderloin on crispy gorgonzola polenta with red wine pan sauce, here, whatever the kitchen has going. Employees don’t even have to bring cash; the cost is deducted from their payroll. Do you do something that your employees can directly benefit from? Share it.
A positive workplace culture fits the scope of all generations. It is a way to provide benefits to everyone on your team. Despite the notion of how expensive some may think it is, the truth of the matter is you can offer employees benefits and rewards that are nominal in cost for your organization. You may even think of it as a way to promote new talent development, offering training opportunities for your new talent or existing talent looking to make a shift in responsibilities.
What are you doing to foster flexibility and recognition for your employees? Are you creating your own trends?
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