Human Resource departments and company executives have turned to improved benefits packages and a desirable workplace culture to lure and retain employees and stay atop the competition. However, while many C-Suite executives have accepted that finding and keeping the best of the best requires a complex and concerted effort, the path to the perfect workplace, for some, has yet to come into full focus.
Differences about how to create an effective workplace has opened up a robust dialogue and has caused a great deal of spilled ink. By parsing the nuances of that dialogue, employers and HR managers can begin to explore what will fit at their company, and what will not work.
Identifying 'Culture’ is the First Step to Creating One That Works
An organization's culture is created by the things employees and leadership value. The success of that culture is dependent on a good balance of personalities, according to an article in Chicago Tribune.
Clearly identifying and communicating leadership’s values are an important component of creating a desirable workplace capable of attracting and retaining a strong workforce. “Contrary to popular belief, culture is not ruled by the ‘cool’ perks, the loftlike open office space and happy hours with unlimited booze," the article reads. "These things are great and can be reflective of your culture but I can assure you, a loftlike open office space will feel like a prison if your employees value flexible work hours or the privacy of a home office, instead of being held captive from 9 to 5.”
A healthy combination of competitive employees with personable and fun workers helps to bring Zen to the office and will create a diverse and balanced team, according to the Tribune. Also, it is important to continually evaluate employee values as they may change with personal priorities outside the office.
The article advocates creating a unique culture that may be modeled after other companies, but should not be a literal replica.
Loyalty is a Two-way Street
IT channel companies are struggling to find and keep millennials, despite their ability to use technology, according to an article from Channelnomics.
Some suggestions for keeping millennials interested range from avoiding monotonous workdays to offering clear paths to growth and professional development. “Millennials are known for job hopping, staying with a company for less than three years on average, but you can't just explain that away as an absence of loyalty," according to the article. "After all, loyalty is a two-way street. Employers need to be serious about committing to the people they hire, just as they expect employees to be loyal.”
Channelnomics contributor Rory Jackson of Business Continuity Technologies advocates scheduling face-to-face inter-office socialization. That's because younger employees, who prefer email and text, where context and tone can sometimes be lost, may benefit from in-person interactions.
Don’t Forget to Keep Human Nature in Check
Most all employees, and people, have unconscious bias that can negatively impact diversity in the recruitment process. A Q&A in Triple Pundit with Elena Richards, talent management lead in the office of diversity at PwC, highlights some ways to combat implicit bias.
“We are working with leading specialists in the field of unconscious bias to raise awareness about possible blind spots and teaching the ways we can help reduce any potential impact they may have on decision-making processes,” she says. “We started offering ‘blind spots training’ to targeted groups throughout the firm and expanded to include our human capital professionals because of the important role they play in creating an inclusive environment."
She also said unconscious bias awareness is built into recruitment training and mandatory for interviewers. And, partners are responsible for developing “diverse individuals” as well as demonstrating their commitment to diversity and inclusion when being considered for a role on the company’s U.S. Leadership team, the article reads.