A business lives and dies by its people: attract the right talent, and success is in easy reach; keep hold of your top performers, and you’re winning. But if you’re not up-to-speed on the dealbreakers for a modern day workforce, that can be easier said than done.
Once upon a time, a competitive salary and an element of job security was enough to bring in (and hang on to) top performers, but the world is changing. Money is still important, don’t get us wrong – but it’s not enough to bag you that coveted ‘employer of choice’ status.
What people really want is an employer who cares.
Employees value wellbeing over salary
Don’t believe that your workers would jump ship simply because you’ve not made their mental health a business priority?
- A Microsoft survey of more than 30,000 global workers showed that 41% of workers were considering quitting or changing professions this year
- A further study of workers in the UK and Ireland showed 38% of those surveyed planned to quit in the next six months to a year
And the chief reason? A lack of concern evidenced by employers during a time when their people needed all the support they could get:
“Foremost, workers are taking decisions to leave based on how their employers treated them – or didn’t treat them – during the pandemic. Ultimately, workers stayed at companies that offered support, and darted from those that didn’t.”
And it’s a bit of a no-brainer when you think about it. Would you give your best to a boss that didn’t value you; who didn’t care about your work-life balance, or how your mental health was faring? Or would you do the bare minimum until a better opportunity came along?
Since the Covid-crisis overhauled life as we know it, people have reassessed their priorities – both personal, and professional. Happiness and health are more important post-pandemic, because we all know how it feels to have them compromised. It’s critical that business leaders recognise this seismic shift, and act accordingly.
Knowing how to support the mental wellbeing of workers is something that every organisation has to become confident in. Your employees don’t expect you to be able to diagnose a mental illness, personally deliver a series of therapy sessions, or prescribe them anti-depressants; they just expect you to care – with actions to back it up.
Employees Talk: Give them something good to say
In the era of social media, nothing stays hidden – and that goes for the way you treat your workers.
A company’s culture has become currency: build a reputation as a leader who values people above profit, and you’ll find it far easier to bag the best job seekers on the market. Because word spreads fast – and it works both ways.
I wonder how many people are queuing up to fill positions at Brew Dog right now? (If you missed the media avalanche, you can read about how not to attract and retain people here).
Having strong ethics and abiding by your values is a bigger pull for employees these days than a company pension. Keeping your people happy and taking proactive steps to safeguard their wellbeing then ought to be a board-level priority. But it has to be authentic; it has to be sincere.
People can sniff inauthenticity from 100 paces: that means a tick-box exercise this ain’t. If you’re serious about increasing employee engagement, improving talent attraction, and reducing company-wide attrition, you’ve got to go beyond blanket gym memberships and Monday morning fruit bowls. That’s not to say those things aren’t valuable; they’re just not the beginning and end of an effective workplace wellbeing solution.
Your ultimate power move? Creating a culture of wellbeing
What any employer should be either working towards, upholding, or improving is a workplace culture with care at its core.
If you’re not sure what that looks like, a positive company culture is all about:
- Encouraging a healthy work-life balance amongst your teams
- Facilitating flexible working wherever possible
- Having clearly communicated diversity and inclusion policies
- Speaking about mental health openly and honestly
- Trusting your people to do a good job without applying unnecessary pressure
- Encouraging and respecting the opinions of those around you
- Nurturing strong bonds within the workplace
- Taking an interest in your employees’ lives outside of work
- Showing real compassion and empathy
- Giving your people the tools to manage their own mental health
That last one’s a biggie.
Demonstrating a clear commitment to improving employee wellbeing is one of the biggest tools in any company’s arsenal when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent in 2021. But it’s not one-size-fits-all: your offering has to be as varied as your workforce.
One of the reasons that our employee wellbeing platform sees a higher take-up than most workplace wellbeing solutions, is choice. It really is that simple. Your employees don’t want you to solve their problems for them; they want you to empower them with a choice of tools that they’re in control of; to let them take charge.
It’s not about waiting until your people are at breaking point then pointing them in the direction of the doctor’s office; it’s about prevention, and helping your workers to feel their best on any given day. To thrive. And to give you their best in return.
Making proactive change
You can’t expect to attract brilliant people if you’re not looking after the ones you’ve already got; just as you can’t expect to keep hold of brilliant people if their welfare is an afterthought.
Prior to the pandemic, Deloitte’s Global Millennial Survey 2020 showed that a mind-blowing 48% of Gen Zs and 44% of millennials felt anxious or stressed all or most of the time. People’s mental health has worsened throughout the pandemic, so those figures would likely be much higher today.
The reason this should resonate so strongly with employers is that poor workplace mental health leads to burnout, which leads to drop-out. In other words, loss of talent. And when good people leave an organisation because they felt undervalued, overworked, or that their employer simply didn’t care, it can leave a company’s reputation in tatters.
If you’re keen to care for the people that make your business what it is, we’d love to give you a free demo of how the BetterSpace platforms helps to transform employee wellbeing. Or if you’d just like to find out a bit more about us, get in touch today.