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Embrace How to retain staff

Considering most of us spend more time in our workplace than anywhere else, including home, it’s no surprise that workplace culture is so important…

This statement is validated by a recent survey by Speakap [Speakap Research Study – The Culture Factor: Improving Employee Loyalty and Relationships] which revealed that 42% of those questioned would rather work a 60-hour week than work for an organisation that doesn’t value its culture.

So what is so important about workplace culture? Well, top of the list for the UK respondents was respect and fairness, followed by trust and integrity and teamwork.

If your organisation is ‘stuck in its ways’ don’t expect to keep your staff for long – this is how a third of those questioned described their employers – and they thought there was no hope of their employers considering how to improve the culture in the workplace.

It’s vital to get the balance right – many companies think that offering free lunch and the odd outing is enough to keep staff morale up, but at the end of the day, if your staff are unhappy, feel their voices aren’t heard, and their opinions are not valued, no amount of free grub is going to fix that.

Conduct a review

So is it time you took a review of your workplace culture? Look at the things that staff value – open and honest communication between them and senior staff, opportunities for upskilling and training, and ensuring that the workplace is a fair place to work and progress.

One of those most attractive phrases when trying to attract the right staff is flexible work hours. According to a study by Fractl [Harvard Business Review: The Most Desirable Employee Benefits 15/02/2017], flexible hours could influence 88% of respondents to choose a job with a lower salary than your competitors.

With two salaries needed to pay the mortgage these days, more and more of your staff are trying to juggle a work life and a family life. According to FlexJobs [Flexjobs: Survey: Parents Rank Work Flexibility Ahead of Salary 12/08/2016], around 80% of parents listed flexibility and work-life balance as the most important factors when looking for a new job.

Options such as more maternity/paternity leave and work from home possibilities for emergencies such as a burst pipe, or help for those trying to help elderly relatives as well, will mean you not only attract, but also retain your experienced staff – the staff you may have spent both time and money training to do their jobs well.

For more on flexible working see our blog Is Flexible Working Your Friend?

If you fancy being even more flexible, you could emulate media streaming giant Netflix. The industry leader offers unlimited vacation time. Rather than keeping track of time off, the organisation trusts that its employees will use their judgement wisely to take time off when they need to, and gauges this by staff being productive at work and meeting their performance objectives.

Nurture your people

Nurturing your talent is also vital. If you have made the effort to attract top talent, you are going to have to work hard to keep them. Look at what career pathways are open to them, offer opportunities to experience different parts of the company where possible. After all, if you expect them to eventually manage at a high level, they need to know how all areas of the organisation work.

You should also ensure you help to challenge them and broaden their experience.

You might like to read an earlier blog on the subject here including five ways to assess your workplace culture.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it could help your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761 288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Embrace HR Aylesbury Workplace Cultire

Workplace culture is the most important driver for staff, according to recent research…

We often write about the importance of looking after staff and investing in creating the right kind of workplace culture, and a recent survey conducted by Speakap has confirmed just how vital this is.

How important is workplace culture?

According to the survey [Speakap: Research Study – The Culture Factor: Improving Employee Loyalty and Relationships], 42% of employees would rather have a 60-hour working week, than work for a company that doesn’t value its workplace culture.

The study asked 1,000 employees from the UK and the US how important workplace culture can be when it comes to attracting and retaining staff – a massive 58% said they would move to a rival company if the workplace culture was more attractive.

And the most important part of that workplace culture, according to those employees? Respect and fairness, trust and integrity, and teamwork.

How can HR departments help?

And this is where HR departments come in… does your workplace culture need reviewing? How often do you do this? Do managers think that offering the odd free lunch or team night out is enough? Clearly, this survey shows that this is not what people are looking for.

While the social aspect may be attractive, especially if you have a young workforce, for older employees with other commitments outside of work, it is the way they are treated during the working day that will be most important.

When you are in a workplace for seven hours or more each day, being able to benefit from open and honest communication with more senior staff is far more rewarding than a couple of free drinks on a Friday afternoon. And, in the long term, knowing that your company is committed to helping you to learn new skills and invest in training you is far more valuable than an annual big party, which costs the staff member money in childcare and a hangover the next day on the school run!

Five ways to assess your workplace culture

  1. Take a look at your onboarding process: make sure your process is up to date and engaging, and helps the new member of the team learn everything they need to know to get up and running in a speedy and efficient manner.
  2. Are your senior staff open with employees? Times have changed and leadership needs to be open to change too.
  3. Take a look at reward schemes – it doesn’t all need to be about bonuses – especially if they mean your staff pay more tax. Think of more personal ways to say thank you.
  4. Encourage teamwork – work with staff to help teams work better with each other – to be supportive, co-operative and to communicate better.
  5. Ask your staff! Feedback from employees about how they feel about work, the company, their everyday challenges, will give you a great picture of your workplace culture – a lot of negative feedback will tell you there are some changes to be made!

Stop Press

As you may be aware, on Tuesday 16 July, MP Helen Whatley used the 10-Minute Rule to bring her innovative Flexible Working Bill into parliament. The bill was given approval to go to a second reading today on Wednesday 17 July – this development is a triumph for the organisations behind the campaign, who have been working tirelessly for the past 5 years to bring this to fruition [The House – Helen Whately: Employers should make all jobs flexible by default 15/07/2019].

Mother Pukka, Pregnant then Screwed, Fatherhood Institute and Fawcett Society joined forces to create the Flex For All campaign, calling on government to demand flexible working, meaning that all job roles must be advertised as flexible from day one of employment.

Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka commented: ‘We have been campaigning over 5 years for effective flexible working and today it seems the tide is turning. It feels like the Government is listening, businesses are listening and that the people are being listened to! Finally flexible working is being seen as something for people – all people – and not just ‘mummies who want to see more of their babies’. Crucially, this is now being seen as something that is not just good for employees but ultimately it’s proven to be very good for business too. Flexible working is simply for people wanting to live and often those with responsibilities beyond their control. Those people who want to get off the 9-5 hamster wheel, those who want to work the odd day from home, those living with disabilities, those with medical conditions, those with caring responsibilities – the list goes on. Today is a huge moment for the #FlexAppeal #FlexForAll campaign. Today is the first day we have been heard.’ 

You might also be interested in reading our other blogs related to this subject matter:

Is Flexible Working Your Friend?
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Being the Best – Starting at the Top
Is Yours a People Company?

If you would like to discuss the subject of trust or flexible working further and how it could help your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761 288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.