Let’s face it: we’ve all made New Year’s resolutions that we’ve had no real intention of sticking to. Whether it’s hitting the gym three tim
Let’s face it: we’ve all made New Year’s resolutions that we’ve had no real intention of sticking to. Whether it’s hitting the gym three times a week or giving up alcohol, resolutions are hard – and we’ve all been guilty of not living up to our own expectations to some degree.
Of course, the idea behind a New Year’s resolution is often to help achieve a personal goal. But what about businesses taking advantage of the opportunity to improve the professional lives of their staff? 2020 is set to be a big year; the Olympics, Brexit and the Football European Championships are all fast approaching. With so many the potential distractions, here’s Jamie Mackenzie, Director at Sodexo Engage’s top tips for making sure business resolutions drive employee engagement.
- Time is of the essence
On average, people spend close to one hour and 20 minutes on their daily commutes. That adds up to an eye-watering 300+ hours a year. At the same time, technology has created an ‘always on’ culture, so getting a healthy work-life balance can be tricky.
Helping give employees back some time can be hugely motivational, and can have a drastic impact on productivity. Technology now makes it very easy to work from home, and allowing staff to do so can help boost productivity as well as giving them back the time they would have spent commuting.
Some studies have found that home workers work 1.4 days more per month on average than their office-based counterparts, so it’s definitely worth considering!
- Budget boost
Financial security is also a growing challenge for many employees. Staff under financial strain spend 13 hours a month dealing with their money problems in the workplace, not to mention the impact of lack of sleep due to financial worry. Introducing specific measures to help with these issues can provide a real catalyst for engagement. And it can be a great tool for recruitment too – 57% of employees in the UK believe that organisations should do more to support their staff beyond their usual wages.
There are many solutions that can ease the strain on employees’ daily finances that don’t involve reaching for the company credit card. Staff cashback cards, discount vouchers and discounted cinema tickets are just some of the cost-effective options that’ll not only boost engagement, but will improve employees’ quality of life too.
- The importance of health
There are currently over 4.4 million people waiting for hospital treatment, so it’s not a surprise that healthcare is a concern for employees. As a result, workers tend to appreciate private health insurance schemes a lot.
Introducing a targeted wellbeing programme can also help the workforce live better, both physically and mentally. Mental wellbeing initiatives such as mindfulness, combined with programmes like nutritional coaching, can often help to encourage staff to take care of themselves, both mentally and physically.
When people feel at their best, they’ll perform at their best, so it’s a win for productivity too!
- Listen to employees
Before an employer introduces any new benefits or rewards, it’s essential to set out a clear strategy to make sure they’re implemented properly.
Using data can really help here, as it enables employers to see what staff would be most receptive to, so that businesses can make sure benefits are bespoke to them. For example, maybe it’s subsidising the cost of travel, or maybe the employees would appreciate help with their childcare expenses. Whatever it is, tailoring the scheme so that it suits employees will make sure it’s as effective as possible.
Conducting a survey of all employees will also help to give them a voice on what they’d like to see, so that the business can decide what its priorities should be. These initial assessments will help employers ensure that the benefits and rewards they offer mirror staff expectations and truly engage them in the offerings.
- The more opportunities the better
Personal development and career growth are just as important as salary or one-off rewards. Some staff even rank this higher on their priority list. 54% of Millennials said career development opportunities were the most important factor when choosing a potential employer.
Many businesses tend to shy away from conventional training programmes that are complicated and costly to set up, but fear not – there are more flexible alternatives! Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and mentoring programmes, for example, have proven to be effective and are a lot easier to implement.
Having the company’s own specialists share knowledge is incredibly valuable, too. Setting up internal training sessions or one-on-one coaching can be extremely effective and a lot more rewarding for employees. Also, they might feel more able to ask questions than they would in an external session, and so may get more out of the course.
These are just some ideas to help improve both engagement and productivity as we head into the next decade. Whatever the company’s goals are, staff are vitally important to achieve them, so the more engaged and happier they are, the better.