Even as the employment market continues to stabilize, companies across the US are still tweaking their salary/benefits packages to retain their top talent amid an unprecedented shakeup on account of the pandemic. A more recent development is the widespread adoption of the hybrid working model in many office-centered workplaces, with many employers offering new and current employees the option to work from home part of the week to mitigate feelings of burnout while still maintaining productivity. Many businesses across nearly every industry are also including such benefits as “caregiver leave”, extended paid family leave, and increasing their overall paid time off in order to entice new talent to come aboard and encourage current specialists to stay. So far, the measures seem to be working, as recent hires report higher levels of overall job satisfaction compared to those hired before these measures were implemented.
Leave and Time Off
Over the past few years, companies have moved from giving employees a predetermined number of days off per year (typically two weeks total) to more flexible models, with some businesses offering new hires unlimited PTO to take as needed, particularly after intense projects. This model has proven to be a hit with employees, as companies that have implemented such measures have consistently reported higher overall workplace satisfaction and lower turnover. Additionally, the time off for parental and family leave has been greatly extended, taking inspiration from the European model, where employees get anywhere from 1-3 years of paid parental leave when starting a family. The format is quickly catching on with larger businesses across the US offering similar periods of time off to new parents, which significantly cuts down the stress of such all-encompassing life events by giving time for employees to get acclimated to such a change while having the peace of mind that they have a career to return to. However, many businesses have opted to simply increase the total time off employees can take and offer more flexibility on when that time can be taken. In just about every case, it has increased productivity while mitigating the risk of burnout.
Increased Salaries and Bolstered Benefits
One fail-safe way to keep employees happy is to increase their pay, but as a result of ongoing labor shortages, diminished talent pools and increasing rates of retirement among older specialists, companies must come up with creative compensation packages. In addition to market wide salary increases, businesses are now offering expanded insurance packages to mitigate the rising costs of healthcare for new and existing employees, increasing interest in their positions while retaining existing workers. Others are offering educational incentives as well, either partially or fully funding certification courses, continuing education credits for certain specialties, or even full scholarships for employees looking to attain a master’s degree or PhD. The rewards are twofold, as the workers feel more secure in their position and companies reap the benefits of having highly skilled specialists on their staff who greatly appreciate the investment the company made in their education.
Remote work is still gaining popularity even as the effects of the pandemic continue to diminish, with workers greatly appreciating the flexibility offered by the option to work from home. While some companies are scrambling to get employees back into the office, others are embracing this change and capitalizing on the opportunities presented by such a work model. Companies that adopt hybrid models of work see positive and often surprising results from the switch, including increased productivity, greater employee satisfaction and much lower turnover when compared to businesses that insist on all tasks being done within the confines of an office. In the modern workplace, employees want to feel empowered and supported by the businesses they work for, with rigid structures often getting in the way of this by being too inflexible and unresponsive to the needs of workers. Experimenting with hybrid schedules can be beneficial for nearly every type of business.
A crucial aspect of the modern workplace that often goes overlooked is communication. Especially with the rise of remote work and independent task management, it is vital to keep tabs on employees not only to gauge the progress on their assignments, but also to continuously build rapport with them. Workers are far less likely to consider alternative employment if they feel a strong sense of comradery with their co-workers and management. Not only does this improve morale, but it also increases the rate of collaboration between workers and departments, streamlining workflows and accelerating the completion rate of various tasks and projects.
Ultimately, the core of any successful business is the team that works within it. Therefore, promoting effective teamwork should be the main focus of upper management, especially in the modern marketplace. One of the most common reasons employees give for leaving an organization is a “toxic” or unfriendly work environment which degrades productivity, collaboration, and most importantly, the long-term well-being of the workers. Cultivating an environment that emphasizes teamwork is vital to employee well-being, as fostering an air of collaboration is proven to reduce workplace stress, accidents, and increases overall satisfaction.
Throughout the myriad of changes and trends that are currently ongoing, there is one constant that is seen throughout. That is, employees demanding more from their employers in every industry across the board, from food service to finance we’re seeing young professionals and those returning to the job market trying to get as much as they can from the companies they work for. Employees want to be seen for their efforts, appropriately compensated, and ultimately find that ideal work-life balance for their current situation. Whether its employees starting their career and testing things out, or workers who want to start a family and crave a sense of certainty and stability from their employers, one thing is certain; Those companies that cling to the outdated, inflexible models of work and employee interaction will find it difficult or outright impossible to attract new talent or even retain their current staff, while those who are willing to negotiate and adapt to the realities of the modern job market are sure to reap the benefits in the coming years.
About A&E Advisory
A&E Advisory helps small businesses to midsize enterprises regain profitability, organization, and discover new levels of success. We are a boutique business advisory firm assisting both new startups and established companies.
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