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How Services Can Become the Cornerstone of a Great Place to Work

Today workplace benefits are viewed as an essential investment. Organizations with top-notch benefits foster a better, more efficient workforce, and they’re able to attract better hires and reduce turnover.

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It used to be that employee benefits were considered a “nice to have,” a little “something extra” that helped businesses stand out from the crowd.

Needless to say, times have changed.

Today workplace benefits are viewed as an essential investment. Organizations with top-notch benefits foster a better, more efficient workforce, and they’re able to attract better hires and reduce turnover. 

Consider:

  • 79% of employers believe offering benefits to employees is a critical component of attracting talent.1
  • Employees who are very satisfied with benefits are almost four times more likely to be very satisfied with their jobs.2
  • 75% of employers say that retaining and attracting quality employees were important outcomes of benefits.3

So how, specifically, are companies using services to create great places to work? We reached out to some HR influencers via Twitter recently and found that, when it comes to offering workplace benefits, there’s no shortage of creativity in play these days.

“The great musician B.B. King once said, ‘The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you,’” says Sharlyn Lauby (@sharlyn_lauby), President of ITM Group Inc. and the author of Manager Onboarding: Setting New Leaders Up for Success. “Companies that give employees plenty of opportunities to learn are creating great places to work. I’ve seen everything from regular ‘lunch and learn’ sessions to financial literacy to company-wide mindfulness programs. It’s a win for employees and the organization.”

“Workplace flexibility for men and women, continuous learning opportunities, paid parental leave for mothers and fathers, as well as innovative ways to promote personal and professional well-being are just a few ways Ernst & Young enables our people to reach their highest potential,” says Karyn Twaronite (@KTwaronite_EY), Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer at Ernst & Young.  “[We’re] also working to create equitable opportunities and sponsorship for women and under-represented talent to advance into leadership positions.”

As many of these influencers observed, more and more companies are recognizing that establishing a work-life balance is critical to employee happiness and productivity.

“What people really want in the workplace is an environment that allows them to more effectively balance their personal lives, and that’s different for everyone,” says Monika Fahlbusch (@monikafahlbusch), Chief Employee Experience Officer at BMC Software. “For some it’s day care, for others it’s Core Power yoga, and for others it’s food.  My suggestion is that the services you offer should be a reflection of your culture and what you value, and then provide as much flexibility and balance for employees to live their lives as you can.”

“Realistically, it's about freeing people from the day-to-day life stresses to enable them to focus on their jobs,” says Russell Klosk (@RussMK), Senior Principal at Accenture. “For those in static offices, last-minute child care does wonders. For those who travel, it’s club access and policies that allow for business-class and first-class seats. But the ones that seem to resonate most with employees are around unlimited PTO and access to external training events (such as conferences) with a minimum of hassle.”

“While perks are fun, we all want to feel that our employer is ready to support us with our lives outside of work – beyond the perks and at a more fundamental level,” says Helen Rosethorn (@HRonHR), Partner at Prophet. “In today’s world this means a wider definition of caring responsibilities. For example, Centrica won an award for championing an ageing workforce with their truly comprehensive policy to help employees manage caring challenges outside of work – and after 10 years of doing this, their data demonstrating the impact on positive employee engagement is impressive!”

“The common thread of great culture in our experience is that these companies take the time to find out what actually works for their people,” says Jim Moss (@TheSmileCEO), Chief Happiness Officer at Plasticity. “They don’t have an ego in the process. They care about what will actually create value for their people and culture, and then they do that. In our experience, many companies just guess. Sometimes they get it right, but many times they’re wrong – and often very wrong. Another absolute hallmark of good culture is that a workplace has an actual kitchen, one where you can cook food together and not just warm up food. Some of the greatest times in life happen in kitchens, so why not have a real one in your office?”

“Any time someone asks about the core strength builder of our company culture, I point to two words: book club,” says Matthew Coleman (@matthewjcoleman), Marketing Director at MyEmployees. “As a company, we read self-development books together, with topics ranging across motivation, productivity, financial security, inspiration, and more. Every Wednesday morning from 10 to 11, everyone in the company meets to talk about what we've learned and to share insights. The time is paid on-the-clock because the company invests in each employee as a person, not just a worker. It's a bonding experience, bringing together co-workers who share office space as well as people from departments that don't normally get to mingle. Here's the blog post that describes the vision our CEO had when he originally started book club: Build Your People First, and They'll Build Your Company.”

“There's a company in Omaha called Medical Solutions that provides a concierge service to employees,” says Jason Lauritsen (@JasonLauritsen), Author and Advisor at JasonLauritsen.com. “The service can be used to get your groceries, run errands, or a variety of other tasks intended to relieve stress and improve work-life balance.  The employees there love it.”  

The bottom line: Today’s employment market is more competitive than ever, with recruiters seeking out the best and brightest in every field. Increasingly, quality-of-life benefits are a tangible measure of how fulfilling a person’s tenure can be, and are now right up there with requirements such as healthcare and salary.

To find out how to create a well-managed workplace services program that’s right for you, go to love.espresa.com.

1 Workforce of the Future Survey, Burson-Marsteller, June 30, 2016

2 U.S. Employee Benefit Trend Study, Met Life, 2016

3 Benefits Benchmark Survey, Healthcare Trends Institute, February 14, 2017

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