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What Three Things Would You Do to Make Your Company a Better Place to Work?

Study after study shows that things like workplace benefits can genuinely help promote a positive work-life balance.

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Here’s a bit of a shocker: A survey by the noted job recruiting site Glassdoor found that 80% of employees prefer new or additional benefits or perks to a pay raise.1

So much for the old saying, “I’m just doing it for the paycheck.”

In today’s evolving work environment, it turns out that employees are far more likely to stay with a company that considers and provides for their personal needs, above and beyond just their time in the office. In fact, study after study shows that things like workplace benefits can genuinely help promote a positive work-life balance. 

With that in mind, we recently reached out to some HR influencers via Twitter to get their views on the three things they would do to make their company a better place to work. Spoiler alert: one size doesn’t fit all, and good communication should never be taken for granted.

“Employees want to know what is going on,” says Sarah Morgan (@TheBuzzOnHR), Founder of The Buzz on HR. “They need both direction as well as general information. You've got to tell them! There is no such thing as over-communicating. Second, more self-service. In our daily lives, employees can do everything online or thru an app with a few clicks. Then we come to work and it takes an act of Congress to update your address. That is just backwards! Make routine requests and activities as simple as possible. Third, greater transparency. Employees also want to know HOW the goings on are going on. Times are changing, and employee buy-in isn't optional anymore. The more transparent you can be, the more engagement and accountability and satisfaction you will find in your workplace.”

Monika Fahlbusch (@monikafahlbusch), Chief Employee Experience Officer at BMC Software, is in agreement there.

“A better workplace starts with a better employee experience, and there are several ways companies can make the work experience much better for their employees,” she says. “First, place the employee at the center of the work experience so they are the focus of all employee-facing parts of the organization. Second, ask a lot of questions and listen to employees to find out what they want or don’t want, what they need or don’t need, and how they can be most successful; then add what you need, fix what’s broken, and kill whatever broken and outdated policies you can. Third, embrace technology so that it works for your employees as a powerful weapon that makes the employee experience better, not more frustrating.” 

“The most powerful lever any leader has to create a better work experience for employees is communication,” agrees Jason Lauritsen (@JasonLauritsen), Author and Advisor at JasonLauritsen.com. “But not just any communication: two-way conversation about work and how to make it better. The best workplaces use face-to-face, email, video, and other technology to stay in constant communication with employees.”

“Creating a better workplace is all about improving employee engagement, and employee engagement is best addressed as a leadership issue,” says Matthew Coleman (@matthewjcoleman), Marketing Director at MyEmployees. “First, use an anonymous employee survey to gather feedback from the team, and you'll find out exactly what they think about their workplace, their job, and you. Next, use what you find out to make improvements in the leadership team on things like communication, motivation, and/or appreciation. Finally, let your improvements take root over a period of about six months, and then re-survey the team. You'll get a new result in the follow-up assessment that you can use as a quantifiable measurement of improvement.”

William Tincup (@williamtincup)President of RecruitingDaily.com, encourages companies to “support diversity and inclusion initiatives.” He adds: “Diversity creates conflict, conflict creates innovation, innovation creates market share. So, D&I is critical from that perspective. Second, teach active listening to all employees, all managers, all leaders, all board members. Essentially, we need to learn how to listen again, and not just think about our witty or clever retort. Third, breed and incentivize empathy. It’s like listening, but different. We need to learn how to deeply care about each other. Life (and work) is never easy, we all go through adversity, and we need to remain humble. Doing so takes a great deal of empathy."

For Tim Sackett (@TimSackett) President of HRU Technical Resources, the recommendations are short and sweet (or perhaps spicy): “First, [establish] pay equality at all levels. Second, fire bad managers. Third, Taco Tuesdays and Thursdays. I mean what's better than free Tacos on Tuesday? Well, free Tacos on Thursday as well!”

Suzanne Lucas (@RealEvilHRLady), Founder of Evil HR Lady, says “the three things that I value in a workplace are integrity, kindness, and flexibility. If your company has these three things, it will be a great culture.” 

“First, make it easier for everyone to have video versus phone meetings,” says Austin Leonard (@austinleonard), Vice President, Omni Solutions, at Rakuten Marketing. “Second, reduce the number of third-party tools that they use for things like chat, data aggregation, and email. Fewer platforms will mean more engagement on those platforms. Third, give more people opportunities to work from other offices to give everyone a taste of each office.” 

Ian Dickey (@iandickey1), Senior Enterprise Account Executive at Domo Inc., was perhaps the most existential of the influencers we contacted.

“Through the years, I have found that the difference in corporate cultures and employee satisfaction can be traced to a company's point of view around the question ‘Why does the company exist?’” he says. “Is it for the betterment of their employees, society, and shareholder value or is it almost exclusively for shareholder value with employee betterment, society, etc. as distant and secondary priorities? Those who fall into the first category almost always have better cultures and happier employees. Probably 95% of companies fall into the latter category, and they're still white boarding ideas on how to improve their culture and three-star Glassdoor ratings.”

To learn more about what you can do to create a better company culture, go to love.espresa.com

1 Glassdoor Employer Confidence Survey 2015

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