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Are You an Employer of Choice?

In this week's article, we take a look at what it means to be a company where people want to work. In today's post-pandemic world, where mental health and the general well-being of employees have taken centre stage, top companies are doing more than ever to ensure that they give employees and candidates every reason to want to work for them.

Being an employer that people want to work for is critical to success and is, therefore, the aim for many companies. Put simply, being an employer of choice means that your employee engagement initiatives, leadership style and the culture of your company make you attractive to current and prospective employees.

Therefore, your employee value proposition should incorporate everything the employees will require to reach their full potential and inspire engagement. This includes the support system you have in place for them and how your employees are recognised.

Here are some of the reasons why people choose to work for one employer over another. According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, employees are after more than only a salary that reflects their experience and skill levels:

  • 37% say company culture is important to them.

  • 35% care about the reputation of the company

  • 33% decide based on how interviews are managed.

  • 25% care about the company’s mission and values

  • 25% are most concerned with the skills of the senior leadership team.

So, how do you become an employer of choice?

Since the pandemic, flexible working arrangements have become commonplace in many companies’ policies. According to a report by EY Global, over 50% of all employees worldwide would consider resigning from their jobs if they were not offered a level of flexibility around where and when they work. This flexibility can come in the form of hybrid working, a four-day working week and flexible hours.

There are benefits for the company of being a flexible employer – it helps to expand your reach toward a wider talent pool, making it possible for neurodivergent candidates as well as candidates with a disability to find suitable roles for themselves.

As an employer, do you prioritise work-life balance?

As a twenty-something-year-old undergraduate student, my university holidays were spent working in call centres, including in companies such as the Leicester Mercury, Severn Trent Water and Scottish Widows in London. Now, sure - I was only there temporarily but interestingly, each of these companies allowed me to choose my hours as long as I completed my weekly allocation. At the time I had little responsibility other than making sure I fed and watered myself regularly enough, got up when my alarm went off and turned up where I was supposed to be - on time! I did not really appreciate that these companies offered me the flexibility to change my shift hours according to my preferences.

Here's the thing - whether we want to be away from our desks to focus on our hobbies, get more active or just slow down to allow us a bit of reflection time (I like to re-evaluate whether I am happy with where I am in life every few months), a good work-life balance is becoming increasingly important for many people. Various research has revealed that a good proportion of employees, particularly parents of young children, would give up a percentage of their wages for a better work-life balance.

As an employer, how often do you re-evaluate your benefits packages?

Historically, top employers have focused on ensuring that the physical office is a place that their people are excited to come to each day, as part of their employee benefits. This could be anything from complimentary breakfast or lunch, to an onsite gym and even a games room!

However, as we transition into a world whereby the hybrid model of working is becoming commonplace, this is the time to consider whether you are in fact helping your employees by addressing the challenges they are facing, through the benefits you are offering. Here are a few ways to modify your benefits:

  • Listen to your employees: Use employee engagement surveys and 1:1 discussions with your teams to find out what form of benefits they actually want. Then, use the feedback to adapt.

  • Focus on financial well-being: The pandemic has financially affected both companies and their workforces. You could consider offering financial literacy education to your employees or offer them cashback cards for example, especially if you are not in a position to provide pay increases or bonuses.

  • Introduce a Cycle to Work scheme: With a lot of commuters seeking an alternative to the increasing costs of public transport, a Cycle to Work scheme could be the answer! You would be giving your employees the opportunity to spread the cost of a bicycle across a year, saving both yourselves and them money.

Is it time to re-evaluate your mental health support system?

Research has revealed that loneliness is a greater detriment to our health than smoking, obesity and high blood pressure combined. Also, depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and the figures have doubled since the pandemic! In fact, 1 in 4 people in the world say they have no one intimate to talk to! These statistics are responsible for the mental health crisis that prevails, with almost 50% of all work-related cases of illness caused by stress, depression, or anxiety.

It is therefore important that as an employer you put in place measures that will support your teams. Including mental health benefits in your benefits packages can really help to support your teams and develop an empathetic company culture. Some attractive companies to work for offer discounts on gym memberships, and access to counsellors, for example. Especially amongst the 18–24-year-olds age bracket, research shows that the majority of employees would seek a new job if their mental well-being was not being supported by their employer.

We have gone through only a handful of ways to make your company a more attractive place to work. In what ways are you boosting your employee value proposition in order to remain competitive in today’s workers’ labour market?

We would love to hear your ideas. However, if you are unsure where to start with becoming an employer of choice we can help! Please send us a message or visit our training page with resources on growing an authentic organisation, created in collaboration with Kevin Bazeley @ IDEEA Limited!

To your success!


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