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The Workplace Environment: Your Greatest Asset
If you’re like us, you read. A lot. Your ear is to the ground and your eye is on the horizon; you’re carefully balancing your business’ needs today while making sure you’re poised for the future. You’ve noticed an increasing concern for people, engagement, and satisfaction in what you’re reading, which is no surprise. You’ve always considered your people to be your secret weapon, your most valuable asset. But there’s still something missing. Beyond a good HR strategy and strong leadership, what can you do to have an impact on any of this?
Significant research has been conducted to link a satisfied and healthy work force to increased business performance. Knowledge workers, in particular, desire meaning and fulfillment in their work and seek places of employment that align with their personal mission and goals. We believe that work environments are often an underleveraged asset that can maximize not only an employee’s efficiency in performing their basic duties, but also have the ability to significantly impact their satisfaction and meaning in work. How do you achieve this? Here are 5 of the issues we track, and how we think the workplace can influence each:
- Multi-generational Workforce
With the influx of the Millennial generation (those born between 1977-1992) into the workforce, we’re now faced with four generations with often differing views and perspectives on everything from leadership, mentoring, and work/life balance. We like to look for commonalities across all generations, such as the desire to belong and contribute to something. Choice, access and control in the work environment can go a long way to give all generations and work types the ability to work in a way that best suits their needs and perspectives.
- Attract, Develop & Retain
It’s so much more than just attraction and retention. While Millennials are highly demanding in their expectations of the employer and workplace, they are also much more willing to change jobs in order to find what they are looking for. Workplaces can foster meaningful connections, aid in mentoring, and support collaboration and development initiatives for the organization.
- Employee Engagement
An engaged workforce is not only satisfied by completing their daily tasks, but are looking for opportunities to contribute and advance the company’s initiatives. Engaged employees love what they do, feel appreciated for their contributions, and understand what’s going on in the company. The workplace creates a natural platform for creating meaningful connection points between employees; supporting corporate transparency by building awareness of company goals, priorities, and initiatives; and linking employees to tangible results of their hard work.
- Health & Well-being
The emphasis on wellness has shifted in recent years to be more holistically defined and integrated into corporate wellness programs focusing on mind, body and spirit. Not only is work the likely cause of most stress, but also its biggest victim when absenteeism reduces productivity and drives up costs. Organizations are seeing the need to connect employees with wellness initiatives in more meaningful ways. Beyond supporting fitness, workplaces can support times of focus and activity, respite and contemplation to help individuals balance the stresses and demands of a connected, 24/7 work environment.
- Planning for Uncertainty
The pace of business, and specifically changes in the business landscape, has only continued to grow with no signs of slowing down. In this changing and competitive landscape, the only thing we can predict for the future is the need to be fluid and flexible, able to grow, change and develop in ways to keep up – or better yet, to innovate and redefine the market. Capitalizing on the lack of hierarchy and open, collaborative mindset of Millennials will help organizations be ready for the next great idea to surface from anywhere. Environments that encourage informal, meaningful connections between people will foster collaboration and the development of ideas that can only come from the creativity and experience of empowered employees.
These are just a few of the major trends we see facing the knowledge marketplace. Do you have others to add? Let me know in the comments and stay tuned to future blogs for more information on each of these topics. Can’t wait? Feel free to contact me to discuss more.