Is Your Workspace Talent-Friendly?
To gain and retain the best talent you must first understand what attracts the best talent to a company and what types of environments cultivates the type of talent that continues to stay year-after-year.
By 2025, millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce, so, it makes sense to create an office space as a tool for attracting and retaining millennials, who prefer open spaces, natural light, and amenities (2). A company’s office is seen as a reflection of corporate culture, influencing candidates’ impressions of how talent-friendly, progressive, and smart a company is.
“To attract and retain talent, businesses need to show Millennials it is innovative and in-tune with their world-view”, said Barry Salzberg, CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
Millennials and Gen Xers want to leave their mark on the world by working for organizations that benefit society, encourage innovation and provide them the opportunity to expand their skills (1). Businesses that can meet these higher expectations will have the upper hand in attracting and retaining the most talented employees. There are tremendous opportunities to upgrade office space to a standard that attracts the best.
4 ways you can make your office reflect your corporate culture.
- Furniture. Office essentials that feature beautiful and thoughtful design will demonstrate your commitment and focus on your employees. Many talented employees worth keeping want the office furniture they interact with all day to be both pleasing to the eye and functional. Standing desks, a variety of unique chairs and anything else that reflects different personalities should be reflected in the furniture choices.
- Collaborative Spaces (aka Third Spaces). Gen-Xers and Millennials want the company to do well, but they also want to be a strong voice in taking the company where it needs to go. To do this, create spaces for brainstorming, collaborative meetings, generating ideas, socializing and also peaceful recharging. Office environments with lots of places for casual, impromptu meetings and lots of glass, make people feel connected and invested.
- Amenities. Prof. Jeffrey Pfeffer, of Stanford University, studies workplaces extensively and says “Perks and benefits are an indicator of whether or not the organization is building an employee-based culture. Many of these perks have two functions: removing unnecessary distractions, and keeping people at work.” Start with good coffee. Either get the fancy coffee maker or at least invest in quality coffee beans. Ensuring that fresh food is available onsite is also important for employees. The Staples Workplace Index showed that employees value fresh food even more than a fitness when it comes to a wellness program. If you have an onsite cafeteria, work with your food and service vendors to introduce healthy options if they haven’t already done so. (5) Millennials are working longer hours as a result of increased workload and have less time to leave the office to get their errands done. It turns out the most worthy workplace luxuries of all are the time-saving incentives. Claire Tompkins, a workplace productivity consultant says, “Today, time is more valuable than money,” So although a financial bonus is great, perks that save people time, like shuttle services, daycare, and on-site dry cleaning, are actually worth more in terms of quality of life.”
- Go Green. Sustainable building materials, green furniture, and green cleaning practices address recycling, energy use, consumption, water quality, waste and sanitation without the use of toxic chemicals will improve employee’s health, their desire to be socially and environmentally conscious. Aside from sustainable materials and green products, think about connecting with nature and how it improves well-being. Japanese doctors have long recommended “forest-bathing” to relieve stress and depression. In fact, a Harvard University study surveying 100,000 nurses found they had a 12% lower mortality rate when they lived in greener areas than others. When employees don’t get an opportunity to go out, they can enjoy nature in the office. Employers may encourage employees to bring in shade-friendly plants, such as calla lilies, and let in more natural light with added windows. Inviting nature in will help improve employee morale. (4)