In the changing corporate culture, job flexibility ranks very high in terms of job satisfaction. As we mentioned in our last blog, The Changing Face of Today’s Jobseeker, both men and women are gravitating toward those companies that offer greater work-life balance.
Yet, to attract top talent, employers will need to do much more than pay lip service—they must prove they have been successful in establishing a culture that allows for flexibility. Think about it—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Glassdoor make it so much easier for jobseeker to uncover what it’s really like working in your organization.
Actions Speak Louder
There was a major disconnect between employer and employee perspectives of work-life balance revealed in the results of a Workplace Trends survey. The survey, released this month, was composed of 1,087 professionals and 116 HR professionals. While 67% of HR professionals think their employees have a balanced work life, yet 45% of employees said they don’t have enough time for personal activities.
What do your employees, past and present, say about your policies? Be prepared for the questions as candidates try to assess balance at your organization. How will you answer questions about what the culture is like? How does the company view flexible work arrangements? As a recruiter, if you can’t convince candidates you can provide them with the work-life balance they require, they’ll dismiss your offer.
Which Option Works Best for Your Organization?
If you want to attract and retain loyal talent, consider new ways to deliver the work-life balance employees are seeking. Here are a few to consider:
1.) Leave work at work
According to The 2015 Workplace Flexibility Study by Workplace Trends, 65% of employees and 67% of jobseekers say their manager expects them to be reachable outside of the office. That means when they’ve gone home for the day, they don’t really get to leave the office.
Technology improves the workplace in many ways. However, it also makes employees feel they never really have time off, a sure way to disrupt work-life balance. Understanding that today’s workplace demands a degree of accessibility, how can you rework your culture to protect your employees’ personal time?
2.) Create a formal flexibility plan
Nearly 7 out of 10 HR leaders use workplace flexibility programs as a recruiting and retention tool. If you want to offer employees the opportunity to work from home, develop a formal plan to ensure time spent working won’t cross into personal time. You will want to clearly define the number of hours you expect employees to work in the office, and at home.
3.) Offer career transition services
The recession may be behind us, but job uncertainty remains in the forefront of people’s minds. Job candidates are more likely to choose companies that offer outplacement services. The Workforce Trends report cited 71% of jobseekers said they were likely to choose a company that offers career coaching and transition services for laid-off employees. This benefit was even ranked in importance above health and wellness benefits, tuition reimbursements and volunteer opportunities.
If you want to stand out as a top employer, show candidates you care about their career; if the job you offer proves to be a bad fit, it shows you’ll help them take their next career step.
4.) Fitness and Wellness Programs
Make it easier for employees to achieve fitness goals, either at or nearby the workplace. Long before it became popular to offer wellness programs, Progressive Insurance developed a reputation for caring about their employees’ wellness. Consider programs that make it easy for employees to work out when it works best for them.
According to the Workplace Trends survey, companies are investing more in work flexibility programs in 2015. Last year, of the companies that knew how much they invested in their work-life benefits programs, 60% spent under $20,000, while 29% spent more than $40,000. The companies that spent more than $40,000 are seeing the benefits:
- Improved employee satisfaction (87%)
- Increased productivity (71%)
- Retained current talent (65%)
It takes time to change the culture of an organization to support work-life balance. Employers who show they care about their most important assets, their employees, will win the battle for talent in the long-term.