Many of today’s workforce says they are overworked and underpaid. According to the American Psychological Association Center for Organizational Excellence, 49% of workers say they are undervalued.
Are people an important asset in most companies? In today’s politically correct environment, most companies have written principles touting their workforce, and the individuals comprising it, as their most important asset, right up there with customers. Company belief systems can best be evaluated by looking at a company’s actions. We all know – actions speak louder than words.
There are four keys areas that help objectively demonstrate how a company values the individuals they hire. Many individuals seek, freedom and meaning in their work, and these four principles factor heavily in a sense of freedom and purpose.
One : Movement
The days of “straight ahead” career paths as the sole approach are behind us. As a company moves, each individual has a role to play. Both are vital to a dynamic business environment. Organizations that encourage interesting and scene changing movement provide a healthy environment for individual growth and self-development. Raises and promotions should continue to be available based upon performance of the company and individual.
Two : Learning
Multiple careers are the reality of the 21st century. Work environments that “keep it fresh” are valued. Frequently monitor how staff are growing and developing. Offer opportunities for non-traditional learning outside normal training and development. An example is, sabbatical days, weeks or months. Publicize opportunities for advancement while celebrating examples of individuals who have advanced within the company because of their willingness to learn.
Three : Well Being
An investment in staff well-being is an investment in the company. Health and wellness programs are more popular than ever and can be utilized by companies of all sizes. Bigger is not necessarily better. Be creative. Take a first step by introducing healthier snacks for the staff room and help everyone stay fit by supporting a discounted gym membership. Wellness days can be affordable and fun. Many suppliers of wellness services are anxious to partner with like-minded companies to achieve their mission, healthier people. Introducing a coordinated, comprehensive program that entails assessment, coaching and education, and even incentive programs are a great way to boost the entire office.
Four : Flexibility
There are two important considerations when it comes to flexibility in the workplace, time and work styles. Make sure to utilize a practical and efficient approach to work hours and scheduling. The more challenging goal is to embrace work style diversity. This means being aware of, and open to, differences in learning, thinking and processing styles. This kind of attention to differences and strengths is appreciated by individuals while providing a competitive advantage. Diversity of style results in more creativity, better outcomes, and stronger organizations.
Every organization, size aside, can focus on movement, learning, well-being, and flexibility. Those that do will find the workplace more pleasant, fulfilling, productive and profitable.
Better Not Bigger: Four Signs a Company “Cares” © Change Create Transform 2015