Employee Experience

5 elements to being the best place to work

August 11, 2022

RESOURCES 5 elements to being the best place to work

Employee expectations have shifted over the past few years, empowering hourly workers to demand better working conditions. When those demands are not met, people are leaving for companies that will fit those needs. This has resulted in a new dynamic where employees now have the upper hand.

For companies who already have a reputation as an Employer of Choice, it may feel more difficult to navigate how to maintain that status due to this shift. What once ensured employee satisfaction may not be effective anymore, and identifying what organizational changes need to be made to remain competitive and keep, or even surpass this reputation could be a heavy lift without the right tools.

Here are 5 elements essential to raising the bar as an Employer of Choice:

1. Collecting and actioning on employee feedback

If you’re already considered an Employer of Choice, it’s likely you use some method to gather feedback from your hourly workforce that helps guide your decisions. However, collecting these sentiments is more essential than ever, and all feedback is not equal.

There are several critical points to consider:

  • How frequently are you checking in with hourly workers and does it allow you to gain real-time feedback across key employee milestones?
  • Do you provide any opportunity for employees who engage to leave comments rather than just answering multiple choice questions?
  • Can you respond directly to feedback coming in?
  • How easily are you able to share these insights with leaders across your organization?
  • Do you have the ability to measure the success of actions taken based on this feedback and tie it to outcomes?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’ it may be a good time to reassess how you’re engaging with your hourly workers. Making adjustments to this approach may be the key to amplifying your Employer of Choice status to set you apart from the competition.

2. Giving employees appropriate recognition

Naturally, every employee wants to feel valued and appreciated by their employer, but it’s easy for hourly employees to be overlooked.

By implementing an engagement tool and acting on feedback, employees feel heard and therefore valued. But it doesn’t stop there.

Developing recognition programs can go a long way to help employees feel appreciated. Recognizing individual accomplishments is important, but it also helps to recognize and award team achievements. This can help build stronger teamwork and workplace bonds.

Employers also want to be mindful of the increased workload and overtime that may be expected of their workforce with increases in staffing shortages. Not only does this diminish morale, it also leads to burnout and oftentimes motivates employees to leave their position.

The focus on a work-life balance is growing, and workers are flocking to jobs that can offer that. Being a company that is known for facilitating a healthy balance can help keep you top of mind as an Employer of Choice.

3. Demonstrating transparency in the workplace

The best way to help employees feel they are an integral part of the company is by being transparent with them.

Hourly workers will feel they are considered just as important as those in leadership roles if the company remains open about:

  • The state of the company
  • What is happening in the marketplace and how that is affecting the company and their jobs
  • Outcomes from gathering feedback, both positive and negative
  • Changes being made based on employee feedback

The last two are especially important to let hourly workers know that their input is making a difference and the company cares about their well-being. When employees feel their company truly cares about them as a person, not just an employee, it develops loyalty and improves your reputation as an employer. The more employees talk positively about their employer outside of work, the more it will help position you as the best company to work for.

4. Providing career pathing opportunities

WorkStep conducts quarterly research to show the top drivers of hourly worker turnover, and every quarter we’ve seen lack of career growth as the number one reason. In order to remain competitive in the market and continue to secure and surpass that Employer of Choice status, companies must provide clear career growth opportunities.

This means holding regular planning meetings to discuss how the organization can facilitate advancement. This may include role shadowing opportunities, or education support – helping both financially and by being flexible with scheduling.

The best way to find how to support individual hourly workers in their pursuit of advancement is to include career planning conversations in one-on-one manager meetings. When leadership is initiating the conversation, it allows the employer to feel more comfortable admitting they would like to explore other options within the company. This also reinforces the idea that their happiness and well-being is important.

5. Building an authentic workplace culture

Building an authentic workplace culture is congruous with building trust with leadership. Companies that create an identity of authenticity eliminate any doubt with their employees and customers.

Employees feel safe when they feel leaders are making sound business decisions and that the work being done is purposeful. This idea ties back to organizations being transparent in their decision making, and helps employees feel secure and confident about the company.

Retaining your workforce amidst market changes

As the market evolves, companies need to look at what their long-term strategy is for maintaining high retention rates.

A decade ago, many organizations created internal solutions or pieced together several third party solutions for employee engagement. Then the pandemic hit and the world changed, leaving companies in dire situations.

Partnering with a company whose sole focus is to stay ahead of market changes and provide intelligent solutions for workforce retention is like having retention insurance.

WorkStep RETAIN isn’t just an engagement platform for fixing retention, we’re a technology and data company that allows you to have the best of the market over time, because that is our core focus. This way you don’t have to worry about building a system, or making vendor changes as the market evolves. WorkStep RETAIN does that all for you.

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Kristina Finn

Kristina Finn, Content Marketing Manager | kristina@workstep.com