Most people dedicate more time per day to their work than they do to any other aspect of their lives. They crave careers with companies that value and listen to them, take care of them, and consider them to be a crucial influencer and contributor to the organization’s success.
The more engaged employees are at work, the more likely the company is to hit target goals, gain happier clients, and retain all-star employees. Why, then, are only 33% of U.S. employees engaged at work? Compare that to the 70% of engaged employees at top organizations around the world and it’s no wonder the marketplace for attracting great talent is so competitive.
What does it mean to have engaged employees? The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) states that “employee engagement relates to the level of an employee's commitment and connection to an organization”. In other words, the more an employer connects with its employees, the more loyalty the employees demonstrate towards their employer.
How can employers attract top talent by engaging their current workforce?
Offer employees a comprehensive benefits package that exceeds basic human needs. Salary, health insurance, retirement plans, vacation time… these are standard terms that most employers provide. The best places to work go even further by providing employees with top-notch benefits packages and offer many benefits to employees’ dependents.
Aside from the usual benefits, employers should consider adding not-so-normal perks to the menu. They’ll better engage current employees, which, in turn, will make the organization more appealing to the talent they eventually want to attract. One suggestion? Make flexibility a key component of company culture.
Consider expanding the company vacation policy and transition from a traditional PTO schedule to an unlimited vacation policy. We introduced an unlimited PTO policy to our own employees at Peerfit a few years back. Our policy is simple: take as many days as you need, as long as your work is not affected. Employees are empowered to maintain ownership over their work schedules while also having the opportunity to refresh and recharge as needed, returning back to work fully engaged. SHRM offers advice on leveraging unlimited PTO as a retention tool and realizing when and how to make the switch.
Attract through fitness.
Many employers offer fitness options as a benefit to their employees in an effort to reduce insurance claims. More often than not, the employer provides a subsidized gym membership to employees at one specific fitness facility… of the employer’s choosing. They tell employees, “Here’s a gym membership to XYZ Facility. Now go forth and be fit!” In theory, this is great. In reality, 75% of wellness program participants believe customization in fitness is crucial to program success. With a flexible fitness option like Peerfit, employees are able to take fitness classes whenever, wherever, and however they want. The key here is choice. Group fitness engages your employees by giving them access to fitness variety, a support group, and encouraged accountability.
Another way engagement influences top employees is through giving them the ability to work remotely. Tony Delmercado, COO of Hawke Media, proclaims that “top performers actually love to work, and they don’t measure success by how many hours they clock”. People don’t become ‘top talent’ simply because they’re good at what they do. The top talent descriptive is reserved for those employees that are dedicated to their work and pride themselves on their ability to exceed expectations. They will finish their work, so empower them with the ability to work autonomously.
Hiring people is easy; hiring the best people is an entirely different ball game. Before you’re ready to bring new talent into the organization, evaluate the internal state of the company. Ask yourself… Do employees enjoy working here? Are they engaged with the company? Would they recommend our organization to friends and family as a top place to work?
If the answers aren’t “YES!”, identify the areas that need to improve, get your hands dirty, and make a change.