As a business community, the last 2 years have seen one of the tightest labour/talent markets ever known.
Now with a recession predicted, the labour market may soften a little for some sectors. However, it’s also predicted that by 2048, our workforce will shrink by 25% due to our aging population.
With this in mind, there has never been a better time to invest in retaining your best talent so that you can maintain a competitive edge and strong market share.
What exactly are candidates looking for, and what does a great workplace look like today? Keep reading to hear our insights and tips for fostering a positive team culture and environment.
Fostering a great work environment:
Recently our Co-Founder, Alice Moore, attended a forum on “being a great place to work”, alongside leading Kiwi businesses such as the University of Canterbury and Air New Zealand.
Here are the key ideas that came out of this discussion.
Focus on fundamentals before the “cherry-on-top” perks
Gone are the days when a token fruit bowl or team yoga classes were enough to tick the box for a great workplace culture. Before you add in perks, know that what people really want are solid processes and ways of working that reduce ambiguity and decision fatigue. Great teams also want to see their organisations investing in technology to reduce time spent on mundane tasks, implementing stress-reduction techniques or providing the space for colleague-to-colleague recognition. For us at Mint, after 2 years of delays, we’re finally making updates to our project management software a priority in our 90-day plan.
Employees will sacrifice pay for meaningful work
An effective way to boost employee morale is by reminding and relaying the importance of the work they are doing. For example, here at Mint, our joint vision is to use digital marketing to help Kiwi businesses grow. Our team understand and carry a sense of pride knowing that their work positively impacts our local business community.
Flexible working is here to stay
Flexibility at work is a priority for professionals and is very much here to stay, despite a reduced focus on Covid-19. This doesn’t just mean the occasional work-from-home day, but structuring and setting the standard for flexible working. Here at Mint, we welcome our team to work from home two days a week, with no questions asked. We ask that everyone is in the office on a Friday so that we can get the whole team together regularly. We find this structure in helps our employees manage their schedules and achieve a greater work-life balance.
During turbulent times, it's normal for employees to feel uneasy about their position. Potential candidates may be less likely to ‘jump ship’ meaning it's more challenging to attract star talent. On the other hand, your top employees may be receiving very appealing offers from other companies. This is where those extra perks and company culture will be essential to the attraction and retention of A-player employees.
How does Mint foster a great workplace culture?
Here at Mint, we have invested a lot of time and energy into fostering a positive workplace and we are proudly rated in the top 4% of employers globally.
We base our workplace and employee experience on the following pillars:
- Stress management
- Building a richer life
- Pay and benefits
- Feel the vision
- Freedom to fail
The policies and practices we implement are centred around these pillars and help us to continue creating a positive work environment. A few of the specific ways we do this include:
- Library hours: between 9:30-11:30am we have set ‘library hours’ in the office. This helps with productivity and provides a quiet place for the team to really focus.
- Freedom to fail: Here at Mint everyone has the freedom and safety net to make mistakes. We recognise failure as a critical component of learning.
- Minty of the month: During our monthly team meetings, the team has the opportunity to nominate and celebrate the success of their colleagues. We crown four ‘Minties’ each month and each winner has the chance to win from our wider prize pool
- Friday hangouts: Friday is the one day of the week we require everyone to be in the office so that we can spend the afternoon catching up with each other.
- Monthly socials: We have a generous social budget and each month, we finish work a couple of hours early to do something together as a team. It could be related to professional development, or just for fun.
These everyday things we implement help foster a positive workplace where people want to show up and feel rewarded for their work, and this doesn't just mean being financially rewarded.
We hope this has provided you with some food for thought when it comes to attracting potential candidates but also retaining your talent. Understanding the needs and wants of employees is fundamental in creating a workplace where people feel rewarded both financially but also in terms of the work they produce and the relationships they establish. Amidst a challenging labour market, it is important to ensure your team feel supported and derives meaning from their work.