11 Ways to Attract Top Talent (and Keep Them!) in 2019
While the connection between engagement and performance are well established - one of the most neglected areas of business management is employee satisfaction.
This is often because businesses tend to focus on other areas that can be improved, rather than what can be done for workers to make them happier in their role. Apart from having the benefits of boosting their performance and helping to retain talent, it also has benefits in helping to attract top talent too.
This is where employee wellness programs come into play. These programs can sometimes, and often are, seen as something that is nice to have, but not a necessity - especially when there are still so many other areas in the business that can be improved. This is a dangerous line of thinking, as this often leads to businesses and management leaving it to the point where all their top talent are leaving!
So what are 10 ways that you can attract & retain top talent?
1. Ask what they need!
Rather than assuming that one size fits all, a good way to begin tailoring an employee wellness program is to ask what your employees need. By creating an open dialogue with your employees, you can start to understand what would create a better working environment for these people. Whether it’s having healthier eating options, fitness programs, programs to manage mental health or even more team-building activities - you can identify what is most important to your workers by asking them.
2. Provide healthy office snacks
We’re an increasingly snacking culture - with 91% of people reporting snacking multiple times a day. Unfortunately, most workplaces offer cheap or unhealthy eating options.
Vending machines that are chock full of chocolate, chips, lollies and soft drinks. Items that are full of chemicals, sugars and fats that contribute to feelings of lethargy and sugar crashes. Not only do these temporarily derail employee productivity, but it can also have negative long-term health impacts.
So rather than leading your employees down a slippery slope with a vending machine, or having them waste time walking out to a supermarket - you can order snack food subscriptions that can deliver healthy, premium options for your workplace. These will give a healthy energy boost to your workers when they need it most, and also contribute to long term health.
3. Get your team on their feet
Being sedentary is just as dangerous as obesity. In a recent study, lack of exercise accounts for almost twice the amount of deaths as obesity does amongst European males. Scary, right? And it’s even scarier knowing that sedentary lifestyles are still dangerous even given intermittent exercise.
One way to counter this is to offer standing desks. Given that your workers are probably spending up to 8 hours a day sitting at a desk, offer them a choice to help them get into good shape.
4. Practice Gratitude
Wellbeing isn’t just about physical health, but also mental health! The daily practice of gratitude has been found to ease depression, help with sleep, better eating and much more!
How can you practice gratitude? Creating a shared document where your coworkers can share one thing that they’re grateful for each day, and reflecting on it at the end of the month can be a healthy challenge to set for your workers.
5. Furry friends
Increased productivity, lowered stress, more collaboration, and some extra smiles and cuddles. This is the natural effect that your cute office pets can have on your workers.
A study conducted by a Michigan University found that the presence of even a single pet was able to increase collaboration.
While having one hundred dogs running wild isn’t feasible (and can be a little distracting!), you should consider letting some sort of pet in the office, even if it's just a fish aquarium.
6. Create a quiet space within your office
If you have the capacity to do so, creating a quiet place where people can rest, meditate, read, nap or just relax can help to boost mood, energy and collaboration levels.
This space should allow plenty of natural light, have comfortable seating like bean bags, pillows, blankets, plants, equipment or space for stretching and even yoga mats!
7. Free yoga & fitness
While not all businesses can have gyms in the office building, creating incentives to participate in health and fitness programs will help your workers to manage their physical and mental health. Not all workers have the time or resources to be able to keep up with a regular fitness routine - so giving them a leg up in that department will not only keep the healthy but help with better sleep and immune function too!
8. Host a mental health workshop
It is helpful to bring in a mental health expert to create an open dialogue about these issues and how it can affect a person, how we can help each other, and how a person might be able to manage it better.
Foster support within your workplace by being open to talking about problems that are most likely affecting at least a handful of your staff!
9. Bring the outdoors inside
Multiple studies have found that the presence of nature indoors can help to improve mood levels, make us more sociable and alert, as well as help to soothe mental illness.
Something as simple as a potted indoor plant can help to lower blood pressure and increase job satisfaction.
10. Hot desks
Whether companies decide to implement this permanently or over a set amount of time, hot desking can help to improve collaboration and communication and help to build professional relationships.
It helps teams to grow closer as they understand each other’s skill sets and responsibilities. It is also beneficial in learning new skills!
11. Get Laughing
They say laughter is the best medicine and has a list of benefits from an improved immune function, better mood, relaxation and longevity.
Whether you decide to do this by inviting comedians for a show in the office, a trivia night, or an improv class - get your team laughing together. It also has the added benefit of building relationships and memories at the same time!
It’s important to remember that wellness isn’t just a program that you can ‘set and forget’. It is something that has to be ingrained into the culture. It has to be a part of your every day, rather than just another program that you’ve created for your employees.
If you can create a workplace culture that fosters mental and physical health and positivity - it will reflect to talent outside of your workplace just what type of company you are. It will project that you are a company that looks after staff and cares about them as more than just workers.