(This is the fifth in a monthly series about Corporate Health, where we examine different methods and ideas for improving efficiency, your company culture, and employee morale.)
It wasn’t until the mid-1980’s that the idea of corporate culture, the set of shared values and beliefs within a business which represent the company vision, even became corporate terminology. Before that, the idea of a job bringing any level of enjoyment or comfort to the employee was fairly rare. But as this new way of thinking grew, companies began to realize that to obtain and retain the types of employees they wanted to embody their corporate culture, they needed to offer a better experience.
The days of an employee staying with a company for decades, or even their entire career, are over. Generation X and Millennials have decided if they are going to spend nearly a quarter of their lives working, it needs to be with an employer who values their contributions and makes an effort to improve their lives as they improve the company. Enterprising organizations have met this challenge by building positive employee experiences through better and more transparent communication, programs designed to improve employee engagement, and unique perks which offer benefits beyond the norm for their staffs. For instance:
- Offering learning and development programs, or paying for continued education or professional certifications. This creates leaders within the company who are prepared to step up as older executives move on or retire.
- Developing health and wellness programs beyond the requisite health insurance offerings. Business Insider reports 40% of employees describe their jobs as “very or extremely stressful,” and nearly half of Americans say they have gained weight at their current job. In response, companies are implementing weight loss and stress reduction programs, installing gyms and holding yoga classes on-site for easy access.
- Understanding that life can’t always accommodate an 8:00 am to 5:00 pm job. Flexible schedules and working remotely are becoming popular corporate offerings to help employees fit appointments, sick children, and other needs into their schedule.
- Providing for employees in exchange for going above and beyond, such as free meals and transportation for individuals putting in long hours, and unlimited vacation time so employees can take time off after long projects without worrying about accrual.
Naturally, some corporate culture programs come at a price. But businesses that meet the challenge of improving their employee’s work experience reap financial benefits that outweigh the costs the programs incur. Happier, engaged employees mean lower turnover, providing significant savings in hiring and training costs. These employees also provide better customer service, in turn increasing sales and company profits. Even small changes can bring about great results!