The workplace is constantly evolving. In this day and age, there are a number of factors that most industry leaders would agree affect a potential new employee’s decision to come onboard with a company. Surprisingly, competitive salaries and benefits aren’t always at the top of the list. We’re at a point where employees are seeking one thing above all else in their job hunt—a happy, healthy, and productive work environment.

With the rise of the health and wellness industry, more and more people are recognizing the need for work/life balance and stress management. Workplaces that overlook these essential factors will very often find themselves at the bottom of a candidate’s job search list. Gone are the days when companies could get away with over-working their employees. In this bright new future, positive work environments that are fun, innovative, and a breath of fresh air are taking the lead in most industries across the board.

To ensure that your company stays ahead of the competition and attracts top-quality candidates interested in this kind of working environment, here are 4 things that you can do:

 

  1. Build Community and Trust

According to 90% of workers, the most valued attributes in workplace relationships are honesty, trust, and fairness. It’s no surprise that the workplace is very often an environment where employees build close friendships with one another, creating something of a family. As such, it’s important to nurture and grow those relationships.

How to accomplish this: team-building exercises are a great way to foster trust among employees. Lunch-and-learn seminars can also nurture a sense of community. One simple way to build community, however, is to encourage personal connections by starting meetings with a ‘Take 5’, where team members spend the first 5 minutes to chat about their personal and professional lives.

 

  1. Offer Development Opportunities

Only 39% of employees feel there are sufficient internal career opportunities in the workplace. Studies show, however, that promoting staff to senior roles from within the company provides benefits such as reducing turnover and increasing productivity. That said, offering development opportunities to employees can mean a great thing for companies.

How to get started: There are any number of ways that companies can begin to develop its employees professionally. On-the-job training is very popular within many industries. Reimbursing employees for continued education and training is also on the rise presently, while establishing a graduate scheme for fast-track promising alumni is gaining some ground. Other methods include adopting a mentorship program and creating opportunities for employees to connect and network.

 

  1. Recognise Success

It’s been reported that only 24% of employees are satisfied with the level of recognition that they receive at work. As social creatures, human beings thrive on validation. Employees want to know that they are seen, heard, and valued in the workplace. This helps them to feel fulfilled and satisfied about the work that they’re doing. In the absence of recognition, however, they can become discontent about their work and angry that their efforts seem to go unnoticed by management.

How to solve this: There are many forms of recognition. While cash and gift certificates certainly count, 70% of employees say that meaningful recognition has no dollar value. Awards, status-based recognition, food, or company merchandise can be just as effective. Further, these types of motivation often make for more engaging and productive environments, where employees have fun trying to accomplish certain goals.

 

  1. Be Flexible

While many companies still operate on the 9-5 business model, it certainly isn’t the be-all/end-all of working hours. Considering 1 in 4 employees experience high levels of conflict between work and family life, many companies have begun to offer flexibility in the workplace.

How to achieve this: First, consider offering flexible working hours to employees, allowing them to set their own schedule. This enables them to accommodate other obligations in their life while additionally offering them the opportunity to work during hours when they personally are most productive. Thanks to modern technology, many companies even now allow employees to work remotely from a home office. This makes for happier and healthier employees and an overall positive work environment. Speak with your employees to see which flexible work practice may best meet their needs.

 

We can all agree that employees are the heart of any company, and so it is essential that management discover new ways to keep employees engaged with their work and more productive than ever. Creating a fun, meaningful, and positive working environment is one way to achieve just that, and with the methods above, you’ll easily ensure your employees are committed to the company and fired up to do their best work.