Five Steps to becoming an Employer of Choice

After the upheaval of the pandemic, organisations are increasingly having to focus on new ways of attracting the best talent. In a climate where the best talent has more choice, salary is no longer the deal-breaker it once was.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to create a workplace culture that attracts and retains great people.

Research consistently shows us that happy employees are productive employees, which will ultimately increase the bottom line.

So how do you become an employer of choice? Here are five factors to focus on:

1. The importance of company values and culture

Everyone wants to be treated with respect and, quite rightly, there is increasingly less tolerance of toxic workplace cultures. The right tone set by leaders across an organisation helps attract and retain talent.

Candidates are increasingly looking for evidence of organisations and leaders demonstrating the values through their own actions and behaviours.

The importance of psychological safety – where employees feel comfortable in speaking up – cannot be under-estimated.

Creating this kind of positive culture tends to lead to increased employee engagement and higher productivity. The benefits of having engaged employees include:

  • Increased recruitment and retention rates
  • Increased morale and productivity
  • Reduced absence through mental illness

2. Focus on relational intelligence

Relational intelligence is the ability to build and maintain relationships – something we all possess to a greater or lesser extent.

It’s a key driver of employee engagement and retention, and subsequently a key factor in the success of any organisation, especially in today’s climate.

The ability to understand, appreciate, and adapt to other people’s behaviour is critical to building and maintaining psychological safety but one of the biggest challenges is differing perspectives and perceptions, which can lead to tension and conflict.

By giving everyone some basic knowledge – often simply explaining the concept and how to articulate it – and a common language, we give ourselves.

3. Hire a Chief Happiness Officer

This might seem like an extreme measure, but think of them like a Welfare Officer for the organisation.

Their role is to ensure values are being upheld and employees are treated as human beings by maintaining an active dialogue about employee satisfaction throughout the organisation, including regular meetings with key leaders, surveys of all employees at every level, and being available for questions from anyone in any department or division who wishes to talk about what’s working well and what isn’t.

You’ll also increase the likelihood that people are engaged, positively building culture and making sure all stakeholders are aligned in achieving it.

4. A laptop and a fruit bowl are not benefits

The best organisations in the world are renowned for offering comprehensive staff benefits such as health insurance, gym membership, maternity/paternity leave and flexible working hours.

Opportunities to learn and develop – contributing to a sense of personal growth – can bolster a package beyond salary and traditional benefits.

Alongside a positive culture, access to mental wellbeing benefits – such as counselling, or team-led training – can attract new employees, especially graduates who are actively looking to promote and protect their mental health.

5. Check your progress

So how can you make sure you’re creating a work culture that appeals to all employees?

Ask them. Really listen to their answers, and don’t just think about their words—ask if they feel heard and valued by the business.

Combining the factors above will foster a positive, supportive environment that nurtures trust among team members, helping to ensure that employees feel comfortable voicing their opinions and concerns without fear of judgment or retaliation from others in the workplace.

Offering flexible and remote working arrangements allows people to balance work life with family life more easily—and remember those who need flexibility because of extenuating circumstances like childcare responsibilities needs by having inclusive policies and expectations.

It’s a job that never ends…

You can’t rest on your laurels; it’s not enough to simply be an employer of choice today. Staying in touch with employees and the market, monitoring and adapting as necessary is critical to maintaining the position.

If you would like to learn how you can connect and engage your organisation, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

Written by: Paul Sykes, Partnerships Director

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