The start of a new year can be a great time to reengage employees and find fresh ways to increase enthusiasm and an appetite to do good work. This could involve revisiting your company procedures and HR best practice.

These include some quick wins, like offering flexible working for parents, which are easy to implement to improve employee engagement across your business.

Here are our top tips for reinvigorating your workplace in 2019.

  1. Your physical workspace

Are your employees working as effectively as they could? By thinking about the physical working space, you can bring people together and help them to collaborate more easily. For example, is it hard to get a meeting room booked? Could you involve external flexible working spaces? Or would you benefit from more break out areas internally, by simply adding a few sofas or reconfiguring your office furniture?

If space is a premium, this could also be a good time to encourage working from home to boost wellness, reduce stress for those with long commutes and to save money on desk space.

  1. Professional development

Do you encourage structured professional development at work? When you offer employees the chance to improve and enhance existing skills, you’re showing that you’re invested in their careers. And we know this boosts employee engagement. In addition, if you make space for employees to pursue external interests, this can also have a positive effect on their work.

You can introduce non-work related classes to broaden the horizons of employees. You can ask employees to choose and vote for their favourite idea. We’ve heard of ideas as varied as a comedy class, origami lessons or life drawing.

  1. Employee rewards

Do you recognise employee achievements in the workplace? Employee recognition schemes can do wonders to encourage discretionary effort. Small treats such as monthly gift cards for exceptional performance are a simple yet effective way of showing you’re noticing your employees’ achievements. Christmas bonus vouchers are another way of showing you are a caring employer.

  1. Employee benefits

Does your business offer any enticing employee benefits? It’s well known that these can attract new staff to a company, but they can also go a long way to retaining staff as well. Here are some novel ideas beyond the usual company pension scheme:

  • Half-day Fridays
  • Birthdays given as annual leave
  • Increase holiday by 1 day for every year served
  • Summer staff parties such as a mini-festival
  • Flexible working for parents – we believe flexible working is bigger than an employee benefit – it should be a right, so we’ve added it as a point in its own right, below.
  1. Corporate Social Responsibility

Do you encourage staff to do charity work? Most companies have a robust corporate social responsibility programme, and these aren’t just for large corporates these days. You could offer a charity lottery, whereby an employee can win money for a chosen charity every quarter or six months.

You could match an employee’s fundraising efforts or allocate time off for employees to do charity work. All of this builds good staff relationships and provides a wider focus for people to think about.

  1. Flexible working options

Does your company offer flexible working for parents? This could be a matter of offering staggered hours or compressed hours to employees or reduced hours such as a four-day working week. Some companies have started rolling out a four-day working week for all employees, not just parents. This seems like a fairer option and is often easier to manage than you think.

Flexible working has lots of benefits for the company, including reduced absenteeism, lower stress levels and greater productivity to name a few.

Flexible working for parents isn’t just aimed at working mums, either. Many dads like to do the school run once or twice a week if they can. It helps them to feel in touch with their children , their friends and the school generally. If you can be a flexible employer who allows working dads to come in later once or twice a week, you’ll reap the benefits.

Retain staff to fulfil business targets

The bottom line is, staff vacancies are high just now. Employers are finding it harder than ever to get great talent, so the more you can do to retain the people you have, the better it is for business.

If you’re in a position where you need to attract new staff, please talk to our flexible recruitment agency. We know that flexible working for parents is highly in demand and if you offer it, you can attract higher volumes of quality candidates.

Flexibility can help you open up the employment pool to a wider audience and you’ll be more likely to fill your vacancy successfully. Talk to Jane O’Gorman at Ten2Two today (email: Jane@Ten2Two.org).

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