How to win the hearts and minds of workers so they don't ditch you

Here’s why employers need to create a more ‘human’ workplace experience for staff.

By Niamh Graham VP of global HR, Globoforce

AS THE ECONOMY continues to grow and with job opportunities on the rise, businesses need to take extra care of their employees – or risk losing them.

Employers are seeing the dawn of a new era where company well-being starts with worker well-being. Firms need to win the hearts and minds of employees through a more meaningful workplace experience.

Ireland ranks below the global average in positive employee experience levels, according to the latest ‘Employee Experience Index’ report by IBM and Globoforce, a survey of more than 22,000 workers in 43 countries.

So, what can organisations do to provide a more positive employee experience that will ultimately drive stronger company performance?

Fostering a workplace where employees feel appreciated and rewarded for their work and have meaningful relationships with co-workers will help organisations up their game when it comes to employee retention.

With that in mind, here are four reasons Irish workplaces need to create a more ‘human’ experience for employees:

1. Regular feedback is more powerful than the annual review and bonus

The truth is that employees are no longer motivated strictly by money. Studies have shown that while financial rewards are a key driver for employee productivity, it is not the only thing that gets results.

Staff want to work at organisations where they feel appreciated, recognised and can be themselves.

The annual review and once-off bonus will energise an employee for a short period, but its impact will quickly wear off.

Instead, constant engagement with staff through recognition and feedback will lead to sustained levels of commitment from employees throughout the year and will create a more positive workplace experience.

2. Recognition of employees will turn the dial on retention

A high turnover of employees is a major headache for companies and can have a significant impact on a company’s growth.

According to a recent employee regonition report by the Society for Human Resorce Management and Globoforce, almost half of the 740 HR leaders surveyed cited employee retention as their top workforce management challenge – this is the third consecutive year turnover has topped the list.

The workplace in Ireland has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last few years. Today, Irish businesses need to provide positive employee experiences where workers feel inspired to do their best work.

Employees who are recognised and engaged are more committed and less likely to leave.

3. Building a strong brand will attract new staff

Jobseekers are more informed than ever before. It is a natural first step for anyone searching for a new role to read company reviews online, even before speaking with a recruiter.

Transparency is key. What current and former employees say about your workplace culture can have a huge impact on recruitment.

Workplaces where employees feel appreciated and are socially connected to their peers cultivate feelings of goodwill and camaraderie among employees; feelings they make public in how they talk about their job.

[embed id="embed_2"]

4. Happy employees drive business growth

High-performing employees are good for business, but what motivates them to work hard? Giving employees more money and hoping for better results doesn’t always work.

Research shows that monetary incentive alone does not necessarily increase performance. However, it is a feeling of appreciation and ‘connectedness’ that really moves the dial.

With increased performance comes tangible results. InterContinental Hotels Group, a Globoforce customer, found that a 5% rise in employee engagement is the equivalent of 70 cents of increased revenue per available hotel room per night.

This means a 200-bed hotel could make more than €50,000 in additional revenue a year by improving staff engagement.

Social recognition is a proven driver of business growth by allowing business leaders to make significant progress on top-of-mind issues like retention, culture and employee happiness – all while improving the bottom line.

Niamh Graham is vice president of global HR at Globoforce.

Sign up to our newsletter to receive a regular digest of Fora’s top articles delivered to your inbox.