As hybrid and remote working continue to rise in popularity, a healthy workplace culture is more important than ever, says Amanda Childs.
When establishing a harmonious environment, business leaders should focus on building a magnetic workplace and drive sustainable business growth to retain staff, enabling them to produce the best results possible.
The magnetic workplace is the re-imagination of the office as more than just a physical space, but as a place that values individuals and helps them achieve their maximum potential. In effect, it is a place where employees are drawn to, and where they feel they can do their best work. Build this, and employees will feel supported and satisfied, which improves worker retention and skills development.
The following steps are the catalysts needed to achieve a magnetic workplace.
The implementation of digital collaboration tools not only enables more flexible and remote work, but also helps to break down information silos within companies, leading to better teamwork and productivity.
Such tools are not just limited to ubiquitous apps such as Teams or Slack. They also include managed public cloud solutions that allow companies to monitor, manage and develop their cloud services as they go, accessing data and applications from any approved location.
Further, security orchestration, automation and response tools enable companies to define incident analysis and response procedures in a digital workflow format.
The result is a workplace where employees have greater clarity on what is happening at all times. Workers have the autonomy to work in a way that suits them, and the added transparency brought by such tools reduces the chances of conflicts or breakdowns in communication.
These tools have enabled companies to make significant leaps in productivity, which is why a culture that fosters new tech adoption is a key feature of the magnetic workplace.
Flexible working hours and models
By enabling more flexibility through remote or hybrid work models, companies can create the necessary environment for higher productivity, as workers have more say in choosing when and how they produce their best work. These models also give companies access to more diverse talent, as they are not bound by traditional working norms that expect everyone to be always in the office.
Furthermore, with the introduction of flexible working models, employees no longer need to travel to the office as often, reducing their commuting emissions when using cars and public transport. This is an important consideration for a growing proportion of the workforce, with a third of Generation Z workers having rejected a job offer because of an organisation’s poor green credentials. Listen to these needs, and a truly magnetic workplace can be built.
Accessible opportunities for professional development
The advent of more sophisticated technology is driving the need for more digital literacy among workers, as well as the development of soft skills. Employees should feel that development opportunities are fully available to them in order to remain comfortable and motivated in their roles.
Most employees are actively looking for companies that foster upskilling and career growth, and companies that can meet these demands will see their retention improve. The benefits are mutual: firms may reap the benefits of a workforce that are capable of harnessing the power of sophisticated new technologies and adapting to any business challenge.
Managers are integral to this process, serving as the linchpins of employee satisfaction. Strong employee-manager relationships lead to stronger teamwork, improved culture, greater feelings of freedom and autonomy, and a healthier working environment overall.
Furthermore, employees in the early stages of their career should have mentoring and coaching opportunities arranged with more experienced colleagues, as hybrid working can cause isolation due to fewer opportunities for spontaneous collaboration within the office.
Adapt to succeed
It is important embrace continuous upskilling and reskilling. Continued professional development is essential and every employee will now need new skills to enable them to
adapt to the changing workplace. Leadership will be under new pressures as the workforce changes, so being proactive with learning will be a keyway to unlock business and personal performance.
Commitment to workforce diversity and wellbeing
Employees increasingly want to work with companies that share their values and care about their wellbeing. Companies that embrace different cultures and a duty of care for their people will see increased retention levels. The increased global spotlight on issues of race and gender has raised diversity and inclusion to the top of the agenda. Technology can help firms bolster their diversity and inclusion initiatives, but internal values are foundational to ensuring a magnetic workplace becomes a reality.
Why now is the time to magnetise the workplace
Organisations are struggling to attract and retain talent, so the time to make positive changes is now. Leaders have to consider how to establish and cultivate a culture that gives workers flexibility, keeps them happy and makes them want to stay long-term, as well as tackle issues of diversity, inclusion and gender equality. Prospective employees are much more discerning now than they once were: build a magnetic workplace, and you will be able to continue attracting the best talent for years to come.
By Amanda Childs, Group HR Director at Kyocera Document Solutions (UK).