Over the past several years, employees have become much more vocal about their workplace priorities, and workplace flexibility continues to remain at the top of the list. Especially since the onset of the pandemic, more employees want the option to work remotely. This presents a challenge for companies focused on attracting and retaining top talent, as there are many compelling reasons to bring employees together within an office environment — your company culture may depend on this kind of regular, in-person interaction.
How do you properly make a case for employees heading back into the office given the unique and flexible working climate we’re currently in? Organizations must appeal to employee values in innovative, engaging ways, and we’ve gathered up a list of companies that have gone the extra mile to commit to workplace happiness and employee well-being.
PetSmart & Purina: It’s a Dog’s Life
Retailers know the best way to attract customers is through employees’ enthusiasm for the brand and the business. At PetSmart’s headquarters, the organization encourages team members to bring their dogs to work, creating an extra-friendly and personal employee work environment. Purina PetCare does the same.
According to a joint survey completed by Purina and Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015, benefits to employees include less loneliness, higher morale, reduced blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, increased productivity, and more physical activity throughout the day.
While there are a handful of other companies that have adopted the same “bring your pet to work” policy — like Amazon, Bissell and Google — most companies have not yet added this to their list of perks. Considering a similar policy for your organization, even if it’s one day a week, might be a major selling point to potential new employees.
What Do Advanced Medical, MillerCoors, and DPR Construction Have in Common?
Sometimes, relaxing and socializing with other employees is the best way to bring stress levels down. That’s why a few companies, including Advanced Medical, MillerCoors, and DPR Construction, have made it easy to enjoy a refreshing beverage with team members.
Advanced Medical has an exceptionally popular “beer cart Friday” tradition, which permits every employee an opportunity to enjoy a pint with their peers. MillerCoors is even more passionate about beer, so the company added on-site pubs at many locations. DPR Construction took the same idea and tweaked it, building an on-site wine bar that is free to employees.
The deliberate design of social areas makes in-person connections a centerpiece of the employee work environment, which has proven to be a highly effective technique for building a culture of engagement.
Taking Wellness to the Next Level at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Steelcase
Most companies have wellness programs that include offerings like like discounted gym memberships and access to mental health services through an employee assistance program. Because many consider these benefits the bare minimum, they no longer generate enthusiasm.
However, some companies have taken wellness offerings one step further. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, for example, has supersized their on-site wellness offerings to include yoga classes and weekly massages at the office in addition to free, organic lunches prepared daily by an expert chef.
Steelcase also offers on-site massages and has registered nurses on-site to keep employees safe and healthy on the job. In addition, they offer employees a “healthier at home” ingredient station in the cafeteria, where employees can gather fresh produce and ingredients to make a fast and nutritious home meal rather than depending on takeout and drive-thru options.
Getting Started with Employee Work Environment Innovation
Creating an exceptional employee work environment requires resources, but you can look forward to a solid return on your investment. A strong employer brand, which is built upon company values and its actions to promote those values, is a leading attractor for top talent. An engaged workforce experiences lower levels of turnover, higher productivity, and increased retention, which ultimately boosts bottom-line results.
If you are eager to transform your workplace but short on ideas, consider what your organization does best. Offer on-site access to your own products and services or those that complement your core product line. Or, better yet, survey your employees directly to better understand their wishes and what programs and offerings may be feasible to carry out.
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