What makes happy employees?

Written by Vicki Bauer, Content Marketing Manager

Forbes has released their list of top mid-size and large companies for 2024. The named companies spanned a vast array of industries – everything from finance to hospitality and education. As I reviewed the list of US-based companies, it got me thinking about what basic principles could be applied globally when it comes to retaining talent. And perhaps equally important, retaining happy talent.

3 global practices for retaining happy employees

  1. Provide flexibility in the workforce
    This is arguably the biggest, near universal outcry from employees post-pandemic. This crisis demonstrated that for many roles, it was possible for work to be done effectively outside of five days in a physical building. In most cases, that savings of both money and time spent not commuting every single day equated to more money in their pockets and less time away from their families. Even if the current arrangement does dictate that a certain percentage of time be spent in an office, be intentional about when that happens to maximise productivity and collaboration. And, of course, remain flexible to the demands of personal life such as caregiver requirements, medical appointments, or school functions.
  2. Emphasise employee well-being
    Gone are the days of checking your personal life at the door. Many companies are encouraging employees to show up as their whole, authentic selves. And while there are still some boundaries that need to be set, employees are demanding that organisations view them as actual human beings, not simply robots who are programmed to turn on and off at will.With only about a quarter of respondents to a Statista survey stating that their organisation organization cared about their wellbeing, these numbers are approaching a 13-year low. What are some ways to combat this trend and prioritise employee wellbeing? Affordable healthcare options, access to mental health resources, family leave, gym membership subscription coverage, and even pet insurance are some of the things in high demand. Talk to your employees and find out what’s most important to them, and then take action.
  3. Help employees find purpose in their work
    Some organisations are naturally built to do this – namely non-profits and healthcare groups who can see the fruits of their labour on a daily basis. Seeing patients recover from injuries or illness or conducting research to improve or extend the lives of those living with different ailments is life-changing work in which those involved can be proud to partake.Even if your company’s mission appears less impactful, you as a company can still provide an outlet for employees by being a good corporate citizen. Donate to deserving organisations, provide paid time off for employees to volunteer for causes that are important to them, or simply encourage them to use their time and talents for good.

Prioritise your people

The companies who earned a spot on these lists each have their own philosophies that earned the respect of both current and former employees as well as those familiar with their businesses. The main takeaway is that the basic principles of caring for your people remain, and the chorus demanding it has seemingly grown louder over the past few years.

While the global pandemic wreaked havoc on our lives in numerous ways, it also allowed many to reevaluate their priorities. This includes how and where they spend their time, a large amount of which is dedicated to their job each week. To combat those dreaded trends of turnover and employee burnout, put the employee at the heart of every organisational decision you make. And who knows, maybe next year you’ll see your company name in lights – or at least in print – on the Forbes Best Employers list.

Hiring for cultural fit

What you need to know to get started

Organisations are increasingly turning to the concept of “culture fit” for successful recruiting and hiring. Ensuring that new hires have values and beliefs that align with those of the existing organisational culture can be even more important than skills, qualifications, and experience when it comes to successful hiring decisions.

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