Friday Dec 02, 2022

Building an employee-first culture to attract and retain the best talent – Onrec


It’s impossible to predict the long-term impact of unregulated home working conditions – only that there are clear signs of escalating physical and mental health needs within organisations. It used to be the status and wealth of a company that made a brand attractive to prospective candidates, but now the brand values associated with being employee-first, and caring for your workers is becoming the driving force behind attracting and retaining top talent. In fact, according to an Ergotron survey, 73% of UK workers would choose their next employer based on provision of ergonomic equipment and a healthy working environment.

Amidst the tech skills crisis and rise of the Gen Z tranche of more socially aware UK workers, business leaders, HR pros and hiring managers are scrambling for ideas to support employee engagement, retention and well-being. Creating a flexible health-first workplace culture that uplifts, motivates and empowers employees is essential to business success. But creating and sustaining a vibrant culture when many employees work remotely presents a challenge.

Ergonomics basics

Early on in the recruitment process, even before an interview, conversations focus on what it’s like to work at the company and its culture. Pre-pandemic, comfortable remote working used to be mainly a freelancer’s concern.

In 2022, those companies that actively consider and prioritise their workers’ health and wellbeing stand out from competitors, regardless of size or industry. Comfort is linked to productivity, creativity and innovation and it’s vital that HR managers and hiring managers have policies and practices that promote some ergonomic basics. This will create optimal ways of working that maximise existing worker productivity and attract the best new talent.

Especially when workers are based remotely and at a greater physical distance from managers, they require best practice guidelines and the right equipment to ensure they are working safely and comfortably. Poor working habits can quickly escalate to injuries or long-term health conditions, impacting on staff productivity, staff turnover, brand reputation and more.

Ergonomics basics include ensuring workers adopt a neutral posture, which feels natural and comfortable. This uses less energy and puts minimal stress on the body. Working when standing at a sit-stand desk and standing or moving while working is less tiring than sitting in one place during work hours. It helps workers to feel alert and balanced and improves blood circulation. Rest time is also critical to business performance. Taking quick regular breaks and engaging in light exercise and stretching keeps the body moving and relaxes eyes, wrists, and hands.

Foundations for a flexible, health-minded workplace

Business leaders can develop some practical solutions to build healthy and flexible work environments that engage and attract workers. Here’s some recommendations to building a robust strategy for an employee-first working culture, which will support employee retention, engagement, and well-being:

Empathy is key

The power of employee empathy is extremely influential in fostering creativity and innovation and in building successful teams. Empathy must come from the top, with workers’ needs, concerns and preferences shaping the look and feel of an organisation’s workspaces. True empathy might even mean changing a business model to suit your employees’ changing lifestyles and limitations.

Carry out an audit of staff needs and provisions

As part of truly addressing workers’ needs means conducting a formal evaluation of their current provisions against what’s needed for them to carry out their particular tasks within their job description.

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