Previous: Technology Solutions That Provide a Helping Hand for Healthcare Next: In an Age of Digital Transformation, Business Printing Remains Vital Susan Osgood / Wednesday, September 15, 2021 / Categories: Blog, The Smart Workplace 5 Ways To Make Your Company a Top Workplace It’s one thing to run a business but it’s quite another to create an environment where workers love to come in every day. Employees are an essential part of every business and are what keep organizations progressing, growing and contributing to a greater good. A 2019 study from the University of Oxford found that happy, satisfied employees are 13% more productive with their time at work. Happier, more engaged employees will also create a positive work environment that can foster new relationships, lead to better recruitment and retention and ultimately provide workers with an individual sense of achievement and satisfaction. As a recent recipient of NJBiz’s “Best Place to Work in New Jersey” 2021, we’re sharing five tips on creating a top workplace, based on what we’ve learned from our workers and what we know they appreciate. Make your Benefits More Beneficial to Employees Health has been top of mind for many because of the pandemic. Offering your employees benefits that recognize the challenges they have faced is a simple way to attract and retain employees. Some of the most important benefits companies can offer include a variety of well-rounded healthcare programs for employees to choose from as well as flexible spending accounts to pay for medical costs. Financial planning is also tremendously important to employees. Offering retirement benefits and financial wellness training can help reduce employee stress to make the most of every dollar they earn. Additionally, there has been a shift in the way employers view the hours spent working, so it’s important for companies to provide sufficient paid vacation days and personal days. Encouraging employees to take a break to spend time traveling with friends and family can help eliminate feelings of burnout. Offering this, as well as paid time off for maternity or adoption leave can be beneficial for workers navigating the remote and hybrid workforce. Promote and Encourage Diversity Across the Organization It’s important for organizations to have a diverse workforce with a range of ages, genders, races and sexual orientations represented in your organization to create an inclusive environment. When seeking new talent, businesses should implement formal programs or practices to recruit diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds in order to view as many diverse candidates as possible. You should also offer ongoing diversity training, frequent seminars and workshops to employees that incorporate activities that touch on diversity & inclusion topics. At Sharp, we offer resources focused on diversity and have programs like WISE, “Women Influencing Sharp’s Evolution”, that offers professional development for our female employees to foster a diverse and inclusive culture and celebrates women’s accomplishments. Get your Employees Away from their Desks with Extracurricular Programs Businesses that go above and beyond basic benefits show workers that they are valued and cared for on a personal level. Work can be busy, stressful and tough at times, especially remotely, so having programs for employees to give back to the community while connecting socially can ground them and get them some much needed time away from their desks. At Sharp, we have a few programs designed to do this such as “SCOPE,” our community outreach program that offers volunteer opportunities and participation in charitable events focused on children and families. “Good Vibes,” is another program that we founded during COVID for the purpose of designing and implementing fun, engaging and stress relieving activities for employees. Implementing programs that encourage group fitness challenges, meditation classes, book clubs and more can boost overall stress relief a in the office. Incentivize your Workforce with Bonuses and Other Similar Perks There’s nothing that shows an employee that you recognize their hard work like a bonus! Offering quarterly or annual performance bonuses to workers, as well as referral bonuses for bringing in new employees and/or clients, shows that their efforts are not going unnoticed. We realize that offering incentives like this may depend on the financial state of the company. However, when possible, they are encouraging, offer a sense of security, boost productivity and provide workers with a well-deserved confidence boost. In addition, you can also offer other rewards through employee recognition programs. At Sharp, we partner with a vendor called Give a Wow that creates an internal website for colleagues to give shout-outs and “Wow” points to be cashed in for retail items. Appreciation from fellow co-workers creates a strong sense of community and motivates others to keep up the good work! Invest in your Employees’ Career Development A productive business needs dynamic employees with a wide range of skills that will contribute to company improvement and growth. One way that organizations can achieve this is providing access to professional development opportunities. Having frequent training programs can help workers brush up on skills and techniques that will allow them to do their job more efficiently. With new technology advancements and industry innovations, these sessions can help employees refine their skills for overall success. Organizations can also offer reimbursement or assistance with college tuition for undergrad or post-graduate programs, certifications, or business education workshops that will help employees achieve their specific professional goals. Additional practices such as one-on-one coaching, mentorship programs and job shadowing can also be fundamental for workers to connect and learn from others in their industry. The challenges that have occurred because of the pandemic have shed light on the importance of employee satisfaction and support. Businesses should constantly evolve and continually identify ways to create an environment in which employees feel appreciated, supported, and motivated to do their best. Looking for a great place to work? Check out career opportunities on Sharp's career page. 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