By: Shraga Jacobowitz
With Labor Day firmly behind us and the end of summer officially marked, employees around the nation have begun yet another year of work. And while some may have anticipated this return to regular schedule with excitement, (including many Moms & Dads), most employees wake up each morning with a sense of dread at the prospect of facing yet another work day. In fact, according to a recent Gallup survey, shockingly, 70% of the US workforce are not happy with their jobs. And this, my friends, is simply too many people who are not productively contributing to their companies to facilitate economic growth. As any good manager or boss will tell you, unhappy employees always equal unproductive employees.
It is clear that being a task master and snapping the whip (figuratively, of course…or at least I hope so), is not the way to get more productive workers. Employee job satisfaction and work happiness rank highest in creating a productive environment and getting the most out of your employees. It is for that reason that EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT has become the new buzz word among some of the biggest corporations. In fact, like the apple, check mark and coffee of our last article (click here for a quick review if you missed it), it is some of the biggest firms that rank highest in employee engagement and satisfaction. We’re not going to drop names here (who are we kidding, of course, we’re going to name drop), but you may of heard of some of these companies, i.e., a little website called Facebook and small search engine called Google rank in the top 5 for Employee Engagement.
Surprising? Perhaps not. These are known as some of the coolest places to work at. I mean, just check out their cool office spaces here and here. But what you may find surprising is that these same firms also rank high in the amount of work they demand from their employees and the stress that the work entails. In fact one Google employee’s review of the company was that it is both “the best place [to work] and most demanding.” Similarly many of the Facebook employees in their company review stated both their love for the company and how busy they are at work almost simultaneously. I know it seems contradictory–to love work when having a heavy workload– but guess what, it’s not!
That’s right, the amount of work and stress these employees have does not detract from their job satisfaction and overall happiness at working for these companies. So hard work and high stress can still equal happy employees? Definitely worth exploring, no?
So what are these three companies doing right that you (and apparently 70% of businesses) may not be doing?
According to a poll of their employees, nothing major. However, small changes in how you treat your employees can change the entire atmosphere of your company and create a place where people are happy to return to work.
One Facebook employee summed up Facebook’s attitude towards their employees, simply stating, “You won’t find a place that cares more [than Facebook] about its people.” Now close your eyes and imagine your employees talking about your company like that. If you can’t imagine it, it may be time to make some changes.
You can always take a cue from Facebook and Google whose employee engagement policy includes small perks, such as free lunch and snack to large ones, such as on campus health and dental centers. Some of the benefits listed by employees as reasons they loved working at these companies include:
- Incredible benefits including stellar health insurance (even offered to part-time employees), gym/wellness reimbursement, daycare reimbursement (up to $3k a year), donation matching and 401k matching.
- Amazing maternity and paternity leave. Facebook actually pays out “baby cash” to employees for new births and adoptions.
- Excellent compensation that rewards strong performance and fair, well thought out review processes.
- Lots of vacation days and paid time off.
Okay, I know exactly what you are all thinking at this point…thanks a lot. Obviously, these companies have the money to allow them to offer such great perks and benefits to their employees, but how am I supposed to be able to do the same for my employees?
I shall insert a shameless plug here. But it simply is true that this is exactly where a PEO can help…and we mean really help! A PEO gives you the resources of a bigger company, so yeah, you can compete with a Facebook or Google….at least in the benefits you can offer. In addition, with HR professionals on staff, your PEO partner can help you work out programs that reward strong employee performance and/or think of extra perks that your specific employees would appreciate. Your PEO’s HR specialist can even help create those fair and well thought out employee reviews that Facebook and Google are so famous for, so that your employees feel appreciated, but better yet, you have a clear picture of how happy, satisfied and productive they are being. Now what’s better than that?
So stop being part of the majority, especially, when in this case, they’ve gotten it, oh, so wrong. Instead, let a PEO help you create an environment that your employees will look forward to coming to work each day.
Want to find out more about how a PEO can help you with your Employee Engagement, contact ARC Consultants for more information.