Attract and retain top talent with an ’employee first’ corporate culture

Health determines choice for new employer

2 augustus 2022
Within many organizations there are growing problems surrounding the physical and mental health of staff. Staff wellbeing has become a driver of talent recruitment and retention. According to research, for 59 percent of all Dutch employees, the availability of ergonomic equipment and a healthy working environment is a decisive factor in choosing a new employer.

In addition, there is a serious shortage of technical skills. Managers and HR teams are therefore eagerly looking for new opportunities to promote employee engagement and well-being and to retain employees for longer. A flexible work environment in which the health of the staff comes first is the key to success. But it’s a lot harder to maintain a vibrant corporate culture when many employees work from home. This is stated by Wilfred Noordam, country sales manager Benelux at Ergotron, who wrote this article.

The role of ergonomics

Previously, comfortable working from home was mainly a point of attention for freelancers, but the corona crisis has changed this. Companies that are proactively committed to the health and well-being of their employees will be able to differentiate themselves from the competition. That is why it is important that HR managers have rules that ensure that employees have an ergonomic workplace. Offering ergonomically sound work environments will boost productivity and help attract top talent. Sticking to traditional work patterns can quickly result in injury or chronic health problems.
An example of a basic ergonomic measure is ensuring that employees adopt a neutral body position that feels natural and comfortable. In this way they consume less energy and their body is put under minimal strain. Working standing at a sit-stand desk and standing up and walking around while talking on the phone will make employees less fatigued than if they were constantly sitting in one place. Rest periods are also crucial for employee performance. Taking short breaks, doing light physical exercises and stretching keep people moving and give their eyes, wrists and hands a chance to relax.

A flexible workplace that promotes health and well-being

Managers would do well to adopt various practical solutions to create healthy and flexible work environments.

· Empathy is the key to success

Empathy works wonders for team creativity, innovation and success. The needs, concerns and preferences of the workforce should determine the look and feel of the work environments within an organization. True empathy can even mean adapting your business model to your people’s changing lifestyles and limitations.

· Map the needs and work facilities of the staff

In order to truly meet the needs of staff, it is necessary to carry out an official assessment of their current working arrangements and to compare them to their needs.

· Invest in the onboarding process

Effective people management starts with substantial investments in the onboarding process. It is important to do everything possible to ensure that new employees feel heard and valued. Forward-thinking companies even work with affinity groups (employee resource groups). These are groups of employees with similar backgrounds and interests. These contribute to meaningful relationships and good mental health.

· Focus on personal contact

It is important to ensure regular individual conversations. According to research, only 34 percent of all employees have a manager who regularly polls them about their health. A healthy corporate culture is one in which people are encouraged to ask for help wherever they need it.

· Flexible working requires policies and best practices

Flexibility is the key to being an attractive employer. Organizations can expand their pool of talent by embracing specific groups in society that have historically had no access to the labor market. This makes it possible to put together teams with a more diverse character and to ensure a healthy work-life balance. For example, the home-working capability allows potential candidates from regions other than where the company is located to apply for positions, promoting diversity. However, a ‘work from anywhere’ policy should go beyond simply allowing employees to work from home. Support from management is needed to make these kinds of initiatives a success.

· Take advantage of flexible technology and work equipment

Companies should invest in special ergonomic equipment for home workers and make every effort to help them create a workplace that feels safe and contributes to their health. This is possible with the purchase of sit-stand desks and mobile workstations, flexible monitor arms and ergonomic desks and chairs that employees can adjust according to their needs.

Attracting and retaining top talent

Creating more flexible and supportive work environments will promote employee engagement, wellbeing, productivity and retention. This will also lead to cost savings as it will reduce staff turnover. The health and well-being of employees is therefore of critical importance. A culture that puts employees first has a direct impact on business performance and bottom line.

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