Are you an employer; maybe a CEO, HR Manager, Entrepreneur, or you could even be a human resource consultant? If yes, then you;d be keen to know what it means to be an employer of choice.
When your entity is described as such it implies that you have over time developed and implemented practices, terms and conditions, policies and procedures, culture, environment, strategies etc that attracts people and makes people want to work for you.
It means the entity has the ability to attract and retain the best talent in the labor market. It means employees love your entity and will stay as long as it’s possible. Now, if this makes little sense to you, then you had better think twice. People make organizations and if you can bring in and keep the best, you are on the way to success. Don’t you think so? Now, let’s look at some key aspects to keep in mind if you have to be an employer of choice:
1. Concern about employees’ professional future
Does your entity place importance to aspects such as employee continuous training? Do you have clear and defined career paths for your people? Is your staff guaranteed professional growth or advancement over the years if they are good performers? Do you refresh and renew them through several approaches? Do you coach and mentor them?
2. Monetary and non-monetary benefits.
Are the benefits, monetary and non-monetary, that you offer equal to or above market rate? Do you have in place several benefits such as performance bonuses, profit share schemes, health insurance, paid holidays etc? Does your staff feel fairly or more than adequately rewarded for the efforts they put in?
3. Employees’ life beyond the office.
Is your entity concerned about employees’ lives beyond the office? Do you care about their work-life balance, or are you just interested in what you get from them? What are your concerns and plans for their families, overall wellness, health, individual challenges, emotional issues and the like? There are a few opinions about the need for employee privacy. However, there is a role that you need to play without tampering with their privacy.
4. Openness and fairness
Do you communicate openly and provide vital information to staffs? Is there free access to information? Do you treat people with dignity, regard, honor, honesty and fairness? Are your systems for performance assessment, rewards and penalties open and fair? Are you an equal opportunity employer? Are you considerate to departing employees?
5. Employees’ involvement, relationships, empowerment and energy
Is your staff involved in decision-making? Is there good and positive relationship between bosses and workers, and also among co-workers? Do people co-operate? Is the working environment energized and charged due to these factors? Are the staffs engaged? Are they inspired and passionate about the entity and their work? Are employees empowered and authorized? Have you tried to assess the engagement levels of your employee team?
6. Friendly workplace
Do you have fun at the office? Do you consider work place issues such as ergonomics, human factor engineering, emergency response plans, facilities for people with disabilities, refreshment facilities etc?
7. Concern about staff turnover
Do you place due concern on staff retention? What is the average number of years employees with you? Do you conduct exit interviews to determine why people are leaving? What is your attitude towards time and cost of filling vacancies?
Societal expectations including corporate accountability and responsibility.
Is your entity accountable to the government, investors and financiers, staffs and other stakeholders? Do you operate ethically? Do you participate in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities?
Obviously several other considerations can be documented. Certainly, there is no single set of measures; rather a combination of many things need to be in place. Additionally, putting these standards in place cannot be done in just a day. It takes a concerted and focused effort made incrementally and over a time period. I hope you agree with me that it’s not a quick fix, do you?