The Office of today: The Rules of Engagement

Having dedicated and passionate individuals can truly help your business achieve greater heights. Femke Hellemons, Country Manager, Adecco Singapore, shares how HR professionals can retain and engage employees

Having dedicated and passionate individuals can truly help your business achieve greater heights. Modern workplaces of today often have a diverse workforce which offers great possibilities and opportunities. The employee of today also spends a greater amount of time in the office. As HR professionals, what are some ways in which we can retain and engage employees?
 
Culture
 
Top companies such as Google and Facebook have always prided themselves on their multi-racial and multi-generational workforce. Whether one is a techno geek from California or an aspiring gamer from Cambodia, these companies value and understand the benefits of hiring different personalities.
 
It takes between 3 to 5 years for a cultural change to take place. There are elements of education, learning and understanding how employees from different countries work and more importantly, how to make that difference work for you.
 
The Google culture has inspired companies around the world in how they should adapt to the workforce of today. Be it in the form of a well-stocked pantry, sleep pods or exciting opportunities, the movie “The Internship” that starred Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn was by far the best advertisement of Google’s strong work culture.
 
Talent and Development
 
Knowing where your career path is essential in retaining an employee. Most companies now have various programmes in place, where employees are given career roadmaps. Training and development is a very broad area, which can include specific work-related topics or as a general training such as cross-cultural workshops.  
 
There are various forms of training and development opportunities and these also include mentoring and personal coaching. HR professionals should however, provide tailored training programmes targeted at the various groups
 
Positive Branding
 
As much as companies would like to hire the best available talent, employees too are on the lookout to join the world’s best employers. The positive branding of the company, whether in financial performance or its view on corporate social responsibility play a huge role in the attraction and retention of employees.
 
Corporate Branding has never been more important than it is today. Given the highly competitive market place, companies have to start wooing potential candidates even before they think about looking for a job. With the advent of social media, companies have been taking to Facebook and Twitter to share lifestyle-based events and pictures, giving jobseekers another angle to their corporation.
 
Corporate Social Responsibility
 
The younger workforce are plugged-in, extremely connected and are often interested to be part of a larger cause. Companies who have strong corporate responsibility programmes are often seen as Employers of Choice, as it creates a platform for the employers to also take responsibility of the communities in which they operate in.
 
Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives also provide employees the platform to connect for a common cause as well as to network. Some companies often work with non-profit organisations such as Habitat for Humanity or World Wildlife Fund, allowing their employees to do voluntary work or to donate money for habitat conservation whilst others do voluntary services at orphanages or nursing homes for the elderly.
 
Communication
 
Amongst the reasons why employees choose to leave a company is the lack of clear and transparent communication. Most firms now have internal communications policies in place where senior management have the platform to reach out to their employees and internal stakeholders. However, more than that, most senior leaders now have Facebook and Twitter accounts, where they can connect with their teams and employees on a more casual front, allowing access to their personal thoughts and aspirations.
 
This is also a good way to get feedback and to know what is going on within the organisation. Often times, employees are hesitant to share feedback but in recent years, the availability of social media has narrowed the gap and senior leaders are now leaning in towards using these platforms.

Written by: Femke Hellemons, Country Manager, Adecco Singapore

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