In Silicon Valley, the war for top talent has created another battleground: perk wars. Jim Barnett, CEO of Glint, thinks there’s a better way to hold onto top talent: perks that are purpose-driven.
These days, many organizations seem to be significantly invested in one-upping one another when it comes to flashy perks. From foosball tables to catered lunches and casual Fridays, perks are often regarded as the way to hold onto top talent in a tight labor market. But, when it comes to keeping employees engaged and energized about coming to work, just how effective are these perks? Are they a sustainable way to show employees they are valued? Or, are they all flash and no substance?
When it comes to motivating employees and building a company where people feel appreciated and committed to the organization, it’s time to rethink the emphasis on perks. I’m not advocating that you get rid of your perks or even your break room ping pong table — on the contrary, these perks are often highly valuable to creating a great environment. Rather, it is time to go beyond them and emphasize people focused initiatives that matter even more.
To boost engagement, morale, and motivation, consider the following:
Focus On Your Core:
Begin your approach to perks and benefits by focusing on your core values, such as career growth and a healthy working environment. Self-reflect to ensure the processes and policies you put in place align with your mission and values, and the type of company culture you’re trying to build.
Embrace the voice of employees. Ask for their input and give them the opportunity to express their concerns. If space is not provided for employees to feel comfortable communicating, employee concerns, small and large, have the potential to boil over . Embracing frequent feedback sends a signal that the employee voice is valuable and heard. By providing employees with open feedback channels, company leaders will not only be able to take decisive action on issues and respond quicker but also foster an ongoing sense of employee appreciation.
Appreciation and recognition go hand-in-hand. Build a culture of recognition by facilitating opportunities to get and give recognition at all levels . Start by encouraging managers to sit down and talk with their employees about feedback and brainstorm ideas about how to improve recognition within the team. Help leaders have one-on-one conversations about what makes their employees feel valued. Don’t just look at recognition as once a year box-checking exercise.
Hone in on the Higher Purpose:
Foster employee engagement by enabling an environment where employees feel that their work has meaning. Roles should be purpose-driven, and employees should understand how they are working toward a better future. This is where corporate culture plays a critical role. In fact, it is one of the vehicles into which purpose is embedded and the footing for establishing meaningfulness for employees. Listen to the employee voice to make sure you are creating a culture that promotes purpose beyond profit. And purpose is important to all employees regardless of the job they do or their age! Leaders at all levels can help make the connection to the broader purpose that the organization serves in the world.
Keep It Real:
To foster employee appreciation, start with authenticity. It’s easy to direct all of your focus on what you’re doing. Instead, take a moment to reflect on how you’re doing it. Then, think about how you want to communicate it. Choose a communication channel that fits your persona and that of the company. Whatever you choose—whether it’s a blog post, email, video or webinar—be open and honest to ensure that you connect authentically, are approachable, and ultimately earn the trust of your employees.