HR Staff n’Stuff wasn’t included as they only looked at companies with over 500 employees, otherwise our team agrees we would be a natural fit for such a list! However, we do believe that you need to keep on learning if you want to be the best so of course, we’ve had a look at the report to see what we can improve upon.
So what are the sorts of things that these companies are doing that makes them so popular?
1. Work/life balance considerations
- Sabbaticals – short breaks in addition to annual leave entitlements.
- Career breaks – longer breaks that allow employees to complete study or invest time in the needs of their families.
- The purchase of additional annual leave (i.e. a percentage of wages is allocated to additional holiday time)
2. Luring talent back to the table
- Paid internships for experienced workers returning to work with a view to an offer of long term employment for successful candidates
- Return to work programs for professionals who have been out of the workforce for an extended period. Again, the offer of permanent or long term contracts as the ultimate goal of the program ensuring a company gets the first pick of experienced talent.
3. Investing in their teams
- Running educational programs and professional development opportunities. This is an absolute win/win as employees grow their skill sets and companies develop a stronger pool of talent.
- Reducing/removing the gender pay gap.
5. Getting personal
- Some allow dogs to join their owners at work.
- Others allow personal use of company assets.
- Provision of medical specialists such as nutritionists, psychologists, flu shots and the like.
6. Getting political
- It may seem odd but a number of the Top Companies have been more vocal in their political stances in areas such as immigration, gay marriage and climate change. In the past politics was a no go zone but there has been a major shift in this area.
7. Apparently, size matters
- At least it does in the US where employees want to be part of a global giant.
So apart from #7, HR Staff n'Stuff rocks this list! How does your company fare - and what does this all mean to small and medium businesses when competing for the best talent?
How Can SME's Compete with the Big Guys?
Danielle Stone – our very own Senior HR Advisor - was interviewed by SmartCompany regarding this list and she believes that SME’s can draw on the results of this list and adopt practices that will drive employee engagement and allow them to compete with larger companies for the best talent.
As Danielle recommends, well planned inductions programs for all new employees, are important. You never get a second opportunity to make a good first impression. Ensuring that a new employee's initial days and weeks are filled with learning experiences and exciting opportunities allowing them to integrate into their new teams, is a vital step in keeping a new employee engaged. An induction will give your new team member a great insight into your company’s culture as well as fulfilling your legal obligation to train your team member in safe work practices. A strong and comprehensive induction program will also alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that comes along with starting a new job.
Tips for Engagement
- Make an employee feel welcome, wanted and needed
- Ensure there are training programs aimed at empowering new employees to succeed in their role
- Work together to develop goals which will enhance their own performance but also shows that you believe that they can positively contribute to the companies’ future success
- Share company successes with your employees, this way they know they have contributed in a positive way
- Make sure you have inspiring and pro-active leaders within the business. People that are committed to working together as a team and empowering their employees to be involved in the decision making process
- Ensure that there are growth opportunities for your employees, it doesn’t necessarily mean promotions, if your company is small
- Reward and recognise your employees, remember it is not always about providing them with financial incentives, be creative, think outside the square!
Think Outside the Box
As Danielle notes, small businesses need to think outside the box when it comes to attracting quality employees and solutions can be simple and burden free. “It’s about looking at the culture you’re trying to create and doing everything you can to try and attract the right sort of people to keep building that culture,” she advises.
Listen to Hear
Danielle Stone also recommends that business owners listen to their people and build their strategy around what their teams actually value and need. A simple employee engagement survey can assist in ensuring a business owner hits the mark and builds an engaged and positive culture within their company. The idea to institute bringing dogs to work may be met with joy in one company but another group may be full of cat lovers who resent the canine intrusion. Listening before acting is key.
Building a great business means you need the best people. If you need help making changes to your culture, instituting incentive or reward programs or establishing relevant training opportunities, HR Staff n"Stuff can help. Feel free to email or call us on 03-9580 0844 to discuss your business needs.