Not long ago, I posted a blog about what I believe really matters when it comes to company culture. One aspect I didn’t really delve into in that post was employee engagement. I recently came across Cone Communications’ 2016 Employee Engagement Study and wanted to share some interesting insights that I think absolutely relate back to creating a strong company culture where employees look forward to coming to work and want to stick around long-term.
- Per the study, “employees want to know employers care… They want to know their employer cares about them as an individual – and they expect benefits that go well beyond the standard financial and health care packages.” This is not to negate the importance of the standard financial and health care packages. It’s just to say that those are really no longer enough, especially when there are employers out there that offer things like the ability to work remotely, flexible schedules and healthy living stipends for gym memberships, etc. I sincerely appreciate the benefits GFM offers along these lines (including all three of those I just mentioned), and I always think it’s fun to read about companies with other really innovative perks for their employees.
I think it also bears mentioning, though, that demonstrating that employers care goes beyond offering benefits – even the “fun” ones. Having been at GFM for 8+ years now, I’ve seen and personally experienced the entire agency supporting team members through marriages, divorces, births of children and deaths of loved ones. At a recent wedding, the whole full-time team turned out to celebrate with the couple. We’ve also taken up entire sections of sanctuaries during memorial services, and we’ve delivered weeks’ worth of meals to families with new babies (including my own). In my opinion, those are the perks that truly count.
- Perhaps not surprisingly, employees today also care deeply about companies’ corporate responsibility efforts. Three statistics really jumped out at me on this front:
- 58% consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work.
- 55% would choose to work for a socially responsible company, even if the salary was less.
- 51% won’t work for a company that doesn’t have strong social or environmental commitments.
Think about that last one for a second. That’s fully half of your potential employee base that won’t work for you if you aren’t strongly committed to a cause or causes as a company. If simply giving back for the sake of doing good isn’t enough, that potential loss of talent should be enough to convince any company of the importance of corporate responsibility.
- Employees want more than a simple volunteer day when it comes to corporate responsibility. As the Cone researchers state, “Employees want a range of options and they want them on their own terms – whether that’s a quick activity they can do at their desks or an after-hours opportunity they can do on their own time.” I’m especially proud of GroundFloor Media’s Get Grounded volunteer program on this front. Through the program, GFM team members are encouraged to support organizations they care about – through paid time off (up to four hours per month) for volunteering or the chance to receive cash grants (up to $400/year) for nonprofits, schools or other 501(c)(3) organizations based on hours volunteered.
What about your companies? We’d love to hear of innovative ways they boost employee engagement. And be sure to check out the actual research study (linked to above) for many more invaluable insights.