Five ways to attract and retain the best people
The traditional workplace with its impressive structure, private offices, and prime lo-cation was once used as a tool to attract and retain the best people. This concept of the workplace being a fixed office, where we go every day is no longer recognised, demanded, accepted or seen as attractive to existing and new employees. Today’s generation of workers have a very different view often summarised by –“My work-place is wherever I happen to be and the employer will provide me with the tools to do my job from the location of my choice”.
Here are five ways you can attract and retain the best people with mobility.
1. Start by expanding the hiring pool from local to global
The economic climate has a major impact on the ability to hire new people, so it’s critical to hire wisely and arguably even more critical to retain the best people once you have them.
Do employees have to be collocated with colleagues? Do we need to relocate employees, just so they are sat together in a single team? I would suggest that the answer to both of these in almost 100% of cases is no. Location is no longer accepted as a barrier to securing the best talent for your organisation.
- Presence and availability notification give colleagues a visual representation of their team members regardless of their location
- Audio, web and video conferencing with live document sharing allow teams to work together, see each other and manage projects in real time
2. The physical workplace has changed
Today your employees are distributed across local, national and international geographies. The priority is to ensure their communications needs are not challenged by these locations and, when required, that they have access to physical space to meet with colleagues.
Imagine how you might cope if one of your offices closed yet the employees working there must be retained.
Ideally we see a trend towards the traditional office space being changed to become shared office environments, house full time office workers and provide hot desks for the employee who is a casual visitor.
- Hot desks allow an employee’s personal communication set-up to travel with them from office to office
- Office consolidation or closure has allowed the home office to become one of your working locations then the same hot desk capabilities ensure there are no contact number changes
3. Work is what we do, not where we go
Our desire to better manage our personal time and personal needs continues to see employees seek out employers who acknowledge our demands for flexible working and flexible work locations. In many cases the requests for flexible working are driven by changes in employment law and legislation.
Two employees doing the same job may wish to do them in very different ways. One in an office full time working fixed hours while the other may wish to enjoy more flexible and mobile working.
In a Frost & Sullivan survey¹ fifty-nine per cent of businesses rated virtual team collaboration and seventy-one per cent rated the ability to reach remote and mobile employees as important aims that Unified Communications solutions can help to achieve.
- Single number reach ensures employees have to make no adjustment to their communications patterns to accommodate their work location preference
- Presence notification lets colleagues know when we are available or travelling
- Integration with our calendar allows call routing to automatically change based on specific activities or meeting profiles
4. Meeting the needs of the tech savvy employee
Technology plays a major part in how employees view their employer. Technology is no longer viewed as a tool to do the job but is now more often viewed as providing innovative ways to communicate, collaborate and support work / life balance and location needs.
Employees often have better personal technology than those being offered by the employer and the ability to use personal equipment in the work place is now demanded not desired.
Fifty-nine per cent of companies in a Frost & Sullivan survey¹ believe that being able to integrate personal devices such as smart phones and tablets is a key benefit of Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies.
Bring Your Own Device / Choose Your Own Device / Choose Your Own IT are all programs our IT departments are working with or towards as we accept consumerisation of IT is changing the way we view and use IT.
- Smart phones and tablet devices are now able to provide desk phone type features
- Single number reach now includes these smart devices allowing employees to take control of their communications on their device of choice
5. Managing the blurred line between work and home life
Job function and salary compensation packages will always be an important part of any decision to join a company or indeed remain there once employed. However today, greater emphasis can be placed on the surrounding benefits.
More than half of companies in a Frost & Sullivan survey¹ see a role for unified communications technologies in helping employees to work from home.
The demarcation between work and home life is increasingly blurred. Work may pause for a few hours while home and family activities take place, then, restart later in the day. You may be catering for part time work requests or simply ensuring that employees who have an unexpected need for time off can work from a temporary location that allows them to manage all their personal needs while still achieving the best possible work outcomes.
- Home working solutions with hot desk capabilities mean travel disruptions never isolate workers. This same solution allows employees who may work unconventional hours to do so from home instead of travelling to office locations.