So, you’re really happy with your team. You’ve created awesome processes, you pride your company’s record in attracting the best talent, and staff retention hasn’t been a huge issue for your organisation. Yes folks, organisations such as these really DO exist!
You know that something is still missing.
Before all our work worlds were sent into a tailspin and there was a worldwide shortage of headphones, webcams, and monitors during the Great WorkfromHome, our workplaces were buzzing and, in some cases, overflowing with people.
The work community, the corporate culture you took such care building and nurturing was decimated through Covid. And now it seems that everything has changed.
Some people ran back to the workplace with open arms – back to the structure, back to the energy of humans with whom they were not directly related or sharing a lease, back to what they’d always known and back to the physical proximity to teams and colleagues.
But others chose to stay at home, chose the flexibility of WFH hours, chose the solitude, chose the comfort of tracksuit pants and ugg boots and chose to leave their bus and train pass in the top drawer.
Whether your workplace has made the decision to maintain a hybrid and flexible model and regardless of whether you still have a proportion of your staff WFH on any given day of the week, there is no denying that the single greatest hit to workplaces during Covid has been the work community and corporate culture.
The fundamental human need to belong, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, the basic tenets of workplace and corporate culture, have been rocked by the changes to traditional working models. So much so that companies across the globe are requiring a minimum number of workdays in the office.
We know that in almost all cases, workplace productivity remained either the same, or in some cases where technology supported WFH workers, improved during the Covid years, but at what cost to company culture and retention? Productivity may be a key and extremely important measure of a company’s growth, but it is people that drive organisations and company culture that makes organisations attractive.
Now that WFH has morphed from a legally mandated requirement to a choice, there are many arguments for and against this new workplace model. Every organisation is different, and there is no “one size fits all” solution however the costs to company culture are undeniable.
Findings from the latest Robert Half survey^ showed that more days in the office also means positives outcomes in terms of:
- Skill development and career progression opportunities
- Employee wellbeing
- Employee motivation
Very few roles in organisations rely on silos. Most roles rely on other departments, co-workers, team mates, colleagues, management, executive and support staff. That reliance requires communication, trust, and most importantly, working together.
A permanent or 100% WFH model is simply not viable in most organisations.
That said, when hybrid work environments are now the expected norm, how do we attract staff back to the office, even if for only a part of their week? How do we regenerate some of the Corporate Culture that Covid so abruptly stole?
Cultivating a corporate culture now requires a more strategic approach than ever before and as we know that forcing people against their will is entirely counterintuitive to building a collegiate culture, it is better to start with attraction strategies.
- COMMUNICATE your why
Don’t just demand that staff return to work, tell them why you need them to return to the office.
Is it to develop the skills of graduates and new staff? Is it to create a friendly culture? Is it because you have data driven proof that projects, for example, are completed more efficiently when staff are working together in the office.
Whatever your reasons, communicate them effectively to all staff in your organisation – when people feel included in the process, and understand the principles, they are far more likely to work with you and your organisation.
- Offer FLEXIBILITY in other ways beside WFH
The WFH model is not the be all and end all when it comes to flexible workplaces, it just happens to be the one most people are talking about right now.
If getting staff back into the office is what you need then start thinking outside of the box and offer alternative incentives such as additional vacation or personal days or the option to choose 12 days (or any arbitrary number of days) per quarter to WFH or simply look into the possibility of a full-time role across a 4 day work week instead of the traditional 5 day per week 9-5.
- Create a culture of CONVENIENCE
If staff back in the office is your goal but you know that time spent commuting might be onerous on some, then why not offer incentives that mitigate that timeloss – in other words, offer your staff convenience.
For example: offer / subsidise lunchtime gym memberships so that they don’t have to tack on exercise to the end of a workday or provide ready prepared, fresh family meals directly from the Micro Market, to employees once a week so that on that day, they don’t need to prepare and cook a meal when they arrive home later than they would if they were WFH.
If many of your staff commute to work on public transport, subsidise their transport cards. If many of your staff ride to work, offer an in-house bike repair service once a month.
In addition to being very cost effective, these options all fall under corporate wellness strategies and help organisations achieve their corporate wellness goals.
- Offer an inspirational calendar of events
Statistics tell us that Mondays and Fridays are the most popular WFH days so look at these days as opportunities to engage staff in the office to both attract them to the office as well as reward those who make this choice.
You could offer career development talks, mini lunchtime courses, after work sporting events with transport arranged directly from the office to the venue or Friday office drinks provided to all of those in the office.
- FEED the mind and body
Healthy food and nutritious fuel are the keys to long term health and well-being as well as to optimal productivity in the workplace. One of the simplest and easiest ways to attract staff back to the workplace is to provide food; good food, delicious food and coffee – not just any coffee but barista quality coffee as well as other popular and health-conscious beverage choices.
Provide subsidised meals or offer cultural food days where themed food is fully subsidised for all staff. Create a community around the food, a staff area that is comfortable, relaxed and encourages people to meet, to gather, to share thoughts and to relax in the middle of a hectic workday.
If your goals include attracting staff to your organisation, retaining the awesome talent you have cultivated or attracting your workforce back into the office then, we can help.
A Provender GrabNGo Micro Market won’t only support the strategies already discussed in this article; it can also form the community centre of your organisation. Much like the kitchen in a family home, the Micro Market is a place where staff congregate to eat, to fuel, to converse, and to chill.
If you’ve not already considered a Micro Market in your office workspace, then what on Earth are you waiting for?
Our Micro Markets are a convenience store installed right there in your workplace.
✗ Say goodbye to outdated office cafeterias that serve food of low nutritious value
✗ Say goodbye to lobby cafes that close each day at 2pm.
✗ Say goodbye to expensive external food options for your staff
✗ Say goodbye to hangry office colleagues
✓ Say hello to a huge range of delicious and healthy foods and readymade meals to fuel your staff
✓ Say hello to barista quality coffee served 24/7
✓ Say hello to a central meeting place for your whole organisation
✓ Say hello to convenience, ease and the very latest in corporate food service innovation
✓ Say hello to your central building block of post-Covid corporate culture
And just in case a Provender GrabNGo Micro Market didn’t already sound like the most important decision you’ll make for your organisation this year – we can also assure you that at absolutely no cost to your organisations – it will also be the most financially sound decision your will make for your organisation this year.