Every month, we’re highlighting stories, trends and tips related to employee engagement and workplace culture that organizations should be keeping top-of-mind in order to engage, retain and recruit top talent.

  1. Employees want – and expect – different perks. Gone are the days where ping pong tables and free lunches were considered unique perks for a company. Now, employees are looking beyond just the “fun stuff” and instead seeking out perks that add more value to their overall employee experience. From pet-friendly offices to the option to work from anywhere for the summer and much more, companies are getting creative about the perks they offer their employees. Key takeaway: While people still want perks like a fun work environment, paid parental leave and great 401k options, these benefits are now seen as expected as opposed to differentiators. Companies that understand how providing a great employee experience impacts engagement will see better retention and business results overall.  
  2. Empathy is being recognized as a critical leadership skill. In a recent survey of 150 CEOs, over 80% recognized empathy as key to success, and 93% of employees said they’re more likely to stay with an empathetic employer. Empathy goes a long way; showing employees that you care about them and understand their feelings helps build trust, increases loyalty and makes them feel appreciated – all of which contribute to better engagement. Key takeaway: Don’t underestimate the importance of empathy as a leader. An employee won’t care about doing their best work if they don’t feel like their leaders care about them as a person. This Harvard Business Review article shares ways that leaders can build more empathy in the workplace.
  3. Amazon is setting a new bar for job training. Amazon recently announced that it plans to invest $700 million in retraining (or “upskilling”) 100,000 of its employees to allow them to move into skilled technical and non-technical roles across the company – or outside of it. The company’s senior VP of HR said, “While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to different aspirations. We think it’s important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves.” Key takeaway: Training your employees to possibly get better jobs outside your company sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s actually kind of genius. Research shows that employees want to keep learning and growing, and are more likely to stay with your company if given these opportunities. But even if employees do leave, offering this type of training program will easily attract new employees to replace them. While this philosophy may not work for every company, it does show that organizations can and should be thinking differently about how they engage employees through training and development programs.    

What are some trends that you’re seeing in the workplace? We’d love to share them in a future post! Check back next month for more.