When you go in for your first day of work, your main source of concern is usually yourself. How do you look? Whats the work-life balance like? How does your salary compare to that of your peers? Are there poppy seeds in your teeth?
What most people dont understand is that this is a two-way street. For companies that truly care about their employees wants and needs understanding what matters most to your office is the key to workplace happiness and productivity. Do you have the tools and resources to meet their expectations? This requires a serious amount of finessing in terms of figuring out ones salary, packages, and perks. Plus, you want to create an environment where your employees can thrive.
A useful new tool that may help you answers some these questions is the ADP Engagement Meter, which was developed using research data that offers a personalized view of employee engagement insights.
Lets face it: the workplace environment has drastically changed since your parents and grandparents trudged uphill (both ways) to the office. So what should companies do to ensure their staff remains happy? There is a lot more to HR than meets the eye, which is why were unlocking the mysteries behind the challenges of this job.
Let the words of these hiring managers, recruiters, and CEOs help you to gain insight into the key drivers of employee happiness.
Katie Needs, People Operations Team at Kickstarter
What does your company offer that no one else has? Kickstarter is a really unique company that offers employees the opportunity to contribute to a meaningful mission of helping people bring their creative projects to life. Our team is made up of unique and diverse individuals with many unusual skills and interests, and our office space is an incredible, open, flexible environment with room for growth, exploration, and creativity that is unmatched by most other employers.
In 2015, Kickstarter reincorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation and we’ve just released our first annual Benefit Statement, an accounting of how we’ve lived up to the commitments laid out in our company charter. Some highlights: We donated 5 percent of our after-tax profits to six organizations working to build a more creative and equitable world.
What do you do to keep your employees happy? Catered family meals, happy hours, a yearly employee music recital, and a yearly retreat for example. Once a month the company pays for employees to go have a nice, long lunch where they are randomly selected in a “lunch roulette” of groups of 4-6 to get to know one another better.
We also are very dog friendly, so some employees bring loved ones to work. There’s also just an overall lightness and chill vibe in the way we treat each other we speak to each other and treat each other like humans and approach our work together with humility and respect. We value each other as individuals. There’s a lot of transparency within our company.
How would you describe the general environment at work? Open, collaborative, comfortable, safe, creative, welcoming, weird, and wonderful.
Andres Nino and Nicholas Hurtado, co-founders of Beckett Simonon
What do you do to keep your employees happy? We’re a small team at Beckett Simonon, probably smaller than people would expect. In the office, we all share one big desk and collaborate on pretty much every aspect of the company. We often do things together like go out for lunch or have a beer or two. It’s a great atmosphere, very chill, and low pressure without any of the depressing corporate bureaucracy you’ll find in larger workplaces.
For our factory, we really went out of our way to make sure our products were being made by people who are happy in their jobs and well paid. Having good working conditions in the office means nothing when the people actually making your products are unhappy or, as is often the case, actually suffering. We work with small, family-owned factories where the employees are paid fair wages in healthy environments.
How would you describe the environment at work? Our work environment is generally very relaxed and casual. It can get a little hectic when a new campaign is launching at the beginning of the month, but we try our best to make sure we want to come to work in the morning, rather than dreading the work day and always looking forward to the weekend. We’re also always trying to learn. A big part of our jobs is keeping up-to-date on new or better ways to do our specific jobs and we teach each other what we’ve learned.
Perks? Benefits? Our goal is to build a team and empower them as much as possible. We don’t believe in holding their hand all the way, we trust them to do what they do best. We also don’t care if they work remote; we believe that restricting your hiring to a small geographic region means we are not getting the best people available.
Monica Klausner, co-founder of Veestro
What do you do in order to keep your employees happy? We provide lunch for our employees every day which might not sound very exciting but since were a food company, our employees’ feedback regarding the meals has become a big part of our process.
Every time the chef makes a potential menu item for lunch, we distribute a survey with the meal so we can hear from our employees their thoughts on things like taste, texture, combination of ingredients, portion size, etc. Their answers directly influence our decisions.
How would you describe the general environment at work? We work very hard, but we have a really nice camaraderie. Its definitely a start-up environment, but we keep our employees in the loop of all the exciting things that are happening so they feel a part of the success of the company. We also try to keep things light-hearted and fun by having contests and giveaways periodically, that way we keep things fresh! (No pun intended!)
Melenee Suarez-Burns, Senior People Recruiter and Nicole Keller, VP of People at Shapeways
What do you do to keep your employees happy? We listen to our employees. Shapeways was founded on an abstract concept that was understood by very few. Our employees also have an impactful contribution to our company culture from where we go for team offsites to the bi-weekly happy hour themes. We feed them but not to excess! We dont offer three meals a day with the guise of keeping you in the office for 14 hours. Shapeways provides catered lunches, snacks, and beverages that keep the team fueled until it’s time to head home.
Lets talk benefits and perks As you might expect, we look at relevant compensation benchmark surveys to help ensure were staying competitive with other companies similar to us in size, industry, etc. Thats our starting point, but its equally important to us that we consider the benefits and perks that align with our company culture and core values (enabling, inspiring, personal, and fun).
As a result, we’ve decided to invest in providing a robust retirement plan that includes a company contribution regardless of how much the employee decides to contribute (or not to contribute). We also offer employees a medical plan that is paid 100% by Shapeways (meaning the individual employee pays nothing for their own medical coverage).
Because inspiration for creation is a crucial part of our ethos, each employee receives $100 of Shapeways credit each quarter as a way to encourage them to create their own 3D printed creations (or support a designer by purchasing something from the marketplace, if they’d like). This starts day one in our employee onboarding with our #IMadeThis program in which new Shapies learn to 3D model, and can immediately use their credit to print their creations.
Alyssa Carroll, Vice President and Head of Products and Hardware at ASTRSK
What do you do to keep your employees happy? We have some amazing perks with competitive salaries, offsite team trips to places like Puerto Rico and Bermuda, lunch provided at the office, and a work from anywhere week that encourages our team to head anywhere in the world and work remotely for a week. But much more importantly, we have created a culture where people feel very comfortable to be themselves.
Our brand ethos is be weird and we’ve also developed an amazingly unique culture based around it, that really encourages people to be themselves. We want our team to bring their ideas and personality to their work at any level or title and do things differently than they’ve been done before or than how they’re being done in the industry.
Lets talk perks and benefits When we’re hiring, we typically don’t share our perks at first, since we want people to come here because they love the company and the work we do, and not just free lunch. We use [perks] to reward the incredible work our team does and to make sure we continue to create opportunities for people to work together and grow as a team. It’s been trial and error in figuring out what helps to make this a more fun or collaborative atmosphere and what feels more like a distraction, but we have a pretty unmatched benefits package in our space that we’re really proud of.
How would you describe the general environment at work? Fun, creative, and empowering. People tend not to see public relations and communications as a creative field, but I don’t agree. We have a team that works collaboratively we have no offices and all sit together to brainstorm interesting story ideas, angles, and events. We’re built for startups and are one ourselves, so we carry a lot of that same hustle and entrepreneurial minded-thinking in our day-to-day.
The ADP Engagement Meter provides real-world insights based on new research to uncover whats most important to employees like yours.
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