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In recent years, the average time that working professionals stay in their jobs for is 4.4 years. This is expected to decrease substantially, with a wider margin for young professionals, whose expected tenure is around the two-year mark. In 2016, the days of staying at the same company for several years are well and truly over – for the most part.
Employee retention is becoming an increasing focus for businesses, as employees are far more likely to jump ship when they’re unhappy than they would have five years ago. Companies are learning that work needs to be done to attract and retain the best talent.
Neglecting your workplace can be a costly mistake. On average, it costs businesses £30,614 to replace a member of staff: British businesses are spending around £4.13bn every year in staff turnover costs, and it takes new starters an average of eight months to reach optimum productivity in their new roles, assuming they decide they like the role in the first place.
You might think that there’s little point in investing in your workforce if employee turnover is going to increase. On the contrary, cultivating an office environment that ignores wellbeing and inclusivity will put off potential candidates and alienate your current staff, too. A space that is agile, purposeful, and all-serving inspires creativity and productivity and is proven to improve mental health levels in working professionals.
With a variety of functional workspaces and breakout areas, people are encouraged to socialise in the office and are given more freedom to work in their preferred environment. This returns value to the office, providing a reason for your talent to stay, rather than to leave.
Your people should look forward to spending time in the office, and office design is key to achieving a positive culture and a strong community within it. By providing facilities that enable staff to build their lives into their work routine (think quiet rooms, bicycle storage and the like), promotes the office as a destination and maintains higher levels of happiness and productivity.
Adding comfortable breakout spaces, table tennis tables or even a healthy snack bar can make a statement to employees that they are valued and that you understand the importance of having a work/life balance. Mutual appreciation and value-add will give your workforce a connection and sense of loyalty towards where they work.
Alongside inspiring office design, the workplace needs to support the mental health of its inhabitants. One of the most insightful trends that emerged from the results of the Peldon Rose Summer Survey 2016 was that less than half of workers (43%) feel appreciated by their company. Survey results also showed that employees identify positive reinforcement as one of the most effective ways to boost their motivation.
As well as the mental health of staff, employers should also be looking at how they can lend to the wellness of the physical self, too. Providing areas for in-house fitness classes or yoga sessions is an easy way to bring staff together and helps to promote a healthy workplace. Offering a Cycle to Work scheme is another great way to promote staying healthy, whilst also reducing the company’s collective carbon footprint.
Supporting staff by creating a positive office culture at every pillar tells employees that they can trust their employer to do everything they can to support them in their role, no matter how tough things get.