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A Great Way to Win the War for Talent in 2018

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Forbes Human Resources Council published an article in April 2018 entitled, The Best Weapon in the War for Talent May Be Your Brand, where the authors opened by stating, “Most companies invest heavily in compensation and benefits to win the war for talent, neglecting their best weapon: their brand.”

This is true, but the trend is showing a new evolution in attitude. Many of today’s businesses, large and small, local and global, have already recognized that new entrants to the workplace, many of them classified as millennials, are not as focused on traditional benefits like vacation pay, insurance, and retirement plans. While these surely matter, of course, employees are also putting significant attention on the company’s culture and, as importantly, its workplace environment.

Blake Goodman, JLL, shared insights with members of the Association for Corporate Growth –NJ, noting that the company’s physical workplace says a lot about the company’s priorities. Today when a company is looking at new space, the Human Resource Director often joins the search along with the CEO or CFO, or others commonly involved in real estate decisions.   HR professionals are present today when looking at potential new space because of the strong role and responsibility they have in determining how it will add value for employees.

What are someone of the evolving office space expectations? An area designated for big town hall-style meetings is growing in demand as are a wide array of other amenities. Popular properties boast fitness centers (complete with online/on-demand class instructors), locker rooms and showers, golf simulators, game rooms with ping pong, foos ball and more, outdoor spaces, barrista coffee bars, cafeterias, atriums, availability of outdoor gathering spots and even seltzer water on tap.

But although these luxuries of life are critical recruiting tools, there are hard facts to back up their impact. Research is proving that employees actually perform better when their surroundings are fun and healthy places to be. In fact, a study by the World Green Building Council strongly indicates that productivity increases by 23% from having better lighting, 11% from better ventilation and 3% from individual temperature control.  So while it’s ‘cool’ to take a break for a double espresso, having access to natural daylight and outside views have a strong impact on efficiency.

Entering an office space that has these distinctive features can fill employees with pride and provide a great boost to the culture. Business owners can demonstrate how much they care about the employee experience when they offer amenities that are highly regarded by their staff.

From the importance of being conveniently located near to walkable amenities, to shorter commutes and better parking, to access to mass transit to even having windows that can be adjusted for the amount of tint from an ‘app’ on a smart phone (working on the same premise as transition lenses on your eye glasses, these hi-tech windows can be changed to allow more or less light as preferred, eliminating the need for any window treatment and enabling the employees to be in control of their comfort level), the workspace of this generation has become much more than just a place to sit from 9:00-5:00.

The buildings and internal office designs are integral to the company’s attitude, philosophy and culture – and they send a powerful message to future employees: “We want to attract and retain the best and brightest employees Come and join our team!”        

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