The Secret Ingredient for Engaging, Motivating & Retaining Employees

5th February 2020
Hailey O'Riordan

Why the Answer isn’t Always Perks, Benefits and Free Lunches…

One of our recent MacKenzie King blogs looked at the different ways an employer can use benefits & perks to attract, motivate and retain staff. However, new studies indicate that employers also need to consider the other side of the coin, with some HR experts suggesting that engaging a committed workforce requires a different approach; one that is focused on the culture & purpose of a company, not just offer gym memberships and cycle to work schemes.

The Wall Street Journal produced an interesting article (Why Perks No Longer Cut It For Workers) explaining why companies need to look beyond perks, stating ‘what will distinguish the most profitable companies from the rest won’t be table football or free food. It will be whether leaders foster a workplace culture where employees feel a sense of belonging, like their jobs and trust their managers to help them move on to a better one. ’A MetLife Study’  reported that 90% of employees believe that a workplace culture is important, which contrasted with only 79% of employers. Creating, fostering and spreading this kind of positive workplace culture can take a concentrated effort and a clear vision.

The most common definitions are often focused on companies ‘engaging their employees, including, giving them the training & encouragement to do their best work and imbuing it with a sense of purpose’. Employees want to feel that they belong and want to be able to see a successful future ahead of them within a company, so providing genuine opportunities for career development is crucial.
Another important contributing factor to a workplace culture is the values, purpose & beliefs of a company and how successfully these values are incorporated and reflected throughout an organisation.

Here at MacKenzie King, our Core Values play a key role within our workplace culture. They are a concise and consistent embodiment of the way we do business, how we treat our team, our candidates and our clients, and they indicate the kind of company we want our employees to be part of. MacKenzie King strive to implement those core values in a practical, tangible way, combined with plenty of in-house, external industry & skills-based training, creating clear paths to career progression.

Working towards a common goal is another factor frequently cited as helping maintain engagement and keeping staff motivated. But, as a recent article from the HR software website Engagement Multiplier advises, ‘it’s not enough to add a company mission to your website & brochures. Staff need to make a direct connection between the work they do, the impact it has & believe in the larger purpose of your company.

In conclusion, this research seems to show that whilst perks and benefits are still an important consideration when it comes to attracting the best new talent to your company, it’s also necessary to look deeper at your workplace culture, opportunities for career development and establishing workplaces where your employees can feel they are part of team working cohesively and consistently towards a common goal.

So, remember, Company culture is an integral part of business. It affects nearly every aspect of a company. From recruiting top talent to improving employee satisfaction, it’s the backbone of a happy company….. The freebies and benefits are just an added bonus.