Amenities are not what they used to be
by Haworth, Inc.
We’ve all heard the stories of companies where “everyone wants to work”—the ones that offer employees things like game rooms, company cars, and free gourmet lunches.. Those are some great perks, but the workforce is changing. Now, people are choosing to work for employers that offer new types of amenities that speak more to a company’s culture and values—as well as their own.
People want to work in a modern facility with a variety of spaces that offer choice in where to perform their activities. They want views of nature that inspire creativity and access to daylight to support their well-being. And they want to connect with people in relaxed settings that encourage communication, collaboration, and innovation. Most of all, they want an employer who values them and understands their needs—one that lets them be part of a social community that merges work, relationships, well-being, and personal interests.
For example, see how public utility company American Water supports their employees and attracts top talent:
Here are five amenities that sway jobseekers toward choosing a specific employer:
Public transportation and “alternative transportation modes” are becoming increasingly mainstream. Taking the train, bus, or ferry is simple, convenient, and promotes sustainability. Easy access to these stations and stops is something prospective employees seek out—and it gives businesses extended reach into surrounding locations to procure the best and brightest.
As reported by NPR, powerhouse employer Amazon intentionally chose to open its two newest corporate offices near public transportation. McDonald’s even relocated its corporate office from suburban Oak Brook, Illinois to a downtown Chicago site within walking distance of two “L” stops, two commuter rail stops, and several bus stops.
Younger working adults often look to transportation modes that serve the environment to an even greater extent, as well. Many companies are ensuring that people are able to easily bike, walk, run… even scooter, rollerblade or skateboard to, from, and around work. American Water added a community park in front of their headquarters with a riverfront path connecting to a variety of urban city transit routes. Their building features a convenient onsite bike storage room, as well.
People are a company’s greatest asset. To keep them healthy and performing their best, many businesses try to invest more money into healthcare programs. However, illness rates and time missed continue to rise. And while good health coverage is a concern for prospective employees, they are looking for more.
Creating a healthy work environment that addresses holistic well-being is important for attracting top talent, keeping them engaged, and supporting their peak performance.
People need—and expect—some degree of control over how, when, and where they work. Offering variety and choice at work is essential in recruiting new talent and keeping current employees engaged.
People want to work for a company with a story to tell. It’s important to be transparent about that brand story, your company values, and organizational culture. One of the best ways to do that is to put it all on display at the workplace. Incorporate branding elements and design themes that promote what your company stands for, while welcoming people in.
When you look at American Water’s new headquarters building, you understand and feel their connection to water. It’s not just in the name on the sign. Inside you’ll find architectural elements, such as huge atrium waterfalls, a five-story staircase that looks like flowing water, and a large social space called the “Lantern” that overlooks the river and is adorned with hanging blue glass water molecule sculptures. They’ve even added an Innovation Center, which showcases the company’s 130+ year history and features a single-drop waterfall in the center to symbolize how each employee’s effort contributes to a larger outcome.
It’s important to create a sense of community that incorporates employees’ personal interests and relationships with others.
In the end, it all comes back to making the working environment comfortable, flexible, and supportive of employees’ needs. Survey employees, talk with them, and keep an open dialogue to address the things that are important to them. Create a place where people live to work—not work to live.
Check out the American Water case study to see more ways they promote their culture and community, engage current employees, and entice new talent to join the company.
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