In Staff Surveys

People no longer just dream about having a successful career – they also dream about what company they would like to work for.

Whether it is the local start-up down the road that encourages work-life balance with its office Wii console or a household name like Vogue or Google, people want to work for companies that they deem to match their personal values.

A key aspect of improving employee satisfaction and retention is, therefore, ensuring your company values are attractive to prospective and current staff. It’s important to ask the question: why would people want to work for my company?

If your list is coming up short, then you may be able to learn a thing or two from global businesses that permeate nearly every aspect of our daily lives: tech giants.

Companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Apple are famous for their strong employee retention schemes and active promotion of work-life balance. Facebook offers free bikes to employees, while Google’s colourful, playground-esque headquarters formed the basis of an Owen Wilson-Vince Vaughn comedy in 2013.

Several leading tech companies also made top spots on Glassdoor’s 50 Best Places to Work 2014 list, released in December. Twitter took out number two, LinkedIn number three, while Facebook came in at number five and Google at number eight. Apple trailed behind at number 35, but made the top 50 nevertheless.

So what are these tech giants doing right, and how can employers learn from them to improve their own employee satisfaction levels?

Although there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to employee retention, two things these tech giants all have in common is dedication to innovation and their employees. The companies are successful because they are progressive, and this fresh outlook applies to not just the type of business they bring to the world but also to the way they treat their staff. Google has a slide in its head office; Twitter, on the other hand, provides free food.

Perks like this break the traditional ’employee satisfaction’ mould of performance reviews and pay rises, and instead represent an innovative, creative, forward-thinking approach. What types of low-cost initiatives could you implement in your workplace?

The opportunities may surprise you. Employees often have several ideas for improvement, from simple suggestions such as office pot plants to more elaborate concepts for work social clubs and so forth. All you have to do is start the conversation. Why not distribute some employee satisfaction questionnaires this year to see what simple improvements your staff would like to see take place in 2014?

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