Burnout, financial struggles and career progression are real-life worries impacting employees across all generations. However, companies are challenged with identifying and implementing right-fitting initiatives to keep their employees productive. This eventually leads high performing to become demotivated and disengaged.
Per a recent
discovered “an actively disengaged employee costs their organization $3,400 for every $10,000 of salary, or 34%” with an average of 17.2% of company’s workers being actively disengaged.
To put this in perspective, a disengaged employee earning $60,000 a year costs their company $20,400 annually . In contrast, a high performing one outperforms their peers by 147% in earnings per share, takes fewer sick days, makes fewer errors and is more productive.
Here are 6 unconventional initiatives companies can look to when creating initiatives to inspire motivation and happiness
Improving Cultural Competency Through Global Mobility And Language Learning
Learning a new language is undoubtedly challenging yet incredibly rewarding when achieved. As companies expand into foreign countries, it requires them to seek out candidates with specific language skills. The benefits of current employees acquiring new language skills are vast. It improves their cultural sensitivity and the ability to communicate across cultures with confidence and professionalism.
Cultural competency isn’t exclusive to language learning courses but also the possibility of experiencing another culture. Companies such as
These temporary overseas assignments expose employees to the working culture in another country. While abroad, they’re able to learn the various business demands in different markets giving them a well-rounded view on how international business works.
Developing Skills Through Cross Departmental Training
Often times, employees become disconnected and disengaged as a result of their daily tasks becoming monotonous.
Matthew Ross, co-owner and COO of The Slumber Yard, has a program in place where he rotates his employees to a new position every eight weeks. This rotation allows them to acquire new skills preventing them from becoming complacent in their role. He says, “by training employees to be competent in multiple disciplines within the organization, we’re able to mitigate the effects of employee turnover and prevent our employees from being a “one-trick-pony.”
Employers can drive high-performance and reduce turnover by investing in the growth of their employee’s skills by immersing them in other departments within the company. Leaders should initiate conversations about employee career goals and maintain consistent communication with frequent check-ins and feedback.
Empowering Financial Wellness With Professional Guidance
According to a survey published by SHRM, 27% of companies are prioritizing financial planning by providing one-on-one support to their employees on how to manage debt, obtain a mortgage and mitigate financial risk.
(PwC) recently conducted a survey surrounding the financial stressors employees face. The survey reveals finances are an employees biggest distraction keeping them from being productive at work. 47% of employees admitted they’re stressed with their current financial situation with their stress rising over the last 12 months.
Patrick Shreckengast, co-founder of AceUp, believes in “providing an environment where employees have the resources they need to feel confident about their financial situation.” For this reason, he chose to partner with LearnLux to provide digital financial education and resources to his team.
Inspiring Confidence With A Life And Career Coach
Zappos has been an exemplary example of a company that is leading the way in positively impacting company culture and employee happiness. Augusta Scott, Zappos free full-time on-campus life coach serves a valuable role at the world’s largest online shoe store.
Scott’s purpose is to help employees achieve whatever 30-day goal they want through coaching and accountability. Zappos reports the top three things people come to Scott for coaching on is career development, personal finances and budgeting, and weight loss.
Since bringing Scott onboard, Zappos reported the many added benefits coaching has on its employees “such as better teamwork, increased job satisfaction, improved communication skills, and improved relationships.”
Preserving Passion Through Extended Leave Programs
Sabbaticals are a highly sought-after workplace perk that isn’t commonly offered. When speaking with Scott Woods, President of West Arete, he mentioned the unique way West Arete offers sabbaticals to their employees. Woods says, “each sabbatical is fully unplugged by design so employees can completely forget about work and do something remarkable and meaningful for themselves.”
It was astounding to learn each employee at West Arete is offered a three-week fully paid sabbatical every year. This is in addition to their three weeks of paid vacation, two weeks of standard holidays and one week of paid sick time.
Upon further research, the limited amount of companies who extend this benefit, typically do so after a period of five years working for the company. Larger companies such as
extend an 8-week paid sabbatical to their employees every seven years. The multinational tech company also extends an option to take an earlier four-week paid sabbatical after only four years, if needed.
Supporting Health And Wellness Goals With Incentives And Initiatives
Companies such as Motley Fool and
make it incredibly easy for their employees to have a healthy balance of productivity, health and happiness with their onsite wellness programs.
Holding their title for six consecutive years, Google prioritizes employee health and wellness with various onsite initiatives such as fitness centers, classes, onsite physicians and chiropractors. The $75 billion tech titan also has micro kitchens and cafes scattered throughout their campus stocked with nutritious snacks and foods.
The reality is, not every company has a Google-sized budget to invest in their health and wellness initiatives. Fortunately, creating wellness initiatives can be done on little to no budget. It’s as simple as purchasing exercise bands from
starting a company sports league, initiating a walking club or having an employee-led pilates class.
Some companies establish budgets for each employee to use at their pleasure to enhance their personal and professional needs. While this may be helpful, most employees aren’t aware of them or how they work. This causes this benefit to often go untouched. The best way to design and implement programs and initiatives that will have the greatest impact is to ask for feedback on what employees want and need.