What they want: affordable engagement tools for every workplace

What they want: affordable engagement tools for every workplace

What they want: affordable engagement tools for every workplace

Sometimes the day to day grind means the “nice to haves” fall to the wayside, but when it comes to recruitment and retention, employee engagement should be a priority. However, in the tougher economic clime, how can a company re-engage and re-invigorate its workers without challenging their bottom line?

Job site Monster.ca recently released its “Wake-up call” promotion, encouraging workers to rethink their career and take ownership and action for where they’re headed, and the message has relevance to employers as well.

“It’s a wake-up call for employers, too," Monster.ca's Sheryl Boswell said. "With layoffs in the news, tougher times we’ve gone through, employers have had to bear bigger workloads, for not a lot more money, employers can’t take it for granted that employees are going to be there for long-term."

The company works closely with companies and job seekers and has seen the changing emphasis put on specific types of perks and trends and while things like an informal dress code are still appreciated, employee expectations are becoming more sophisticated.

Corporate Social Responsibility is an increasingly important one, Boswell said. From paid time off to volunteer, to gift matching charitable donations – employees expect companies to be good corporate citizens.

Flexibility is another trend that workers are focused on. Whether that means telecommuting options, summer hours

When it comes to building a cohesive and enthusiastic teams, something as simple as a company outing to the local park gives staff a chance spend time together out of the office where they can build camaraderie.

Finally, an initiative such as Innovation Days or Brain Trust Days allow employees to step away from the usual responsibilities to tackle other projects. Google famously offers “20% time” when employees can focus on projects they personal care about.

“It depends on the culture, but allowing people to think in a different way and work in a different manner with their co-workers can foster collaboration and a close-knit culture. That’s going to make for happier employees and more engaged employees,” Boswell said.

These types of programs aren’t just about retention – they’re also the traits that candidates are looking for and are a vital aspect of your company’s employer branding.

 “You need to sell the company to job seekers today,” Boswell said. “These kinds of perks, which don’t have to be expensive, in weighing job offer decisions or even whether to apply for the job, have become more and more important. It’s not only to keep your employees happy but also to attract employees to your company.”