I recently read the following quote from an article on LinkedIn. Initially, I loved it and fell for what it said; then almost immediately, I thought of what the average business owner, CEO or manager would be thinking if they read it…….
- It was inspiring to be part of a group sharing innovative approaches to creating businesses that people love to be a part of. Some of the interesting ideas we heard about were unlimited holidays, meditation classes to combat stress, sleeping pods for afternoon naps and truly flexible working hours and locations. All of these innovations could be replicated by many companies all over the world and there’s good reason to do so – it’s good for business.
For many of us who live in the Caribbean and worked for regional and local companies it may sound as a somewhat far-fetched idea. Those of us who have had a touch of corporate America may be thinking otherwise. Employees are the most important asset to every company and creating the best work environment for employees is a must. Now the specific examples referred to above may not be realistic for most of the companies and organizations that we know and have worked for. Let me try to put this in context for those of us who live in the Caribbean, to consider a few inspiring approaches which can be adopted in our workplaces.
- Flexible hours and flexible holidays – Staff can be accommodated to work “flexi” hours to accommodate those with dependents, those who live far from work and have difficulty getting to work on time and also “flexi” vacations to assist those who need to stay home with children when school is out. Outcome: more satisfied employees and more team work exhibited.
- Kiddies room and mini daycare – A room about the size of a large boardroom can be used for afterschool programs. The company can hire a tutor to assist with homework, art or other areas of interest while parents continue to work. Outcome: employees more comfortable and may work longer hours.
- Work transportation – Companies with their own minibuses or other vehicles can provide transportation to staff who live far away from the office. Outcome: happier employees who come to work on time.
- Provision of snacks or lunch – to avoid staff leaving the office during the day, some snacks or light lunch can be provided. Outcome: much more satisfied employees willing to go the extra mile.
- Incentives – Quarterly and in some cases annual perks to be offered to staff who excel in certain areas, beat sale targets, received recommendations from clients or received recognition from other staff. Prizes can be in the form of weekend getaways, dinners, ferry trips and shopping sprees. Outcome: more productive and happier employees.
- Health and Wellness offers – the cost of annual medicals, dentist visits, spa treatments and other healthy lifestyle activities to be covered for staff or offered as an incentive based on performance. Outcome: healthy, satisfied employees willing to exceed expectations at work.
Now let’s see which companies can adopt at least one of these….
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