6 Effects of Covid-19 that Will Affect Companies for Years to Come

Covid in the workplace - masked workerCovid-19 caused a total shift in the corporate world and created trends bound to last into the future. Below are six effects of Covid-19 that you can expect to have a lingering impact on companies. As a business, understanding the implications of major events like the recent pandemic allows you to plan and adjust to the prevailing circumstance to ensure survival, growth, and relevance. Sticking to old ways may not work.

1. Hybrid Workplace

As part of the containment measures, most companies required employees to work from home to minimize the spread of the virus. The move made most companies (and employees) realize the benefits of remote work and acknowledge that employees can still be productive away from the office. It also came with cost savings for companies and flexibility in working hours and workplaces.

Since not all employees can work from home, companies created a hybrid workforce by adding flexibility to their working hours and allowing employees to work remotely in shifts. After implementing such measures during the pandemic, getting back to working entirely from the office will be a challenge.

2. Increased Digitization

With remote working, companies had to digitize their operations. They shifted from in-person to virtual meetings, which required companies to invest in digital conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Also, the uptake of packages like Microsoft 365 increased as it comes with benefits like sync and the ability to access files remotely for home workers.

As more businesses move online the focus on cybersecurity also grows, with more companies investing in cloud services and tools like VPNs. Digital investment during the pandemic also means companies will continue adopting new digital solutions after realizing their effectiveness and security. This may also impact employment rates as companies can work effectively even with labor constraints.

3. Changing Consumer Behavior

Covid-19 caused changes in consumer behavior, resulting in a shift in demand for specific products and services. Consumers shopped more intentionally and consciously, with brand loyalty dropping. They also went online for goods and focused on buying locally.

Conscious shopping means less waste and choosing more sustainable options. With this in mind, brands that make sustainability a crucial offering are bound to enjoy the benefits in the future. Also, companies will have to invest in connecting with local consumers and tailor their offerings to meet local needs to stay relevant and prosper.

4. Increased E-Commerce

As people stayed home and social-distanced, consumers opted to shop online to avoid going to the store. E-commerce provided access to different products for consumers in the comfort of their homes. It has also ensured that companies continue operations despite Covid restrictions.

The convenience that e-commerce affords buyers means consumers will continue shopping online. Also, the sales incentives and lower business costs make it a possible alternative for brands seeking to benefit from an online presence. Companies that would otherwise shut down their physical stores in such a crisis can consider e-commerce to stay in operation in the future.

5. Resilience

Given the threats the pandemic posed to businesses, companies that survived the tumultuous era are likely to become more resilient. After adapting and overcoming the crisis through measures like better products and services and improved processes, many companies can handle future disruptors without crumbling. Also, the pandemic forced most businesses to put their best foot forward and change how they conduct their operations through digitalization and automation, improving productivity and efficiency.

6. Recruiting

The advent of an increased workforce means that companies are no longer limited to the pool of employees living near their offices. This opens up staff sourcing opportunities really wide for employers. This includes specialized workers that might be hard to find in your city. It also opens up the possibility of paying less for workers who reside in cities where the cost of living is much lower than your city (e.g., someone from a remote town in North Dakota being hired for a job in Manhattan can probably be paid a lot less than those living in or around Manhattan.

The Covid-19 pandemic had significant implications on business operations, and the above effects are likely to be around for much longer.

This article is brought to you by COMPackage, the leader in DIY total compensation reports. Help your recruiting and retention efforts by clearly showing your employees and recruits the total package you offer.

Why Are Employees Quitting Jobs in Masses?

Man holding sign: I quitIn November of 2021, the rate at which people quit their jobs reached a 20-year high in what’s being called The Great Resignation. What’s causing people to leave their jobs en masse all of a sudden? There are a number of reasons.

The Given Reasons

According to the Pew Research Center, the most popular reason given by workers leaving their jobs last year was that the pay was too low. This has been a major part of public discourse for a while now. Prices are going up. Rent is going up. Meanwhile, wages are stagnating. For many employees, their paychecks are no longer enough to live on.

The second most popular reason was that there was no opportunity at the job for advancement. A particular job may seem a dream to an employee when it’s first offered to them. However, it can lose its appeal after a few years of doing the same thing day after day. They’ve gained knowledge and experience at this job, and they want to put it to good use: be given more responsibility, a better job title, more pay, etc. But for whatever reason, the company won’t let them move forward.

Some bosses even take this a step further. When someone leaves the company, rather than hiring someone new, they’ll simply give that person’s responsibilities to another employee: more work and more responsibility, but without the corresponding promotion or salary increase.

This ties in directly with the third most popular reason for quitting a job: a lack of respect at work. Some employers abuse their authority. They try to force employees to work overtime or come in on their day off – and they threaten discipline, or even termination, if they don’t. They make impossible demands and act like it’s the employee’s duty to bow to their every whim. Job environments like this can become intolerable quickly, paving the way for resignation.

The Underlying Reasons

While low pay and poor working conditions are certainly valid reasons to leave a job, these problems have also been around for years. Why now, all of a sudden, have employees finally had enough? There are a number of possible reasons, but one of the biggest factors likely involves the pandemic.

For one thing, many older baby boomers with investment accounts that were at peak levels chose to retire. Moreover, nearly 1.8 million women left the labor force amid the pandemic. Presumably after having a taste of not working, they simply chose not to return.

These two classes of workers created vacancies for many millennials to move into – many with a significant pay increase as employers struggled to find replacements. Besides driving the Great Resignation, these circumstances may be high among the leading causes for inflation. When COVID hit the U.S., many companies switched to work-from-home models. People who had spent years coming into the office day after day were suddenly given the tools to do their jobs from anywhere.

Employees with children found themselves better equipped to balance work and family life. Employees with long commutes now didn’t have to waste all that time on the road anymore.

A plethora of benefits to the new work-from-home model became apparent. What’s more, productivity levels didn’t suffer as employers feared they would. In most cases, they remained the same or even improved!

Then, when COVID restrictions were relaxed, many of these companies started requiring their employees once again to come into the office every day. Having seen that things can be better than having to go back to the way things were before, has been eye-opening for many workers.

Smart companies are coming up with solutions, and future articles will cover some of these solutions. One tool than can help with retention is total compensation reports, like those from COMPackage.com. These help to educate workers as to the total value of their compensation when costly benefits are understood.

Six Great Ideas for Onboarding a Remote Workforce

Person with Onboarding Name TagBringing new remote employees aboard should be a smooth and inviting endeavor. The way you welcome new members to your team plays a major role in whether the team will be cohesive or disjointed. Here are ideas for onboarding a remote workforce.

1. Offer extensive training to new members

Training new employees is crucial to maintaining a consistent staff, yet so many companies give this short shrift. For example, they’ll give people one or two weeks of training, when four to six would be much more grounding and effective. Often, the reason people quit after being hired is they don’t understand the work because it wasn’t presented to them clearly enough. Successful training includes instructors asking for feedback to make sure each individual understands their role and responsibilities. Moreover, this is a great excuse to have new hires meet various people in your company – the more the merrier. Because establishing enduring connections is often the number one reason employees tend to stay at a company.

2. Set up online meetings with small groups

Online video meetings are helpful to visually bringing a remote team together. Encourage some online meetings that are purely relationship-oriented. For example, pose questions that have people share their personal side (e.g., What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you? What’s the most interesting place you ever traveled to? What’s your worst traveling horror story? Etc.).

3. Encourage dinner/drink get-togethers

If you have multiple people who work remotely but live near each other (or live near to the company office), encourage them to get together outside of working ours for the pure purpose of socializing. For example, you might offer to cover dinner or drinks (to a reasonable maximum) whenever three or more people gather outside of work.

4. Create a visual, fun, online onboarding handbook

Most employee handbooks are so dry and boring, it’s a wonder anyone ever reads them. Why not turn this around by having a creative team (internal or external) find a way to make it graphical and entertaining. You can include fun videos of various team members introducing themselves and discussing the handbook items that are in their purview – but in short bursts. Include links for new hires to provide feedback or ask questions. And structure the whole thing to avoid information overload.

5. Engage new hires in an online games

Some employers use games such as scavenger hunts on their premises as a fun and refreshing onboarding technique. The same thing can be done virtually with the company’s website. Make a contest out of having new members search the site for answers to trivia questions about the company. Give prizes to those who can answer the most questions correctly. It will help accelerate the learning curve about the organization.

6. Offer Total Compensation Reports

Distributing total compensation reports allows employers to share what they are providing for employees beyond their base pay. Employers tend to take for granted that employees will understand the high value of their non-salary compensation, but many employees don’t realize the extent of it. This can help with retention – especially as many employees these days are turning to freelancing. But it’s not until they leave a job and are confronted by things like the high cost of health insurance, the extra cost of FICA, and the fact that they no longer are getting paid on holidays and during vacations, that some begin to appreciate just how good they had it working at your company.

 

4 Considerations to Get Staff to Return to the Office

Employees going back to the officeThe last couple of years have seen a paradigm shift in most workplaces. As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, most employees had to work remotely. Fortunately, the restrictions caused by COVID-19 have been gradually easing.

Now, employees are slowly coming back to the office. But, just how easy is it for your employees to transition from remote working to be in the office? More importantly, what can employers do to ensure a smooth transition? Read on to learn how to smoothly get your employees back to the office.

How easy is the transition from remote to office working?

Some employers and top managers do not see a problem with the transition from working from home to moving back to the office. However, if you look at it from the employee’s point of view, you’ll realize why you need a transition plan. Essentially, your staff has been working from the comfort of their homes for a while now.

Working from home presents a new experience, and it will take time before the staff can get used to working from the office. There’s no definitive timeline or guideline on how long it will take. Since every workplace is unique, it may take your staff anywhere from a few days to weeks or even months.

What can employers do to ensure a smooth transition?

Admittedly, employers have a key role to play in creating a conducive work environment. Here are a few practical tips on what you can do.

1. Get feedback from your staff

As an employer, you may feel the entire burden of creating a smooth transition falls on you. However, it is important to remember you are dealing with the lives of other people. Taking some time to engage with your employees will make the transition process easier.

Basically, you want to ask your staff what works best for them and how you can improve the working space to match the experience they had. Take up these ideas and work on implementing them. For example, most people got used to dressing down. You can, for example, come up with a more lenient and accommodating dress code.

2. Consider changing the working hours

One of the most significant changes when working remotely is the freedom of working hours. Some employees got used to working at different hours of the day. Now that the staff is transitioning back to the office, perhaps you should reconsider changing when the staff can work.

Since most economies operate throughout the day and night, implementing better working hours could also open up new opportunities for your services and products. In addition, changing the working hours could positively affect productivity. Since everyone works when they are most productive, you may experience increased output.

3. Rearrange the working environment

Traditionally, offices were built without significant consideration for the staff. However, since your employees have gotten used to working in a conducive environment, getting back to the generic office setting may increase the transition period.

You can get ideas from your staff on what they would like to see in the new workspace environment. Some of the options to consider include a practical and functional break room with some nice amenities.

4. Give your staff ample time to adjust

As mentioned above, there’s no one definite time limit that your employees need to officially get back to the comfort of the office. This applies to both general workplaces and individual employees. Employers and managers should be understanding and let employees take their time and transition at their speeds.

Ultimately, it is important to recognize that getting back to the office comes with its own set of challenges. Taking time to understand what your employees need and what you can do to help will go a long way in creating a smooth transition. These steps will help you get the best from your employees and a creative work environment.

Improving the office experience is one way to help workers be comfortable in the office. Those considering changing to become freelancers would be well served by understanding their current situation better with total compensation reports. They might be surprised to learn that if they go off on their own, they will be giving up a lot of money in benefits they’ll need to provide themselves.

 

Does Increasing Female Leadership Help Reduce Gender Bias in the Workplace?

Gender Bias in the workplaceGender bias and inequality in the workplace is something we’d like to think of as a thing of the past. In reality, that isn’t the case. This remains a significant issue today.

Every company should certainly make an effort to eliminate gender bias and inequality. Not only is this the right thing to do, but making a deliberate effort towards the same can help you attract and retain top talent.

Towards this end, there are several approaches a company can take. One such approach is by increasing female leadership in the following one or more of the ways.

1. Implementing a Gender-Neutral Recruitment Process

Review your entire recruitment process to eliminate any loopholes that would otherwise encourage gender bias. This starts with the language used in the job description when putting out job ads.

Indeed, some words commonly used in job descriptions have masculine connotations, which may put off women from applying for the advertised positions. “Competitive” is one such word; another is “rock-star” On the other hand, words such as “co-operation” and “collaboration” tend to attract women more.

The bottom line remains that you should be sure to inquisitively review your job postings and remove any gender-charged phrases, both masculine and feminine.

The next step is to ensure you standardize interviews and implement blind evaluation processes. Blind evaluation processes, such as neuroscientific tests, help to remove any bias from the recruitment process.

2. Support Women into Senior Roles

Big names across different industries have set gender targets. These companies break down targets by function and business lines. This means that the company sets out a certain number of seats on the senior management board for women and finds the most qualified women to fill these roles.

Of course, like men, all these women in senior positions should have clearly defined roles, and their performance gauged against set targets and required milestones. They should be held accountable for meeting these targets just like anyone else.

3. Actively Encourage Women to Progress

Ensure your female employees are applying for advertised promotions and asking for pay raises. Some companies have made a point of ensuring that line managers check if the high-potential women in their team have applied for these positions. If not, the line managers have a responsibility to find out why that is the case.

Actively encouraging it will get more women to apply for positions of progress. Line managers should make a point of doing follow-ups to ensure that more women apply, provided they are a good fit for the advertised positions.

4. Establishing Mentorship Programs

It isn’t enough to just encourage women at your workplace to apply for higher-paying and more senior roles. It’s best to provide the much-needed guidance and mentorship. And the higher up in the organization you are, the more widespread will be your effect.

Indeed, a solid mentorship program will help to diversify the work hierarchy. These programs give women in your organization the organizational knowledge, skills, and networks to be able to climb the corporate ladder.

Through these programs, you will be pairing the women in your organization with other women, or even men, who can impart to them the knowledge required to get to that promotion or power the transition to the next step.

Beyond Leadership

As highlighted, you can bridge gender inequality at the workplace by encouraging and increasing female leadership. In addition to encouraging more women to fill senior positions or positions of leadership in the organization, you will do well to review salaries and standardize pay. This will help bridge any gender pay gaps. With total compensation reports, you can show potential employees and recruits the total package you offer, which will, in turn, help your talent recruiting and retention offers.

NYC Joins the Wage Transparency Bandwagon

Wage TransparencyAlthough 2022 has just begun, the employment scene in NYC is already hot. In December 2021, the city council passed a law requiring employers to indicate a minimum and maximum salary on job postings and advertisements. Employers in NYC should develop a plan for both internal and external job postings ahead of the May 15, 2022, effective date.

Employers will need to indicate the salary ranges on new jobs, transfer opportunities, and internal promotions. Similar laws are already in place in a handful of jurisdictions.

The NYC legislation is among similar wage transparency bills enacted across the US. For instance, Colorado recently passed a law requiring employers to include total compensation reports (salary, bonuses, and benefits) in job postings.

What Are the Requirements of the Wage Transparency Law?

Beginning April 2022, NYC employers will be required to include a salary range in all job vacancies. For those who aren’t sure of the exact maximum or minimum salary for a particular role, the legislation provides that the range can extend from the minimum to maximum salary an employer believes they would pay for the job, transfer, or promotion.

According to supporters of the NYC wage transparency bill, this law will address pay inequality issues. Often, job candidates don’t receive salary information or employee benefits reports until the hiring process ends.

Employers who’ll skirt the law risk getting slapped with fines or lawsuits. As per the existing provisions, the New York City Commission on Human Rights can impose a maximum penalty of $125,000 for discriminatory acts or practices.

If the mayor signs the bill into law, it will:

  • Require all employers to provide salary ranges for job positions within New York City.
  • Make it an illegal and discriminatory practice to not include salary ranges in job postings for positions within the city.
  • Authorize the NYC Commission on Human Rights to implement it.

Once it gets passed, the law will apply to all companies with more than four employees, including contractors. However, it won’t apply to job postings by placement agencies for temporary positions.

Is Wage Transparency Good for Business?

Proponents of the legislation argue that it’s long overdue. It will eliminate the inequality that exists in the hiring process. The new law should help identify and hopefully reduce or eliminate the systemic pay inequalities that primarily affect women and racial minorities. Providing total benefits statements in job listings can also help employers retain their most talented staff amid the Great Resignation.

Generally, salary transparency is a sensitive topic; but, keeping employees informed can bring goodwill to an organization. On the flip side, skirting the salary transparency conversation brings more public scrutiny. A case in point is Google, which couldn’t keep hiding its gender pay gap. Publicizing employee benefits reports also protects companies by minimizing the risk of unequal treatment claims. Likewise, it boosts employees’ motivation, productivity, and collaboration.

COMPackage: The Go-To Benefit Statement Software

When the wage transparency bill becomes law, New York City-based companies will need employee benefits software to generate reports indicating what employees earn. COMPackage is one such tool, since it allows both small and large organizations to generate compensation statements conveniently, securely, and affordably.

Investing in the software enables employers to provide employees with detailed compensation statements. Similarly, employees can see their benefit statements and determine how much they’re valued at the workplace.

With more than 60 company-paid perks and benefits to include in a total compensation benefits report, COMPackage ensures transparency between businesses and employees. A small company can use the compensation software to create benefits reports for as little as $8 per employee. Likewise, unlimited reporting is provided to professional service agencies and larger companies for as little as $1,559 annually.

8 Reasons Why Working from Home Could Be Included as an Employee Benefit

Flexible work arrangements have become a competitive edge among modern companies. As the workforce gets younger, the popularity of remote work will only increase. In addition to attracting and retaining talent, a flexible working model opens your company to a more diverse workforce. Also, you can include remote working in your total compensation statements, thanks to benefits like those listed here.

1. Cost Savings

The costs of commuting to an office add up quickly and eat into any employee’s savings – from gas and car maintenance to professional clothes, laundry expenses, lunch, coffee, etc.

If the company is located in an expensive city, the daily travel and food costs can frustrate your employees. Employees save a lot of money by eating home-cooked meals and wearing casual attire when working from home.

2. Save Time

Employees spend a lot of time getting ready for work in the morning and maneuvering through traffic. Dealing with traffic jams also exhausts people and leaves them dreading the daily commute.

A flexible work model allows workers to get sufficient rest and wake up refreshed and ready for work. Also, they spend less time traveling and can put more energy into work

3. Better Work-Life Balance

Flexible working offers a better work-life balance for employees. The traditional nine-to-five work model is especially ineffective among parents with young children and people taking care of elderly relatives. By working from home, such employees can balance their home and work responsibilities.

Remote working also allows employees to enjoy their hobbies and enjoy more time with family, friends, and pets. If a worker needs a break amid tasks, they can walk around the neighborhood.

4. Comfortable Working Environment

Employees have little say in the setup of company offices. In comparison, a remote worker is free to customize their home office to be as comfy as possible. Employees can use ergonomic furniture, plants, scents, artwork, and lighting fixtures to their home office area and add a luxurious sofa to take breaks in.

5. Eliminate Office Distractions

Employees often struggle to focus amidst various workplace distractions. With chatty coworkers, office celebrations like birthdays, nearby group meetings, printers, and other equipment, the workplace can easily get chaotic. When employees work from home, they control their environment and can eliminate distractions more effectively.

6. Improved Health and Fitness

Working from home has lots of mental health benefits. When employees spend more time caring for family, they are happier and more satisfied. What’s more, remote workers eat more nutritious meals and even get into pursuits like baking bread. As workers accomplish more home and work responsibilities when working their home, they are less anxious.

Since remote employees spend less time commuting, they can dedicate more time to working out and improving their wellness. Also, it is easier to squeeze in walks and daily runs when working from home.

7. Improved Productivity

Lengthy in-person meetings at the office and daily commutes reduce employee productivity. In contrast, working from home means fewer disruptions from colleagues and less traveling. Remote workers have more flexibility to set up their day and define schedules that best work for them. For instance, some people work the best in the morning while others thrive during the night. Also, regular breaks when working from home refreshes employees to tackle their workload.

8. Increased Freedom and Happiness

Remote employees appreciate the freedom to plan their daily life to meet both home and work responsibilities. There is also less stress in remote working, as employees work in a comfortable environment. As a result, workers are happier and more satisfied with their jobs.

Flexible work arrangements have many benefits for employees, including improved mental health, cost savings, and increased job satisfaction. Document these benefits in Total Compensation Reports, like those provided by COMPackage.com, to attract and retain top talent.

Rethink Compensation

Consider rethinking compensation. For example, rather than compensate people primarily for sitting in their office for 40 hours each week, consider tying their compensation to results produced, assuming their position has measurable tasks and/or objectives. See our prior blog on this topic.

Are You Sitting on Valuable Retention Information?

You may be sitting on valuable retention information for your employees, and not even realize it.

It’s your Benefits Package. And maybe your employees don’t even know what value it provides, because you haven’t simply communicated it.

Or maybe it’s time to rethink your benefits programming.

Times have changed. How much one makes, and what hoops one must jump through to be at work, have come to a point of decision and change for currently 8 percent of all employees in the marketplace. So, now is a great time to rethink your benefits programming, and/or communicate what you already offer.

Issues to rethink include the following.

  • Time off
    • Personal time
    • Family time
    • Medical time off
    • Holiday Time off
  • Work from home
    • Home business equipment allowances
    • Smart phone allowances
    • Short-term parking allowances to drop off or pick up work
  • Minimum wage/bottom-rung wage increases
  • Quality-of-life perks
    • Workspaces
    • In-office social spaces
    • Accommodations
    • Food at work
  • Incentives that accomplish critical success factors
    • Sales
    • Recruitment
    • Operational improvements/savings
  • Increased management/staff engagement
  • Other ideas
    • Quarterly performance reviews
    • Exit interviews
    • HR hire
    • Tighter manager performance reviews

If you are paying for it instead of your employees having to pay for it – tell them what you are spending on them.

If you are providing a service, even such as free parking in your parking lot, that they would have to pay money for at another job, quantify and communicate it.

Even if you don’t provide a lot of paid holiday or vacation time, anything you do provide is more than a current employee or prospective employee would get if he/she/they went freelance. Let them know.

The entire motivation for COMPackage – the world’s first self-serve total compensation reporting solution, is to show your employees all of the value that you provide above and beyond their compensation.

Given the low cost of COMPackage, why miss out on this motivational (recruiting- and retention-related) opportunity?

Are you already doing some sort of homemade solution (e.g., Excel and Word) to communicate total compensation reports to your employees? Our customers who used to do it that way have told us time and again that, given the level of effort to use and maintain such a homemade system, it’s easier to use COMPackage.

Check out COMPackage today. With our 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose.

Preparing for Workplace Violence

Today’s working environment is much different from what the baby boomer generation was used to. Significant changes in culture, societal norms, and technology have made it critical for employers to keep up with emergent needs in the workplace. And workplace safety is certainly one of the top concerns that you should address.

There are many different threats that your workers face on a daily basis. From the possibility of an active shooting to physical abuse between colleagues, employers need to be proactive when dealing with challenges in the workplace.

Creating a plan for workplace safety is a comprehensive approach. It involves robust policies, employee training, and effective communication. These elements all come together to help deter acts of workplace violence before they occur.

Types of workplace violence

Safety in the workplace has become a top concern for many stakeholders. This means that unions, local authorities, OSHA, and employees themselves consider safe working conditions a top priority. Workplace violence can be described as any activity that causes physical, emotional, or psychological harm.

This definition of workplace violence has expanded over the years. Indeed, what may have been previously considered “acceptable” or “ignorable” may now be an explicit form of violence in the workplace. Furthermore, such violence can also occur outside of work and still affect the working conditions of an employee.

Employers need to be aware that workplace violence includes more than just physical abuse. Many forms of emotional and psychological abuse (such as bullying, insults, and surveillance) also fall under the definition of workplace violence.

Some common types of workplace violence include:

  • Physical abuse and threats of physical harm
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual assault and violence
  • Domestic abuse
  • Stalking

How to prepare for (and prevent) workplace violence

Being prepared for workplace violence is the best way of avoiding tragic and costly events. Here’s how you can remain ahead of risks that may affect your employees.

1. Have clear policies in place

Safety starts with having detailed policies in the workplace. From restricting visitor movement to banning weapons, you should take time to develop and inform your workers about what they can and cannot do. You may also need to consider conduct that happens outside the workplace. For example, domestic violence cases may have implications on the perpetrator and the victim when they go to work.

2. Train your employees

Regular training is critical to workplace safety. Sensitizing your employees about types of violence and their associated consequences can help minimize violence in the workplace.

3. Communication is key

Thanks to technology, you can take advantage of emergency communication tools when responding to acts of violence. As a simple example, text messages and voice calls can be automatically sent to workers if a shooting happens. “Panic buttons” can also be activated to alert security personnel in real time if an employee commits violence.

4. Develop a disaster response plan

Finally, make sure you have a disaster response plan to address incidences of violence. This may include partnering with a security firm, having emergency exits in your building, or creating “safe zones” where unauthorized personnel can’t access.

This article is brought to you by COMPackage, the leader in DIY total compensation reports. Help your recruiting and retention efforts by clearly showing your employees and recruits the total package you offer.

How Savvy Companies Are Winning the Battle for Talent

Recruiting Millennials As the economy continues to improve, the need for young skilled workers is rising. For many companies, the need for finding, hiring, and retaining workers can be challenging. Compound this by the changes in needs and expectations that Millennial and Gen Z workers have brought to the workplace, and you have the perfect storm.

Today, companies need to look beyond compensation when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. You need to look at your corporate philosophy and culture. To win the battle for the top talent, you need to build a strong employer brand.

Here are a few ways savvy companies are winning the battle for talent.

Offer Clarity to Applicants about Your Company’s Core Values

When you have a clear set of defined values and are open and honest with applicants before and during interviews, both prospective hires and those doing the hiring will have a clear idea if they fit before actually working together.

The key is to make sure that the values you’re expressing are authentic. Imitating another businesses’ value set is a big mistake. If you haven’t already done so, take some time to spell out your company’s core values. Speak with your standout team members and ask them what keeps them around; you’ll likely begin to notice distinct patterns.

Once you’ve defined your core values, make sure you walk the walk! Live your values day-in and day-out. Many companies have a list of core values, but what matters is that they are grounded in behaviors. For example, if you say you’re committed to personal growth, but do not have a budget to pay for employees to take courses, your candidates will see right through it.

As past CEO of Pittsburgh’s leading advertising agency, and now President of this blog’s host, COMPackage.com, we developed eight core values at my agency by pulling the management team together and throwing everything at the wall that represented any of their core values here. Then we asked the question: can we operate without this one, and that one. We came down to eight that we could not live without. That was after combining terms like honesty, truthfulness, integrity as one (Integrity). There were several like that. We probably started with over 50, and condensed it to eight. Then we came up with a term that the first letter of each spelled that term, and drilled “GOT RICE” into everyone’s minds, so that they could all probably today recite at least five out of eight of them… and that was over 20 years ago! Email me if you want to know what GOT RICE stands for. Or tell me, and I might send you a gift. J

What Today’s Talent is Looking For

Smart HR professionals are highlighting cultures that reflect the needs and expectations of Millennials and Gen Z workers. Beyond the basics of being a great place to work, what these newest members of the workforce are seeking are:

  • Work/Life Balance – While these workers are dedicated and hard-working, it’s important for companies to understand that they have a life outside of work. Policies like flex time, telecommuting, and the ability to donate time to causes they believe in are important differentiators that can help you attract talent.
  • A Strong Sense of Social Responsibility – Companies that are diverse in their hiring, support their local communities, and/or offer paid time off for employees to donate their time are attractive to potential hires. Millennials and Gen Z workers value businesses that are socially and environmentally responsible.
  • Safety and Respect in the Workplace – In a respectful workplace, employees are more engaged and productive. Treating your workers with respect can instill confidence and offer much-needed encouragement. Workers who feel safe and respected while at work, are more satisfied. Respect improves knowledge sharing and boosts the bottom line!
  • The Ability to Advance Their Career – While both Millennials and Gen Z prefer to work independently, both are looking for guidance. Mentorship programs where new hires are paired with experienced employees are an attractive benefit. Offering a program where employees can switch their core focus is also a big draw. For example, Newmark, a real estate firm, offers a two-year program where employees switch positions every six-months to learn about the business, and also to identify where they excel.

While compensation is secondary for a large percentage of millennials and others, it’s still a significant factor. So it’s essential to make sure you show them the total value of their package that includes benefits beyond their paychecks. Total compensation reports are the way to do it.

As the workforce continues to tighten, companies must begin to think beyond compensation to attract and retain the best talent. By defining your company’s core values, and implementing policies that today’s workers are seeking, you can begin to win the battle for the top talent.