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  • Awatif Yahya

Time for a Makeover


As organizations debate and prepare for some form of return to the office, employees are revaluating their relationship with their organizations. If their employment experience has not been great, they are less inclined to remain in partnership with their employer. Employees are also assessing their work-life balance, especially after experiencing the leeway extended to them with work from home. If WFH flexibility enhanced their lifestyles, they would want to keep it.


For reasons mentioned above, organizations need to consider an operational makeover. It is time for leadership to view the Human Resources function as a true business partner. Whether they consider this period “the great resignation” or "the great recruiting", leadership need to take this opportunity to rebrand their organization. This is where HR can come in to play a key role in building the reputation of the organization as a great employer.


Below are five areas for possible improvements: -


1. Flexible work arrangements

People have different preferences and work styles. Giving employees flexibility in their work arrangements allows them to excel. As long as high-quality work is delivered on time, leadership need not bother with how, where and when employees choose to work.


2. Pool of benefits

Instead of offering fixed benefits per work grade, why not present a pool of benefits for employees to choose from. Not everyone appreciates a gym membership. Not everyone owns a car or wants to own one. Individual employees have specific benefits that are best suited for them personally. It might be harder to manage different benefits for different employees, but it pays off in terms of employee retention.


3. Focus on employee development

There are many channels for employee development. Traditional training is one form. Others include special projects, national or international assignments and self-help resources. Whatever channel used; each employee should realize a great enhancement to their knowledge from the time they joined the organization to the time they leave.


4. Focus on employee support

Whether offered through assigning a work-buddy, a coach or a mentor, leaders should check-in with their employees to see if they are ok. Employee support includes offering mental health benefits as and when needed. Leaders need to have realistic expectations considering resources given to employees. Employee support services should be natural part of running a business.


5. Intentional focus on fun

No one wants to spend 8 hours of their day in a mundane workplace. Organizations need not spend a lot of money to make work a fun experience. Seasonal workplace decorations, personalized greetings, opting to use first names, smiling often and thanking employees could be more impactful than organizing parties and social events. Make fun part of the work culture and keep it consistent throughout the organization.

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