1) Development and learning opportunities: Learning opportunities are endless and, to stay competitive and current, employees want the opportunity to participate in webinars, seminars and conferences. Investing in building your employees’ leadership and management skills, increasing their capacity in their chosen area of expertise and putting a plan in place to learn new skills are all part of creating dynamic and engaged teams.
When budgets are cut, professional development is often the first expense to go. Yet, in the long term, it can help increase productivity, improve quality and empower managers. And YOU CAN AFFORD IT NOW! Just take advantage of the recently launched Canada Job Grant to cover training costs for your employees.
As an employer, invite employees to show you how your professional development investment is helping them improve their work performance. You might even want to ask for an action plan after attending a course or conference that highlights how that employee will incorporate his or her new learnings.
2) Flexibility: We live in a 24-hour workday world. Finding the right work/life balance is becoming increasingly important for Canadians. There is a wealth of reasons why employees rank flexibility high on their list of must-haves. Baby boomers are retiring, Generation Xers are opting out of long hours and Generation Yers are technology savvy, looking for “give and take” workplaces. Flextime can be a Powerful Incentive that will keep current employees happy and attract new ones. Telecommuting, offering a condensed workweek and encouraging job sharing will help to build a balanced workforce.
It’s also important to note that 50% of the Canadian workforce is eligible for Retirement. Many of these individuals are not ready to completely exit the workforce and will be looking for ways to remain engaged, albeit on a flexible basis. For some, this means the option to “go south” for the winter and telecommute. Others may be looking for contract or project work. Employers who are willing to be flexible will benefit from continuing to tap into the talent and experience of this valuable employee pool.
3) Meaningful work: Many employees, Generation Yers in particular, are looking for more than a paycheque. They also want to know that the work they are doing is meaningful. This not only applies to their chosen profession and industry, but to their community, whether local or global. Employers with a strong corporate social responsibility focus have a Hiring Advantage. A Deloitte survey conducted a few years ago found that more than half of workers in their 20s prefer employment at companies that provide volunteer opportunities.
Some organizations dedicate a portion of their revenue or profits to charitable giving and also offer employees time off throughout the year to volunteer with the Charities they support. Giving back not only makes a difference to those who need it most, it is also an excellent way to enhance your corporate reputation by showing your customers – and community – that your company cares. (Based on this article.)
As you begin your workforce planning for 2015, ask your employees what truly matters to them and then take action by offering opportunities that reflect their values. In time, you will reap the results of a more cohesive and loyal workforce. And don’t forget to use the Canada Job Grant to provide great learning opportunities for your employees and your business. Call me at 647-535-2970 now to check your eligibility!
P.S. The Canada Job Grant can help you fund the skills training that will result in hiring a new employee(s) or a significant increase in existing employee(s) skills, performance and capabilities. Contact now!