Flexibility and a decent work-life balance is what most workers want from their employers, according to new research.
A survey commissioned by Officeworks, in partnership with The Daily Telegraph, found most small business owners offer flexible working hours to attract staff, while almost a third offer training and development and one in three owners believe in paying above the market rate. Offering flexible hours has enabled independent hotline service, Stopline, to employ a team of eight people with the right skills and attributes.
“A proper work-life balance is more important to people these days than pay bonuses,” said managing director Andrew McLeish. He provides his team with additional annual leave and family days with the employee’s children as an alternative to financial incentives. “It can be hard trying to keep the balance between work and family,” he said. “Some of my team also work remotely from home.”
Mr McLeish believes that employees who contribute ideas and provide a better solution to issues in the workplace are well worth keeping.
“Employing people with a diverse background and skill set will always reap dividends,” he said. Business expert Philip Pryor said flexible working hours can build both loyalty and employee retention in the business. “Any organisation that helps boost relationships and maintain a home life such as balancing children are great motivators,” he said.
“Money only gets people to perform better when the job is repetitive, or when the business pays up to or less than the basic wage.”
Despite this, most businesses, at 63 per cent, said it is becoming harder to attract and retain good talent. Pryor notes it’s not employees, but often business owners who are unclear about what is expected in the organisation.
“Employers don’t go into enough detail around the specifics around what they need people to do which can lead to misunderstandings,” he said.
“Sometimes, they recruit on whether they like the person, rather than whether they can do the job. This can be a mismatch between ability and job requirements.”