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    “In the past 6 months, we’ve doubled in size!”

    Hiring has been the main event for many organisations – from global Pharma through to Biotech’s scaling for IPO, great talent has been on the agenda as a priority, and many organisations – despite recent changes in the market – have achieved these hiring goals.

    But, now your staff are onboarded and the office (or Zoom call) feels a little cosier, it’s time to give other areas of your organisation a revamp. Your initiatives and benefits will fall into this bracket, which for fast-growth organisations will be reviewed once or twice a year, but in some cases even quarterly. 

    This is because your organisation is ever-changing, new personalities are joining, and each individual has a different desire for how they’d like to grow with you. So, it’s crucial that you’re listening to employees and creating initiatives that really matter.

     

    Following the crowd (or competition) may sound like a good idea, but it actually doesn’t make sense

    Although looking to your competitors can be a great gauge to see what great talent wants – it shouldn’t be the only barometer of success that you look at. Each company is completely different, from its culture, to its values, to how it operates on a day-to-day basis. A one size fits all approach simply isn’t possible.

    Who remembers the boom of the bean bag in 2015? Start-ups were obsessed with talking about beanbags, free coffee, and ping pong tables – and it became a phenomenon whereby LinkedIn feeds were inundated with employees playing ping pong and sipping on their coffee. 

    But, this became a trend that slowly faded over time: “workplace culture is about cultivating behaviours, not beanbagsTechTarget.

    Following trends or what your competitor is doing will only give you inspiration – rather than creating something that truly has meaning (and something that your employees actually care about). There isn’t anything wrong with it, but just be wary of turning into a sheep!

     

    Are people using what you’ve already got?

    Something we do internally at Apsida (and we don’t ever claim to be perfect) is sending out a quarterly survey. This enables us to hear from our employees to find out what they like and don’t like across four key areas: Culture, Benefits, Leadership, and Training. Because we’re growing so much, we can’t have our finger on the pulse of what every employee wants – it’s simply not possible to have that many conversations! 

    So, we focus on a survey that gives us tangible answers and enables us to create the right change. And, the main reason we do this is to see whether people are using the benefits we had in place a few months ago – or if they are no longer being utilised. And, the same can be said for any organisation in any industry. 

    If you’re spending a substantial amount of budget on let’s say, a Cycle To Work scheme, but only 5% of employees have used it in the last quarter – is it an initiative worth keeping? Or, can it be improved or replaced with something else? 

    Understanding what people love also enables you to modify and build on what you’ve already got, and allocate existing budget or resources to new initiatives that your employees want. And, this is always going to change. What your employees wanted a year ago may not be what they want today – be open to this.

     

    Think about who your target audience is

    Let’s go back to the beanbags for a moment – there are still organisations out there that have beanbags, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with them – but instead, these organisations know their target market, and that’s what their employees want. The same goes for any initiative you’re about to run or any change you’re going to make – read the room and figure out who your target audience is. 

    For example, if the majority of your employees are parents, what initiatives can you run or benefits you can create that will genuinely benefit them? And equally, if you’re an organisation that is heavy on junior talent, what initiatives are you running or looking to implement that will enable them to get to the next step?

     

    Never assume

    To avoid completely missing the mark – and instead creating initiatives that matter for your employees, think about what you can put in place. Whether it’s a quarterly survey or an anonymous suggestion box that is open at any time – don’t assume what people want. Instead, ask!

    The bottom line is that employees want to be heard. And, although you shouldn’t be expected to make changes overnight, making small changes over time will enable you to retain the great talent you already have behind your doors, whilst also attracting new talent into your organisation. 

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