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Employers who are serious about building a healthy culture will win the war for talent

(Photo credit: Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

In the race to engage and retain top talent, employer branding has become vital. And while skilled employees remain the first asset of a business, today’s multigenerational workforce has different expectations towards work life and different motivations.

Over the past few years, expectations of the working standards, and the workplace itself, have changed. With a hectic external world undergoing significant changes, many individual beliefs have been shaken, and must now evolve with the times. Case in point, the ongoing sanitary situation and the decisions made to manage it have forced everyone to work from home, and Americans have now embraced this model — with 87% of them taking the chance to work flexibly. The overall notion of health is also key to this argument, as the burnout phenomenon comes from increased sources of pressure on individuals.

Unfortunately, however, not everyone has the possibility, nor the tools, to face this increased pressure, which is made worse by not always being able to mitigate against it. This is where companies can provide support to their employees, on top of internal opportunities such as career growth and individual development and fulfillment. After all, a healthy working environment is vital for employee engagement, and a credit for employer branding. While the hierarchies of work can often create adversity, keeping it within the confines of a healthy competition can create a much better experience for all.

Another essential part of being a good workplace that employees are attracted to, and remain loyal to, is having the employer become a point of stability in their life. So, how can companies provide this necessary security? In my experience, the answer is clear: highlighting the importance of values, standards and ethics in the workplace and demonstrating them. The way to go is to create strategies that engage all employees in a common direction, creating emotional buy-in and inspiring them through healthy competition that pushes the business forward. They must be truly inspiring, and teach everyone how to build a better work environment where adversity, rather than being a negative component, remains at a productive and healthy level.

The real question here is how can companies stand out in such an environment, and what defines employer responsibility in 2023? The best employers know they need to invest in creativity and resources to find solutions that are appropriate for the context and community of the business, and create a positive culture in the workplace. A great idea I have seen first-hand on how a positive workplace culture can be implemented is by putting learning bootcamps in place, which provide an enriching and impacting learning experience for participants. These types of workshops can also break unconscious bias and mitigate stereotypical assumptions — something that is key to developing a more diverse and inclusive working environment, making it more engaging and satisfying, thus increasing retention.

Developing effective ways to deal with the inevitable difficulties of the workplace through actions which educate employees on how to cope and overcome adversity is vital. Empowering them to recognize their own adversities and normalizing the challenge of every individual experience is a pivotal tool to overcoming them. Additionally, investing in employees’ mental health by providing access to well-being platforms and initiatives is a good opportunity to encourage communication and a more fluid collaboration on a daily basis, especially when employees are struggling. By giving them a solid support system and a safe space to evolve, companies are in turn empowering them to develop a more positive and fulfilling work-life balance.

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