A company’s success is measured by its employees’ ability to achieve the goals required for their particular job position. Therefore, recruiting and retaining those top talent employees is every successful business owner’s primary focus. You might be searching for extraordinary benefits which you could offer to your employees, such as allowing pets in the workplace, providing amenities such as a daycare or a health center with free services, allowing employees to make their own schedule, or simply offering a higher salary. But, a study conducted by Hassell Studios found that a company’s workplace influences job seekers more than the salary they’re offered. In other words, perhaps your focus should be on workplace design and layout instead of material benefits.
Not only will an efficient yet attractive office layout and design attract new talent, but with an increased employee well-being and overall mood along with decreased stress levels, you’re also more likely to retain each employee over time. Your office design really does have that much of an influence over such significant factors.
Think about it, when you walk into an office building for a job interview, the first thing you notice is the design of the space. You pay attention to colors, furnishings, décor, and layout. You’ve already decided whether you like the space or not before you’ve heard the words “salary” or “benefits.” Imagine the difference in excitement and curiosity if you walk through the space and noticed row after row of indistinguishable office cubicles or a single long table crowded with employees bumping elbows attempting to claim their personal space as opposed to walking through an office full of private workstations in addition to huddle rooms, breakout spaces, and large conference rooms. A first impression means everything, so why not maximize your likelihood of providing an unforgettable one.
Your goal is to stand out from your competitors (other talent recruiters) in the eyes of your recruits. Create a space designed for them; a space that they will want to work in. Fortunately, there are a few design elements which employees have been proven to react to in a positive way.
Flexible Work Environment
An employee’s work environment is one of the most influential factors in determining their mood and productivity at work. So why not create various spaces that fulfill a variety of work personalities and preferences? Offer both private, secluded workspaces in addition to huddle rooms for group projects and collaborative work. Include variations of lighting, colors, and seating options to grant each employee the freedom to work in an environment that helps them focus and work efficiently.
You’ll also want to consider what workspaces would be best for your business goals. For example, if employees are likely to spend a lot of time on private phone conversations or doing individual work such as writing, you may want to provide a few more private workstations because your employees will be more likely to take advantage of them. If small group tasks are often taking place, offer multiple huddle rooms so those groups can interact with each other without disturbing their fellow coworkers.
Be sure not to cram too many workstations into a small space in attempt to offer a variety of work environments. Allow extra space for people to move around freely without feeling crowded or constrained.
Be Aware of Colors and Textures
Job seekers tend to prefer colorful, modern workspaces and find them more attractive than dull, gray, formal spaces. Include bright, colorful accents around your office and incorporate unique textures in décor and furnishings throughout your space. Consider the mood that certain colors promote. For example, blue is calming and relaxing while yellow promotes creativity. What mood do you want people to feel in each specific room? A reception area should be relaxing and welcoming, a conference room should generate ideas and permit focus. Paint and decorate your office space in a way that stands out and engages guests. Remember, its all about that first impression.
Express Corporate Culture and Represent Your Brand
It’s important that you proudly demonstrate your brand throughout your workplace. Recruits want to see that you are proud of your company and want to show it off; that’s the type of environment that people want to work in. Your office space should express corporate culture, show off your brand, and reflect your mission. For example, a healthcare company should encourage fitness and health in the workplace, if your products are environmentally friendly or your company advertises “going green,” your office materials and design and architectural elements should be environmentally friendly as well. This concept is especially relevant for millennials because their generation is more likely to prefer working for a company that does more than produce profits. They want to see other non-business goals being reached (i.e. reducing use of paper, emphasizing sustainability, or donating to a charitable cause).
More than one third of American labor force participants are millennials, making them the largest generation in the labor force. Meaning that this generation is also the most influential and contains a great deal of the top talent that you’re searching for. Millennial employees are valuable and expensive to replace, which is why so many workplaces today design their offices specifically with the goal of recruiting and retaining millennials. A survey entitled, “The Cost of Millennial Retention” recorded that 87% of companies observed reported costs between $15,000 and $25,000 to replace each millennial employee that they lose.
While baby boomers are more than willing to work late to complete their tasks, millennials would rather head straight home at the end of the day. Hours worked past 5:00 become tedious and the work produced is of a poorer quality. However, they are more willing to work longer hours if their workplace resembles their home. Offer lounge areas and coffee stations and replace your generic swivel, rolling desk chairs with couches and bar stools as seating options. When designing your office layout or floor plan, establish team zones by grouping employees together by their client or industry focus, job position, or department. This generation also appreciates creative breakout spaces such as game rooms, meditation areas, and gyms.
Consider all the time and money spent recruiting new employees, paying them a salary, granting benefits, training them, and allotting time for them to adjust to their new position. Avoid repeating this process more times than necessary by recruiting top talent and then successfully retaining that talent. This can be achieved by simply adjusting your office design and layout. Be aware of your employees’ and recruits’ desires and exceed their expectations in order to encourage an accepted job offer. After all, happy employees lead to productive, efficient, and high-quality work, which results in the success of your company.