Employee Appreciation Day
Friday 3rd March 2023
Since COVID-19 there has been a huge shift in company culture and employee expectations. As recruiters, the enticement of benefit packages for employees is more than clear. Benefits such as free fruit, early Friday finishes and token pay rises won’t make up for poor management but the shift in employee expectations and competition between packages looks like it’s here to stay.
Hybrid working patterns have seen a phenomenal shift in acceptance and uptake since the pandemic. Whereas before the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid work was a term unknown to most. A Gov.uk survey found that by February 2022, more than 80% of workers forced to work from home during the pandemic, said they didn’t plan to return to the office full time. Following this, Gov.uk has reported a clear shift in hybrid working patterns from greater time spent working in the office to working from home.
Additionally, we have seen a shift in the flexibility of working hours. As I’m sure many are aware, the 4 Day Week Campaign has recently embarked on a 100-company trial to test the results of the 4 day working week. The results presented a clear favouring of the 4 day week as 92% of partaking companies decided to remain with this working structure. Moreover, after the 6-month trial, employee stress and burnout were reported to have declined with 71% of employees reporting reduced levels of burnout and a 65% reduction in the number of sick days.
Of course, this trial has faced scepticism from some over the effect of novelty in skewing its results as the desire for fully remote work has begun to level out. Yet, it is worth noting, the clear shift in expectations from employees and, to retain staff, this must be acknowledged and accommodated for. Osborne Thomas is championing a shift in employee benefits by offering schemes to improve work-from-home environments, employee events and unlimited holidays, amongst others.
Although not every company can offer high levels of flexibility in working hours, days, and locations, we suggest the below to show appreciation toward your employees:
- Where possible increase annual leave allowances.
Employees have experienced spending more time with their families and they are not about to go back. Increasing holiday days will have a small impact on the company but can have a huge impact on employees.
- Increase focus on mental and physical health and well-being benefits aka healthcare packages, subscriptions, gym discounts.
- Be as accommodating as the role allows when it comes to flexible-work and hybrid working patterns. Allowing your employees to work from home more may decrease tiredness and increase alertness by cutting out unnecessary stressful commutes. If a job can be done over video call and online, speak to your employees and see what format they’d prefer.
- Allow for employees who want to return to the office! Yes, most employees are looking to increase hybrid work but some do want an office space, where possible accommodate for this – perhaps by looking into flexible office spaces.
- If your staff are working hybrid/fully remote, look into offering packages to support working from home, for example, expense packages to improve at-home setup.
- Offer incentives for employees who have achieved targets/teams who have worked well on a recent project.
- A hopefully obvious way of showing appreciation – praise your employees! It’s all too easy to forget to tell people when they’re working well and only highlight issues. Don’t make good workers feel unnoticed.
A line from the Directors at Osborne Thomas:
At Osborne Thomas we know that our biggest asset is our employees.
Whilst we hope that we show our team we appreciate them every day, it’s always nice to have an excuse to wax lyrical about them! We couldn’t be prouder of the fantastic work that they do.
Details on the 4 Day Week Campaign, its trial and the post COVID government trial can be found at the page below: