Employee Engagement and Company Policies

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A recent survey shows that fewer employers are offering the kinds of benefits that employees are looking for.

According to the survey, about 40 percent of those responding said they wanted flexible schedules, 30 percent wanted to be able to leave early on Fridays, and about 20 wanted a more casual dress code.

However, surveys show that companies are actually moving in the opposite direction, away from more flexible scheduling.

For example, 75 percent of companies offered flexible scheduling in 2012. Today, only about 60 percent do. In 2012, 60 percent of companies allowed employees to leave early on Fridays. Now, only about 20 percent do. And in 2012, almost 60 percent of companies allowed more casual dress during the summer months. That figure is now down to about 30 percent.

The results show clearly that time is important to employees. Flexibility is important to employees. So, business experts are puzzled why companies are moving away from these types of perks. Offering such flexibility does take planning and coordination – you cannot have everyone leaving early on a Friday afternoon. But, through cooperation among departments, it is possible to work out the scheduling.

Moreover, employers need to conduct regular surveys of their employees to find out the kinds of things that are important to them. As in the present case, they reveal a disconnect between management and the workforce. They surveys can produce important information about the kinds of things that can make the workforce more engaged and more productive.

When conducting employee surveys, it is naturally important to ask workers whether they receive enough recognition, whether they get enough feedback, and what changes they would like to see. But to be as effective as possible, surveys should also include questions about the understanding and connection employees have to company goals. Workers need to know how they fit into the organization and what contribution they are making to it.

Questions also need to assess how well employees work together and collaborate, as this is essential for any high-functioning organization, as well as whether or not they have the proper resources and training to do their job.

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