In today’s highly competitive world of work we hear a lot of talk around the workplace human experience. Companies see this as an opportunity to get better connected to their employees and are asking important questions: How do we create a meaningful experience at work for our people, how will we measure it and what impact will it have on our business?
To help simplify the concept, we define the workplace human experience as such – the impression an organization leaves on its people beyond the physical environment, resulting in increased engagement, empowerment and a sense of fulfillment.
Sounds straight forward, right? Well, not so fast.
When evaluating your company’s workplace human experience, ask yourself these important questions:
- Do we have a workplace strategy that aligns with our talent needs in order to be successful three to five years from now?
- Does our workplace strategy align with our corporate culture and customer/brand experience strategy?
- Do we have strategic alignment between our executives, IT, HR and our CRE decision-makers?
- Do we have a framework for decision-making around changes to our workplace strategy?
The somewhat elusive, yet highly important concept of workplace human experience, is increasingly driving the decision-making processes of employers, their people and even future recruits. A recent talent management survey conducted by JLL around human experience in the workplace indicates only 40% of employees feel fully engaged in their current workplace arrangement.
A place of work is more than just a property. It’s a living environment that helps individuals and businesses craft and experience a rewarding fusion of life and work.
When building a positive human experience in the workplace, most companies face the challenge of determining where to start. How do you go about creating an executable strategy for defining, creating and maintaining an environment where people not only want to work, but feel inspired to stay and contribute at a higher level? Companies who excel in this area understand that the most effective work environments must use physical space to support the needs and values of their people.
Our work on the real estate side of the equation helps deliver valuable insight into some of the ways forward-thinking companies use their space to accomplish connecting people and their workplace. For example, ask yourself what role does your diversity and inclusion program play in enhancing employee engagement? Do your employees see this action?
JLL Managing Director, Jacqueline Dompe, shares, “To address diversity and inclusion needs, we work with companies to understand employees’ relative sense of belonging, which often leads to what can be somewhat simple solutions. Examples include video content for common and amenity spaces, strategy on workspace adjacencies and layout, and construction of non-binary facilities. In fact, in a recent JLL study, nearly 60% of companies surveyed stated they currently have, or are planning to deploy, some type of non-binary restroom. Taking actions like this demonstrate to your teams you are listening, you care, and you are supporting an inclusive environment.”
To help us gather actionable data around the workplace experience, we’ve assembled a team of local experts who focus more squarely on HR. One of our partners, Shannon Swift, of Swift HR Solutions, speaks to the importance of diversity and inclusion programs in the workplace, “One of the top trends we’ve seen in 2019 is employers recognizing the need to treat diversity and inclusion not as a “check the box” activity, but rather an intentional, institutionalized practice. Beginning with recruiting, do the company website and candidate experience reflect the diverse team the company wishes to build? Once the employee comes on board, does the environment and employment practices/communications speak to who they are? Efforts to attract a diverse workforce are costly if the new team member doesn’t feel they belong once they arrive and choose to quickly move on to another business. Providing respectful and inclusive workplace training for managers and all employees is a great foundational exercise and helps to create a culture of enlightened awareness. Creating cross-functional employee teams to drive social activities and contribute to how company space is utilized can also positively impact diversity and inclusion outcomes.”
In addition, Ms. Swift shares, “Card Kingdom in Seattle/Ballard is a great example of a company committed to providing a workplace that is safe and welcoming to all, particularly evidenced by their strong LBGTQ+ employee base. When people feel they belong and can bring their whole being to work each day, increased engagement, loyalty and job satisfaction are sure to be present.”
JLL’s partnerships with Swift HR Solutions, TINYpulse and FutureWorks will provide better insight into the challenge’s companies face in capturing and analyzing relevant employee engagement data, identifying potential areas of risk and in developing actionable strategies to address both sides of the people and place equation.