Today’s smartest employers are thinking more creatively about how to attract talented workers and encourage them to stay. Many are partnering with large landlords to include next-level amenities in their workspaces. Here are 5 things progressive employers are focused on to attract and retain the best talent today.
(BPT) - A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that U.S. employment is projected to grow by 8.4 million jobs from 2018 to 2028. At the same time, employers are battling an ultra-competitive job market, in which candidates are being wooed by increased pay and enhanced medical benefits.
Today’s smartest employers are thinking more creatively about how to attract talented workers and encourage them to stay. Many are partnering with large landlords to include next-level amenities in their workspaces.
Today’s employers are focused on:
A well-located workplace is a major selling point for attracting potential employees and retaining existing ones. Employers with a central location, easily accessible by public transportation, already have an advantage. For example, The Legacy Town Center office in Plano, Texas, boasts transit drop-off and pick-up at the building.
For environmentally minded employees who bike to work, secure bike storage is a real plus. The office tower at 201 Spear St. in San Francisco anticipates the needs of the area’s environmentally conscious workforce with bike storage and EV car charging stations, plus easy access to light rail.
Accenture Tower in Chicago sits above Ogilvie Transportation Center, one of the main suburban train stations connecting downtown Chicago to the suburbs, providing direct access to city trains, buses and expressways. The first two levels of the property are composed of 80,000 square feet of retail space, with more than 45 stores and restaurants.
Beyond providing competitive healthcare plans, employers are seeking new ways to encourage and support employees’ health-related activities — a focus that contributes to less absenteeism and greater productivity. For example, Park Place Village in Leawood, Kansas, has massage therapy on-site for all of its tenants.
Many major office owners are adding state-of-the-art fitness centers. 3001 Washington Blvd. in Arlington, Virginia, features workout studios offering barre, yoga and HIIT performance classes in its eight-story, LEED Gold-certified Class A office building. And at Accenture Tower, the building includes a two-level fitness center spanning 14,000 square feet, with a basketball court, group exercise classes and new tenant lounge with air hockey, shuffleboard and wine lockers.
For employees with busy schedules, it can be tough to find enough time in the day to take care of necessary errands. Workers are especially drawn to locales that provide day-to-day services everyone needs without even having to walk outside.
Some office buildings go a step beyond. For businesses at RBC Plaza in Minneapolis, employees can use the U.S. Postal Service, on-site bank, a sundry shop and even a shoe repair/shoe shine service. But it doesn’t stop there. Other services offered in the building include a car wash and detailing service, and private wine lockers. And in the Carillon office tower in Charlotte, North Carolina, there's an on-site daycare for parents.
Beyond location and service-based amenities, today’s employees are increasingly demanding a workplace with a beautiful atmosphere, which often includes access to outdoor spaces. Building designers are taking note, providing more open spaces, skylights and/or atriums for a lighter, more welcoming work environment.
For example, The McEwen Building in the Cool Springs submarket of Nashville, Tennessee, offers employees and visitors an outdoor sitting area complete with a fountain and plush landscaping, while 3003 Washington Blvd. in Arlington, Virginia, has a rooftop terrace with stunning views of Washington, D.C.
5. Employee engagement
With Generation Z workers about to enter the workforce, today’s employers also understand the power of creating engagement within their team, especially among young professionals. Next-level office amenities can increase employee satisfaction and deepen their connection to their employer.
For instance, RBC Plaza in Minneapolis offers a billiards lounge, as well as a cafe and coffee shop, while Preston Commons in Dallas, Texas, and 201 Spear St. in San Francisco both have on-site bars, giving office workers places to unwind and congregate after work.
KBS, one of the largest owners of office buildings in the nation, has partnered with many of America’s companies to support recruitment and retention by buying well-located offices and infusing them with state-of-the-art amenities. To learn more, visit kbs.com.
You spend a good portion of your life at work. You need a job to live and thrive. Over time, you may realize that your current employment is not working for you. While it is nicer to be on vacation than to be at work, no one should dread going to a job. There are several important indicators that it is time for a new career.
There Is No More Opportunity to Grow
It can be frustrating when it seems like your colleagues are advancing while you are sitting still. It may be that you do not have the education to go beyond your current level at work. It may be that management likes you where you are. No matter how hard you try, you remain in the same position. If you keep getting passed up for promotion, it may be time to take your life in a new direction.
Your Workplace Culture Is Toxic
One of the challenges of a workplace is the variety of personalities you must interact with. There will always be difficult people. However, some workplaces have troubling relationship dynamics. There may be cliques or other unhealthy groupings. Poor management may have given more authority to domineering personalities. The place may have developed a culture where gossip and disrespect are tolerated. Your workmates may not be your best friends, but you should be able to work together to accomplish what is best for the company.
Your Unique Skills Are Wasted
Every person brings a different skill set to the table. However, your current position may not use some of the gifts that give you the most fulfillment. If you love to code but spend your days filing paperwork, both you and your company are missing out on your skills. If you love interacting with people but spend all your time in a cubicle, it is natural to be frustrated by your work. Look for a career that uses your unique skills and gifts.
Your Commute Makes You Contemplate Vehicular Homicide
Even if you have a great job, getting to and from work can be a real burden. That time you spend in the car is time you could be doing something more productive. Your commute can also be a source of heavy stress that can have serious long-term health consequences. Your commute gets even more dangerous if you're traveling through town, as intersections are famously prone to car accidents. Unless you have the perfect position at work, consider looking for a job a little closer to home.
You’re Only There for the Paycheck
With the amount of time you spend at work, it should be more fulfilling. You are going to spend years working. While the paycheck is important, you also should be looking to do something that gives you purpose. Think about your personal goals in life. If this job is not working towards those goals, it may be time to look for something else.
Seeking a new career can be a risk. You may not love your current position, but at least you know what you are getting. Instead of settling for a mediocre job, find a career that gives you joy. As the saying goes, “If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.”
A lackadaisical approach to benefits enrollment could leave you short on coverage or end up costing you more than it should. Gathering information and making time to thoroughly consider your options and needs can help ensure you’re getting the best value from your employer’s benefits package. Approach this year’s open enrollment with these tips in mind.
Get the Most Out of Your Benefits Enrollment
(Family Features) A lackadaisical approach to benefits enrollment could leave you short on coverage or end up costing you more than it should. Gathering information and making time to thoroughly consider your options and needs can help ensure you’re getting the best value from your employer’s benefits package.
Approach this year’s open enrollment with these tips from the experts at Colonial Life in mind:
Take life changes into account. A major event like a birth or marriage makes you eligible to adjust your benefits between enrollment periods, but there are many other factors that may affect your coverage needs. For example, you may not bother with dental coverage for a newborn, but once that child has some teeth and is mobile, it’s a good idea to add coverage in the event a fall damages a tooth.
Be conscious of changes. It’s quite common to allow your benefits to renew automatically when the enrollment period rolls around. This can create problems as plans and coverages often change from year to year. Deductible amounts, office visit co-pays and even categories of coverage can shift from one year to the next. Even if there aren’t changes to the coverage, there may be a new pricing structure or additions to coverage that could benefit you.
Dedicate some time. When signing up for benefits for the first time, most people spend at least a little time reviewing each plan option. If you have your premiums deducted from your paycheck automatically, you probably don’t give a lot of thought to your benefits, especially if you’re relatively healthy. Open enrollment is the time to give them more than a passing thought.
A survey by Colonial Life showed 69% of employees spend less than 60 minutes learning about their benefits choices, but that limited time commitment can ultimately affect overall job satisfaction.
“This can be a huge problem for both employees and their employers, because a lack of engagement with the benefits program leads to lower morale and higher turnover,” said Steven Johnson, vice president of enrollment solutions at Colonial Life.
Instead of a cursory flip through the materials, dedicate some time to thoroughly review all the information and make notes about areas you have questions.
Discuss your options. Benefits can be complicated, and there are a lot of terms and jargon in the insurance world that can make it hard to understand exactly what your benefits will cover. That’s why it’s a good idea to sit down with a knowledgeable benefits counselor to discuss your family and personal financial situation.
Technology may be king for many aspects of life, but the survey found just 11% of employees name the internet as the place they turn to learn about benefits during enrollment each year. However, 76% of employees turn to humans including HR professionals, coworkers, family and friends.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for benefits, but a one-on-one counseling session can help simplify the entire benefits process. A private consultation may help you understand how each benefit election impacts your paycheck, as well as simplifying complex benefit concepts, answering your questions and walking you through the enrollment process.
Learn more about how to maximize your benefits at ColonialLife.com.
To gain a better understanding of your benefits, these definitions from HealthCare.gov can help you identify and recognize some common terms.
Benefits: The health care items or services covered under a health insurance plan.
Coinsurance: The percentage of costs of a covered health care service you pay (20%, for example) after you’ve paid your deductible.
Copayment: A fixed amount ($20, for example) you pay for a covered health care service after you’ve paid your deductible.
Deductible: The amount you pay for covered health care services before your insurance plan starts to pay.
Flexible Spending Account: An arrangement through your employer that lets you pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses with tax-free dollars.
Health Savings Account: A type of savings account that lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses.
Network: The facilities, providers and suppliers your health insurer or plan has contracted with to provide health care services.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
While TV makes it seem as though everyone goes straight from high school into college and only enter the working world after getting a degree, most people actually enter the workforce around the completion of high school, taking whatever early work they can receive with no formal education or training. From there, people work up (if possible), or wind up only making lateral changes as they change jobs (leaving a cashier job at a clothing store for a cashier job at a pet store). Fortunately, there are careers that you can break into without a four-year degree that pay livable wages.
For those interested in criminal justice, there are many paths that can offer a satisfactory living with no degree and are not only police officers or related jobs. Positions such as police dispatch are often given the same city employment titles and benefits as the officers, but with a much safer environment with a more set schedule. Police stations and courts also need clerks and a variety of administrative roles filled.
Though there are highs and lows in the market, real estate prices only go up over the long-term. Because of this, there is a long term need for people familiar with this industry. In addition to general sales, house flipping shows have brought to many people’s attention that there is great money in buying and renovating properties. While the market has changed, house flipping can still be profitable. Neither sales, nor flipping, require a college degree; both can be learned through apprenticeship. Apartment complexes are often seeking roles in managing a large rental environment. You don’t have to own property to work in this field.
Beauty and Wellness
People love to pamper themselves and spend small fortunes to make themselves look better. While many jobs in this industry may require a diploma or certification, those are fairly quick to obtain rather than a BS degree. In addition to selling cosmetics (a system that is already established and often comes with a customer base), careers can include hair, nail and makeup artists, massage therapists, and dietitians. With enough knowledge of the industry, you could even go on to own your own salon or spa.
Completely changing the field, you work in may seem like starting from the beginning, but soft skills (such as customer service) are transferable. Starting new doesn’t mean starting at the bottom.
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Regardless of your career path, getting a promotion is often a professional goal. Here are a few secrets to taking the reins and getting noticed — and promoted — in your career.
(BPT) - Regardless of your career path, getting a promotion is often a professional goal. Being recognized and landing a promotion can provide a variety of perks such as more money, increased influence and more control over your daily routine.
So how do you land that promotion? It comes down to building key skills such as self-development, listening and communication. Fortunately, online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning can help you develop these skills to get to the next level in your career.
Here are a few secrets to taking the reins and getting noticed — and promoted — in your career.
1. Prove that you’re capable of self-development
The difference between being a “high-potential employee” versus a “high-performing employee” means everything to your advancement, and to the company where you work. While a high-performing employee does their job well, their performance review will look similar from year to year, revealing little about their potential for moving up. A high-potential employee, on the other hand, shows a willingness to push themselves to learn new skills, take on more responsibilities and be open to lateral moves — especially if that means mastering new abilities.
How do you become a high-potential employee? Demonstrate your capacity for self-development by actively soliciting feedback from others to learn how you can grow and improve, and proactively take on opportunities to increase your skill set.
2. Be a strong listener
In today’s world, there’s a misconception that dominating the conversation means you’re a leader, but the opposite is actually true. Being a good listener is vital to being a strong leader, and a crucial component to earning that promotion.
By taking the time to understand others’ perspectives, needs and concerns, you’ll be better prepared to communicate your ideas and solutions, and to persuade others to come on board. This is essential to leading, whether it means a small group or an entire corporation.
Active listening is an art — it is underrated and takes significant practice to master. Identify a leader in your organization who is a strong active listener and watch how they lead. You can also master this skill by taking a course on active listening as part of your own career development.
3. Communicate with purpose
Boosting your communication skills is critical to being both a leader and a team player. Demonstrate to your manager and your team that you know how to address the bigger picture, and show how your work ties to the overall company strategy. Express your vision of the larger mission or goals of the organization, as opposed to getting caught up in the details.
How you express yourself also makes a huge difference. Be concise, purposeful and confident in your statements. This will help you build a strong executive presence and build trust among you and your colleagues.
Don’t wait for a promotion to come to you. Now’s the time to be proactive and focus on growing your skill set. Show what you’re learning by actively taking on new challenges and communicating with purpose and confidence. To learn more about mastering the skills you need to advance in your career and get that promotion, visit www.linkedin.com/learning.
Although women are making strides in the corporate world, there is still work that can be done to level the landscape. If you’re looking for ways to promote change in your workplace, explore these five steps that can help build a work environment where everyone can advance and succeed.
5 Ways to Promote Gender Equality in the Workplace
(Family Features) Although women are making strides in the corporate world, there is still work that can be done to level the landscape.
Research from Catalyst, a global nonprofit focused on empowering and accelerating women in business, shows the needle is moving, albeit slowly. In nearly 10 years, the number of women in senior roles in the United States increased just 1 percent. At Standard & Poor's 500 index companies, overall women’s representation is far behind: 5.2 percent CEOs, 11 percent top earners and 26.5 percent senior-level officials and managers. Less than 5 percent of senior level positions are held by women of color. Men still lead more than 95 percent of the most powerful companies in the United States.
If you’re looking for ways to promote change in your workplace, explore these five steps that can help build a work environment where everyone can advance and succeed:
Engage in programs that celebrate women of color. Tap into resources that honor women in leadership and foster growth for aspiring women leaders from racially and ethically diverse backgrounds, such as those available through Catalyst. The nonprofit offers a host of ongoing workshops, programs, trainings and consulting services designed to promote inclusive workplaces, along with events around the world. For example, the “Catalyst Skyline Takeover,” which is a visual realization of the international business community’s commitment to greater diversity, inclusion and gender equality in workplaces around the world, features dozens of global companies “lighting up” their buildings with the female symbol.
Assess and formalize pay scales. As numerous studies indicate, wage disparity is one of the most obvious signs of inequality in the workplace. A fair pay scale outlines specific responsibilities and corresponding compensation rates, and can be applied to roles across the board regardless of race, gender or other potential discriminatory factors.
Ensure growth opportunities exist. Leveling the pay scale is an important step, but ensuring equal access to the positions at the higher end of that scale is an essential supporting move. Simply saying you’ll pay a woman the same as a man in the same job falls short if all candidates, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity are not given the same chance to compete for more senior positions.
Implement mentorship programs. Positive role models can give future leaders the vision to dream big and the guidance to make those dreams a reality. Putting aspiring women leaders in close contact with other women who have attained success in their field helps set a course toward achievement. It also helps men to advance and develop unbiased leadership. Since the majority of business leaders are currently men, change for women can only be accelerated if all those in leadership positions work together.
Support parental involvement. Historically, the issue of parenting and the workforce has been dominated by discussions around maternity leave policies, but more recently that dialogue has evolved. Men, too, desire more time with their families, and through equal parental leave policies, workplaces can allow women and men within all types of family structures to thrive in their careers and at home.
Find more resources and recommendations for promoting workplace equality at catalyst.org.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman in conference room)SOURCE:
(BPT) - If you feel like you're working more, but getting less done, you're not alone. Employees are working an average of 44 hours per week, of which only 29 were considered to be productive, according to a new survey of 1,200 full time office workers.
The recent "Productivity in the Workplace" study commissioned by Fellowes found respondents feel the key to productivity is making adjustments within the existing workday versus working more hours. Chatty coworkers top the list of productivity killers, with unnecessary meetings, cell phone disruptions and problems with office equipment also on the list. Respondents identify productivity boosters as cutting back on meetings, having more quiet spaces to work, schedule flexibility and more up-to-date technology.
Laura Stack, also known as "The Productivity Pro," travels the country helping organizations of every size improve their employee and team productivity. She shares the following tips to help people make the most of their hours in the office so they can get back to business.
1. Give disruptions the boot. Resist the urge to constantly check email and turn off email notifications. Put your cell phone on airplane mode, instant messaging on Do Not Disturb, and let calls go to voice-mail.
2. Speak up. Need something new in the office to help your coworkers and you stay more productive? It never hurts to ask. Office equipment, like printers and shredders, are now being made with advanced technologies that can make your job easier and help you get back to work.
3. Cut down on meetings. Ask yourself if you really need to have a meeting. Can you cover agenda items via email? Cancel meetings if face time isn't imperative and give colleagues more time to get their jobs done. Also, try to schedule one day a week on your calendar that is meeting-free.
4. Don't multi-task, single-task. When you do have a meeting, make sure you are 100 percent focused. You don't want to miss crucial updates and next steps on projects, it will only hurt your productivity later on.
5. Practice "on, in, around, or shred." Eighty-eight percent of people use paper in the office. Keep items you work with daily on your desk, those you work with weekly in your desk drawers, and those you work with monthly around your desk, in archives, or filing cabin Use an automatic shredder for everything else, like Fellowes' line of AutoMax shredders, which shred up to 500 sheets of paper at a time with the simple touch of a button -which helps avoid disruptions.
6. Break it down. If you have trouble getting started with a big task, break it into smaller chunks. Ask yourself, "What is the next action step I need to take to see progress on this project?" Then set a timer, leap into action, and focus on the next step.
7. Vary activities. For mental and physical alertness, vary sitting activities with standing ones, mental activities with physical ones. It will help prevent fatigue and keep your efficiency high.
8. Put some fun into your work. Turn boring tasks into a game. Make a deal with yourself that when you complete the activity, you will do something fun afterward - like taking a walk or having a piece of chocolate. By creating internal enthusiasm, you can stay focused longer.
9. Change of scenery. Try to work in a different setting once a week. Whether you work from home, the library, or a nearby park, new surroundings can inspire ideas and give you the energy you need to tackle your to-do list.
To learn more about Laura Stack and the "Productivity in the Workplace" study, visit www.fellowes.com or www.TheProductivityPro.com.
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