The working landscape has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. Young people are changing jobs with greater frequency and the increased numbers of start ups and SMEs has loosened large corporations grip on the employment market.
The days of large corporations being able to attract the vast majority of young talent purely because they can pay the biggest salaries is long gone. The new generation are less focused on pay and job security tending to prioritise a healthy work-life balance or a positive working environment.
So if the major corporations can no longer attract top quality staff by simply brandishing the cheque book or the promise of living and dying in the same corner office, what are they doing to attract top young professionals?
The answer is complex but part of large the strategy is to offer enticing benefits packages that can improve their staff’s lives beyond an increase in pay. Corporate wellness programmes are a huge part of this as more and more young people are increasingly focused on health and wellbeing.
There are a huge range of initiatives that have been adopted by companies ranging from yoga rooms and on call masseuses to fitness programmes such as StepJockey. Not only can programmes such as these help attract and retain quality staff but they can also boost productivity amongst existing staff.
The evidence is plain to see that the steps large corporations such as Verizon, Cisco Systems and EMC2 are taking with their corporate wellness programmes are paying dividends. All three tech companies were ranked in the top 10 for companies with the happiest young employees.
Another tactic employers can use to attract top young employees is through active building design. The practice of designing buildings which actively improve the health of its’ occupants has become a big deal in architectural circles and healthy building standards such as WELL, Fitwel & LEED have become all the rage in the Facilities Management world.
You can read our comparison of the healthy building standards here
Creating a welcoming and nurturing office environment is crucial in attracting and retaining young staff and we are seeing the end to the sea of claustrophobic cubicles that dominated corporate offices over the last 50 years.
The bull pens of the 70s & 80s are being replaced by open plan offices with a focus on natural light, air quality and the inclusion of natural elements such as plants. A fantastic example of this is ASID headquarters in Washington DC - the first building to achieve both the WELL and LEED Platinum certification.
Features at the new building include sit-to-stand desks to reduce sedentary time during the day, removal of bins at work stations so employees have to get up to throw things away and a Wellness room where staff can meditate and take a mental break from work.
Both these trends are part of a movement towards companies offering their employees far more than just a pay cheque. The cynical amongst you will think that large corporations, such as Google, only offer these perks to decrease their staff’s desire to leave the office. However, companies such as ASID, Verizon and EMC2 are genuinely committed to improving employee health and wellbeing.
More companies are sure to follow suit when they realise this is one of the best ways to attract and retain talented young people.
At StepJockey we are proud to be part of this revolution towards healthier workplaces and buildings. Through transforming stairwells with our smart signs to move buildings into the future and promoting stair climbing with our fantastic range of challenges that engage entire offices.