As consumers, we love a personalised service. A coffee made just for us, with our name written on the cup. The clothing sales assistant who leads you directly to the new collection they know you’ll adore.
Being treated as the individuals we are makes us feel really good inside. Turns out, this culture of personalisation is also beginning to take off in business. And companies are looking at ways they can engage new and existing employees with positive personalised experiences. It’s not so much the coffee, or the piece of clothing that matters. It’s the gesture.
It’s no secret that employee engagement is critical to a business’s bottom line. Employees who feel supported and emotionally fulfilled are more productive. Our relationships with our colleagues play a huge role in how we feel about our work.
“From the moment you begin the onboarding process, it’s really important to consider how business decisions impact an individual. How can you make it feel exciting, straightforward, and aligned with your brand values? You don’t need hundreds of policies. Just start with the core ones, and build them up as you grow.”
What works for every individual can differ enormously. Not to mention, every workplace will have its own limitations – taking your office team for coffee might be easy, but what about manual roles and shift workers?
Consider the facilities your teams use day-in, and day-out. According to Debbie, it’s the little adjustments that can make the most difference. “For starters, do they have secure lockers and mess-room facilities? Is there a kettle, space to prepare food, decent seating areas? Does your team know who their line manager is, and have regular access to them?”
Management must make the effort to get to know their employees as individuals.“Build a relationship with your employees. Learn about the things they enjoy outside of the office,” Debbie advised. “Because the next time you speak with them, you can ask about their marathon, or how their child is getting on with exams. People remember the little things.”
More than just a policy
During the pandemic we saw a dramatic shift to remote working. Some individuals rushed back to the workplace with open arms, while others preferred to embrace a hybrid model of working. For many, the entirety of the pandemic was spent working as usual (with a few additional safety measures in place).
According to Debbie, this makes it more critical than ever for businesses to establish solid working relationships with their people, regardless of where they’re working or what they’re doing.
There’s a difference between introducing a new policy, and weaving it into the fabric of the business. The way we work has changed forever, and businesses need HR frameworks that are future proofed. Most importantly, they need to take action on them.