Hybrid work is the front-runner in return-to-office scenarios, and technology is the key to making it seamless. ...
11 April 2022
11 April 2022
An Interview with Phil La Duke
Listen to your employees first: Understanding exactly what employees want and taking honest feedback is a key component to retaining talent. Through employee feedback, employers can learn about employee experience and office utilization to continuously improve the workplace.
The pandemic has allowed people to reevaluate what they want from work. This “Great Reevaluation” has led to the “Great Resignation” which has left the US with a great big labor shortage and a supply chain crisis. What can we do to reverse this trend? What can be done to attract great talent to companies looking to hire? What must companies do to retain their great talent? If not just a paycheck, what else are employees looking for? In this interview series called “The Labor Shortage & The 5 Things We Must Do To Attract & Retain Great Talent” we are talking to successful business leaders who can share stories and ideas from their experiences that can address these questions. As a part of this interview series, we had the pleasure to interview Paul Statham, CEO, and Founder of Condeco.
Paul Statham is the CEO & Founder of Condeco, where he has helped to shape the relationship between real estate and technology with one of the foremost providers of workspace management technology. He was previously Managing Director of one of the UK’s largest electronic security companies.
Thank you for welcoming me! I like to think that I have always been entrepreneurial at heart, and I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that shared this spirit. A great example I will happily share was in the early 1980s when my family and I created a security business, Masco Security, in our garage! I’ve always been growth-oriented and passionate about putting people at the center of business, which was definitely inspired by my family’s approach to founding Masco Security and other ventures.
To put it plainly, many just were not paying attention to the signals. There needs to be a fundamental shift in how employers think about their business and company culture. This was something needed even before the pandemic, and it’s only heightened now. Employees are looking for employers that give them flexibility, and achieving that requires employers to relinquish control over defining what work looks like for individuals.
There is a suspicion among some employers that when people work at home, they take advantage of the situation and spend more time doing housework than dealing with business issues. After decades of direct control, not knowing what staff are doing at any point in time can seem scary. Like it or not, employers have had to adapt to that trend, as well as implement the technology and tools that enable it.
Employees are demanding flexible work and now, giving employees the freedom to choose where to work is a must. Employers need to craft workplace strategies around flexibility to retain and attract talent, and that approach should be rooted in technology. When implementing the right tools that support the individual needs of employees and the culture employers are looking to foster, companies will benefit from greater employee satisfaction and higher productivity.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend was already growing — a cultural shift toward an employee-first approach was starting to gain traction. Employees are looking for work environments that promote work-life balance and overall well-being. When coupled with the emerging feelings of isolation that resulted from remote work amid the pandemic, we quickly saw employees start to seek new jobs if their current employer no longer aligned with their new values.
There certainly is truth in this, The Great Resignation is being driven by the demand for a working model that allows employees to work where they feel most comfortable and fits better with the rest of their lives. If a company’s leader is not directly responding to those demands, they most definitely risk attrition. To create a flexible work environment that works for the business and for its workers, leaders must buy in and assess performance based on outcomes over office attendance.
With today’s blurred lines between home and work, it is increasingly important to focus on employee satisfaction, mental health, and well-being. We’re seeing a growing demand for companies to foster a healthy work-life balance and creating an environment where employees are happy to work — from any location — is critical to retaining talent. Happy employees undoubtedly lead to increased productivity — and improved business outcomes certainly follow.
There is a direct relationship between worker happiness and productivity. The University of Oxford Said Business School found that happier workers are 13% more productive than those who aren’t. Employees feel motivated by contributing in meaningful ways, that ultimately impact the business and can influence company profitability. When employees are dissatisfied with their organization there is a high risk of talent loss and those companies will struggle with building loyalty and trust among their team.
It all starts with company culture. Employers can improve the employee experience by helping them feel a strong sense of inclusion. Companies can use anonymous surveys or polls to get a pulse on how their teams are feeling about in-person collaboration and, from there, encourage workers to gather safely to promote team building. Ultimately, organizations need to embrace flexible work to reduce employee turnover, reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, improve employee happiness, and reduce office costs.
Employee satisfaction and company culture are closely tied, and we just touched on the role of feedback and employee surveys. Another way employers can ensure the workplace environment meets the needs of employees is with data analytics. With tools that provide real-time insight into how spaces are being used, when, and by which teams, leaders can shape the office around their employees, not their real estate. Having a better understanding of the utilization of their office space will help employers make informed decisions about how spaces are laid out, changed, or modified. When used effectively, this can have a significant impact on productivity, collaboration, and well-being.
We’d love that! You can follow Condeco on our website, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Please feel free to also connect with me personally on LinkedIn!
Thank you so much for your time and the opportunity to share my perspective with you and your readers. I would love to pick up our conversation again soon! All the best.