Becoming an Employer of Choice

You probably have heard or read the expression, Employer of Choice. It has become the mantra for today’s businesses across diverse industries and sizes.

As the words suggest, businesses striving to become employers of choice develop various initiatives which foster a more employee-centered culture. They are intended to increase worker loyalty, production and retention while boosting recruitment efforts and an organization’s overall brand and corporate image. What is required to become an Employer of Choice is a significant commitment on the part of management across various areas, including: career advancement opportunities, education and training programs, compensation and benefits, work-life-family balance, working environment and well-being. For an Employer of Choice program to be effective there must be a sincere buy-in at the highest level of the company along with a strong, motivated team to continually drive its various components. The first step toward becoming an Employer of Choice is to perform a thorough self-examination.

The self-examination phase of an Employer of Choice initiative enables a company to assess how it is currently performing against key evaluation criteria such as the presence of:

  • Growth opportunities for current employees and promotion from within policy when possible
  • Mentoring and job development programs
  • Flexible work schedules to accommodate family needs
  • Competitive salaries and benefit programs
  • Benefits such as college tuition reimbursement and adoption assistance programs
  • Company-sponsored social and recreational activities
  • Company-secured perks like shopping, travel and entertainment discounts
  • Wellness program
  • Open door policy of communications between management and rank-and-file employees

Each one of these listed areas can be evaluated in this way: Does the company offer it? If so, what does it consist of? What are the related policies and how do the employees rate the area?

Once every area has been evaluated, the company can create a plan-of-action on how best to become an Employer of Choice and begin taking the necessary steps to develop and incorporate these various areas into their employee services. Thereafter, there should be ongoing monitoring of these areas and canvassing of employees to gauge their feelings about how, in each employee’s opinion, the employer is faring, along with the employee’s overall job satisfaction.

For example, if you were to evaluate your organizations mentoring program, you would need to see if a formal mentoring program exists, and if so, how well does it extend across all departments/job functions and how well does it work in developing better skill sets among the employees. If you were to evaluate flexible work schedules, you should consider how many requests your company has had for shorter work days or work weeks and review how those requests were handled.

The end result of a successful Employer of Choice program should be “Best in Class” employees who are connected, motivated and productive and have no intention of leaving the company. Your organization will soon find out that employee retention is perhaps the most important benefit derived from this initiative.

A close second benefit of an Employer of Choice program would be an organizations ability to recruit top talent. This is particularly important in today’s world when so many fields and regions are having great difficulty recruiting qualified employees. Companies should recognize that being an Employer of Choice will significantly reduce their employee turnover rate and the related recruitment, replacement and training costs associated with hiring a new employee, as well as the impact departing employees have on customer relationships, market position and company image.

Ultimately it makes sense for an organization to put the effort forward in becoming an Employer of Choice.

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On February 28th, 2011, posted in: Help For Human Resources, Small Business Tips by
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