Webinar Recap: The Importance of Office Perks And Workplace Culture

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In July, the Commonwealth Joe team hosted our first webinar on The Importance of Office Perks And Workplace Culture To Attract And Retain Top Talent. With the help our our moderator, Rachel MacKay (Director of People Operations, Commonwealth Joe) and panelists, Corey Williams (Senior Operations Manager, Contactually) and Megan Fellows (Office Coordinator, Spark Fund), we facilitated an open discussion about how office culture is changing, why there is growing importance placed on office perks and workplace culture, and creative ways companies give their teams the perks and culture they want and need. Read on to learn more about what we covered in our first webinar!

millennials at work


The Rise and Importance of Improving Corporate Culture

The increasing importance on workplace culture started in Silicon Valley with the rise of popular tech companies, like Google and Facebook. As these tech behemoths scaled quickly, their employees started to feel the strain of longer hours. To show employees that they were valued and appreciated, these companies started investing in their corporate campuses, providing everything from dry cleaning to fitness centers, and even child care on-campus, which greatly alleviated the ever-evolving strain of balancing work with personal life.

Being that we are currently in a growing economy with a “job seeker’s market,” companies have the opportunity to improve their workplace culture to attract and retain top talent. Tactful companies are making these efforts known as early as the interviewing phase to help position themselves against similar organizations competing for the same talent. Creating the right culture gives a company a leg up when competing with other top organizations. If a prospective employee is being offered a similar salary at a competing company that doesn't offer the right perks, benefits, and office environment, it is a no brainer that the candidate is going to pick the company that is investing in the wellbeing of its employees.

In addition to helping employees maintain a work-life balance, providing the right office perks and workplace culture is a great way for companies to improve employees’ experience with the company without having to offer higher salaries to every employee. Additionally, offering the perks and creating the right culture encourages employees to remain engaged and passionate about their work, making longer hours seem less arduous. Commonwealth Joe recently conducted a survey to learn more about what employees value in office perks and workplace culture. In the survey, we found that 66% of respondents said the perks in their office make them more engaged while at work and help them to better balance their work and personal life. Having a reprieve when the workday gets challenging can help reduce burnout, resulting in lower stress levels and higher productivity, which benefits both the employee and the company.

office meeting

What are others doing?

It is apparent that employees are realizing the amount of time spent at the office and want to ensure that the environment they are in adds value to their life. In our discussion with our panelists, Rachel MacKay (Commonwealth Joe), Corey Williams (Contactually), and Megan Fellows (Spark Fund), we picked their brains about some creative ways to improve office space and culture to ensure employees notice the value.

Corey mentioned that Contactually offers a startup like environment that encourages collaboration. Contactually employees meet in the kitchen throughout the day to chat over a bite or a cup of coffee. These engagements typically lead to productive work-focused collaboration, leading to further productivity in a casual and low pressure situation. Contactually also encourages their employees to maintain a comfortable work-life balance through their unlimited paid-time-off policy. Employees are not given a limit on the amount of time they can take off from work. In fact they are so passionate about ensuring their employees get time away that they offer a $500 bonus to each employee who takes leave for 48 consecutive hours within the calendar year. The Contactually team has found that this policy keeps their employees happy and productive in their roles at Contactually.

Megan also noted that SparkFund puts an emphasis on collaborating in communal work spaces. They have found that encouraging employees to take a casual approach to their meetings often sparks more creativity than a traditional formal meeting. This also empowers employees to develop personal relationships with their co-workers while staying productive. In addition to this, SparkFund creates a culture of inclusivity, making sure all of their employees’ needs are considered. The company even goes so far as offering dietary-specific snack for gluten free or vegan employees. This mindfulness ensures no one feels left out and encourages employees with varying interests and lifestyles to come together in a communal way. SparkFund wants their employees to enjoy going to work every day, which is what has inspired such a powerful focus on offering the right culture and perks for their environment.

At Commonwealth Joe, Rachel and the People Operations team has been hard at work establishing the right culture for our company. Rachel begins talking about our culture as early as the interview process to make sure potential employees would be a good fit for the Commonwealth Joe culture. One of our standard interview question asks candidates what they are passionate about outside of work. Doing this helps Rachel get a sense of what candidates enjoy doing in their freetime, and also enstills that we prioritize a work life balance and want our employees to be fulfilled by their extracurriculars, in addition to their work. Commonwealth Joe keeps the culture strong by maintaining transparency across departments. They do so through our weekly leadership meeting in which leadership team hosts a video meeting to review the previous weeks successes and happenings as well as address any questions the team may have. These weekly check-ins keep our team up-do-day and help everyone have a level of appreciation for the hard work coming from each team.

Office Perk: Cold Brew Coffee

Understanding what the right perks are for your team

Across Spark Fund, Contactually and Commonwealth Joe a consistent theme in workplace culture is listening to their employees wants and needs. But recognizing exactly what your employees want can be difficult. In our webinar, our panelists discussed some of the ways they collect and digest feedback from their team regarding office perks and environment. The overarching answer was that companies strive to create a culture that makes their employees feel comfortable providing their People Operations team with feedback. Many companies send out bi-annual or quarterly internal employee NPS surveys (eNPS) to collect unbiased and anonymous feedback from their team to better understand what perks and benefits employees value.

Commonwealth Joe is passionate about helping organizations create the best office environment for their team. We love hearing from employees about what they value in their office environment and what their people ops team does to improve office culture. Do you have additional ideas or feedback on how to improve office perks and workplace culture? Keep the convo going and leave a comment below!

Want to hear more about what Contactually and Sparkfund do to foster a great working environment? Listen to a recording of our webinar on The Importance of Office Perks And Workplace Culture To Attract And Retain Top Talent




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