4 Steps To A Brag-Worthy Workplace

Consider these cost-effective HR resources to support staff who are trying to do more with less.


A whopping 88% of employee attrition is due to non-financial issues, according to the International Association of Administrative Professionals. As today’s businesses try to balance recruiting/retention goals and aggressive cost savings demands, employees in all departments feel strained in at least one area.

Credit unions should bolster existing HR resources while drafting new, low-cost benefits to help mitigate efficiency-itis (a.k.a. “burnout”) and create a more attractive workplace.

No Train, No Gain

Only 66% of companies take the time to train new employees, according to the 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey, so the chance to participate in long-term, ongoing vocational training is an opportunity that wise employees will not pass up.

High-level programs create upward mobility, give employees control over their professional development, and can even uncover in-house talent at much lower costs than outside hires. Ritzy conferences abound, but consider hosting on-site peer training sessions. Is there an HTML wizard or an Excel genius on staff? Have them share their knowledge. Another option to mitigate cost/time spent is to provide remote learning opportunities.

Health, Wellness, Relaxation

From meditation rooms to pingpong tables, the environment at startups makes them desirable places to work, not the paychecks. Dedicated on-site (or subsidized off-site) relaxation, team-building, networking, and exercise areas are a huge bonus for employees and (with the exception of happy hour) can yield desirable savings in healthcare-related costs.

Bring a refreshing startup mentality to your office and branch layout as well. As a not-for-profit,  you can’t engage in flippant excess but you can consider collaborative, communal seating and workspaces, cost-saving natural light and ventilation, and other modern design options that create a dynamic workplace. See this list of the world’s coolest offices for inspiration.

Get Employees On Board With Retirement Benefits

More than 55% of respondents to a Charles Schwab survey said they wanted employer guidance on their 401K, yet less than 10% actively used these resources when they were provided. Address the fact that employees avoid retirement preparation by offering in-person, individualized planning sessions – which is the preferred method for employees – rather than online forms or printed booklets.

Give Them A Break

Paid sick day mandates proposed in many states are controversial, but as MSNBC indicates, many small businesses already bundled both vacation and illness absences into one paid time off system as an alternative. This option helps counter the temptation for phony sick days, but be warned - employees may also come to work when they are sick to preserve extra vacation time. (So grab that Purell!).

Sabbaticals (paid or unpaid) are more common in some industries and pay grades than others. While they do represent an expense, training in new job positions or industries can also increase retention, job satisfaction, and make the employee more valuable in the long-run. As a less costly alternative, use short-term sabbaticals (monthly or weekly) and short-term job swaps within the organization to get a similar effect with minimal HR disruption.


June 6, 2012

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