"Best Place to Work" rankings compiled by online websites and newspapers have also become popular. Job seekers routinely place the companies that have this "seal of approval" high on their lists when contemplating their next career move.
Rewards and benefits also play a big role. Previous generations were happy with tangible benefits such as cash bonuses, gift cards and prizes from catalogues, but not anymore. Today's generation wants to be rewarded with experiences, preferably tailored to them and their interests. They want to post on linkedin or instagram about what they earned, to show others how their hard work is being recognised. This inevitably is promotion of company culture in the most modern form.
Turning to the atmosphere at work itself, talk of how health affects employee productivity started to creep into the picture. Companies quickly responded with onsite gyms, healthy snack boxes, and ergonomically designed chairs and tables. But again, they started to find that even these efforts just weren't making the cut.
It became increasingly clear that people want to work for companies that value them for who they are in the workplace as well outside of work in their personal lives. They also want to feel that their employer cares about their physical, mental, emotional and social health.
Thus the latest development in creating an attractive place to work entered the scene: corporate wellbeing programmes as the ultimate employer differentiator. Across the spectrum of human resource management functions from hire to retire, building corporate culture based upon a model of wellbeing provides a wealth of benefits for employees and ensures the continued growth and success of the company.
According to the latest Health and Well-being at Work report published by the CIPD, a culture of wellbeing makes the workplace a more productive, attractive and socially responsible place to work.1
The report further highlights that while effective wellbeing strategy should be specific and based on employee needs, it is essential that senior teams make a serious and visible commitment to health and wellbeing. Good people management is an essential part of strategy. This includes ensuring line managers build healthy relationships with their teams and that they have the competence to support people's wellbeing.2
Workplaces have the power to nurture a positive environment that buzzes with vitality and creativity, to be a place where staff feel valued and safe and where they are recognised as crucial contributors in the learning and development process.3
Like many aspects of culture in general, not just workplace culture, it all comes back to the classic phrase, "monkey see, monkey do." And just like toddlers watching their parents every move, employees quickly pick up on company habits by observing their colleagues and leaders.
So when wellbeing strategy review is next on the agenda and a discussion pops up about how to keep moving forward - perhaps it's time to look at it with a top down approach and examine the question: are employees being told (consciously or not) to "don't do what we say, but do what we do?" and if so, what exactly are top leaders and line managers "doing" with regards to wellbeing?