The Key to Business Success? Your Employees
The best people want to work for the best employers. Now, more than ever, organizations must consistently offer beneficial incentives that keep employees happy and engaged — which contributes to greater customer loyalty and business longevity.
By Lindsay Mather, Vice President of Human Resources
What truly makes a business successful?
Arguments can be made for having a superior and desirable product or service; an influential and recognizable brand; or a loyal and satisfied customer base.
While these are all important, I believe employees hold the key that unlocks the door to business longevity.
Think about it — your employees interact with clients, prospects and vendors to build the relationships, grow your brand and make the sales your business relies on. And it’s no secret that employees who are happy and engaged at work tend to deliver better customer service.
As businesses are constantly vying to attract and retain top talent, you can’t just hope to hire the best. Your organization must work hard to consistently provide compelling incentives so the best want to work for you.
Competitive wages and benefits are still important to employees. But to really standout in today’s hiring market, employers must also prioritize creative solutions that foster the strong company cultures employees are increasingly expecting, including:
- Respect, autonomy and empowerment
- Professional and personal wellbeing
- Connection and enjoyment
I am proud to say that Rogers Insurance’s efforts in these areas has resulted in us being recognized yet again as one of Alberta’s Top Employers (this is our 14th such recognition).
Respect, Autonomy & Empowerment
To be truly engaged and satisfied at work, employees must feel respected.
Respect in the workplace isn’t limited to kindness, fairness and inclusion; it’s also about trusting and empowering your employees to truly take ownership of their work. This requires providing a certain level of autonomy, which is why Rogers Insurance has purposefully created a fairly flat structure and non-bureaucratic environment.
For example, our bereavement leave policy is purposefully open-ended. We recognize that everyone grieves differently and that we all have a variety of important people in our lives; no longer are just relatives considered family. Therefore, we have not defined a set number of leave days in the event of the passing of someone important. Instead, we approve bereavement leave on a case-by-case basis that is handled with the utmost respect for an employee’s personal needs to grieve and honour their loved one.
Another example is that our dress code policy — which we call Dress for Your Day — permits staff to wear more relaxed attire (i.e., jeans) any day of the week, as appropriate, so long as it remains professional.
We also offer our employees a share ownership plan through which employee owners share in the success and growth of our company. These employee ownership models are becoming increasingly rare and we are proud to offer this unique incentive to our staff.
Professional & Personal Wellbeing
Investing in employees’ professional success is something many employers can claim (including Rogers Insurance, where some of our initiatives include in-house training and financial support for courses and licensing requirements).
But employees are also looking for their employers to contribute to their personal wellbeing. This can include:
- Wellness initiatives: For example, in our Calgary office we have a Peloton bike, cruiser bikes and e-scooters onsite that staff can use throughout the day; a private and comfortable Spa Room where staff can take a break; and an employee-run Wellness Committee, which arranges a variety of wellness and mental health activities for our people to engage in.
- Wellness breaks: For example, our staff receive flex days in addition to their vacation allotment. These flex days can be used at their discretion, such as taking a mental health break.
One of the most unique ways that Rogers Insurance invests in its people, however, is our Dream Program.
Dreams inspire and give people purpose and hope, which is exactly what we want for our staff. Through our Dream Program, we randomly award four employees each year with up to $10,000 to fulfill a once-in-a-lifetime experience of their choosing.
This program is distinct within the insurance industry and demonstrates that we truly care for the professional and personal wellbeing of our people.
Connection & Enjoyment
We spend, on average, a third of our waking hours working.
This significant investment of time underscores, for me, the importance of providing an enjoyable workplace culture that fosters connectivity. People thrive when they are happy and connected — this is true personally and professionally. That’s why one of Rogers Insurance’s core value focuses on fun.
Our employee-run Fun Squad works diligently to provide engaging activities year-round. This includes everything from our highly anticipated annual Halloween costume contest and Broker Ball slow pitch game to candy grams, virtual events and much more. This year, the Fun Squad is even planning a private screening of a newly released movie for staff to enjoy (the selected movie will be the one with the most staff votes).
These initiatives do much more than just inject a healthy dose of fun into the workplace; they also encourage our people to interact and form relationships with all of their colleagues, not just those on their own team.
Simply put, the best people want to work for the best employers. Gone are the days (and rightly so!) where employers can expect great results from their staff while offering very little in return. Organizations must continue to evolve and create incentives in order to keep employees engaged and happy — which in turn contributes to greater customer satisfaction and business longevity.
Lindsay Mather is the Vice President of Human Resources at Rogers Insurance. She is passionate about creating HR initiatives that contribute to a positive, productive and fun culture that benefits the organizations and encourages employees to be successful.