What will make future organisations a great place to work? Talent retention has become a major challenge for organisations and the culture of the company plays a vital part in employee satisfaction and retention.

By Pradeep Malhotra

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India is evolving and so are the ambitions of Indians. The Indian start-up ecosystem has grown exponentially over the past few years, and is unceasingly developing. Various factors such as massive funding, mergers, evolving technology and a growing domestic market is the cause for this flourish of start-ups. India has become a start-up hotspot and has attracted investors from across the world. Talent retention has become a major challenge for organisations and the culture of the company plays a vital part in employee satisfaction and retention. Below are some traits that organisations need to possess to ensure employee satisfaction, attract talent and be a great place to work for:

1. Office Space that is open, fluid and unstructured: Instead of focusing on a furniture layout that allows an employee personal space and storage, organisations should have open, unstructured and fluid workplaces. This maximises face to face collaboration based on the need of the projects and collaborators. It allows for quick huddles, stand up meetings and brainstorm sessions that enable quick decisions. An open office ensures that everyone has access to the CEO along with every leader on the floor. At an open office, noise cancellation headsets are provided to all employees, in case they are disturbed by the noise around andhave some quiet thinking to do. For Example: At Blue Jeans, the seating arrangement is formed around various project groups and different collaborators to ensure quick decision making.

2. High levels of transparency and collaboration: Employees should have access to information, decision making, and direct access to the senior level management to clear doubts and give suggestions. This would mean, getting rid of a traditional hierarchy system and empowering employees to question, contribute and disagree. By enabling high levels of transparency and collaboration, every employee is clued into not just the direction of the company, but also has access to customer feedback, pricing, project status, issues, funding, burn rate etc. Recognition of an employees work in front of peers through online tools and regular displays in common areas helps boost an employee's self-esteem and bring out the best in him.

3. Connected to work 24/7: Whether at work or home, connectivity is what employees now look for. Employees want information readily availableat their fingertips.The move towards cloud and cloud based devices, allows for flexibility of being able to work and being efficient at all times. Currently, the employees at Blue Jeans have access to their work, payroll, benefits, mail, internal chat's etc., all on their mobile devices.

4. Work Ethics/practices based on Generation Z workforce: Today's workforce has an increasing need to be mobile, successful and always connected. Hence, traditional ways of communication will be trumped by social media, quick chats and video interactions. So a workplace that supports such systems will be an employer of choice. Blurring lines between work, home and leisure, employees will look for a place where work efficiencies are not going to be measured through traditional norms. Organisations need to provide employees with adequate support and opportunities to build on their existing skills. A culture of self-driven performance where everyone is responsible for his or her performance will prevail.

5. Attracting talent through a changed recruitment approach: Companies need to change the way they engage with potential hires. They require to take interviews beyond a lonely room that candidates are traditionally confined to. Companies now, need to open their work place and welcome the candidate to spend a day or two at the work place and socialize with the existing teams. Casual interview settings is what the new generation will look for. Opportunities to meet with various levels of employees through the day with high levels of transparency will be a differentiator. Companies need to be active and engaging through various social media toolsto build recognition and trust in the eyes of a potential candidate.

6. Thriving on Ambiguity: The defined vision and mission statements will be replaced by dynamic direction and ability to change. This requires the complete participation of all employees who are well informed and thrive on their ability to handle change. Such workplaces will be looked at as thriving workplaces where employees consider taking risks, innovate and participate in decision making.

7. A redefined corporate culture based beyond just exciting benefits: A culture that are based on Transparency, Trust, Fun and Camaraderie will be crucial in enabling direct and open feedback. Rewarding through celebrations and involving families of employees by celebrating anniversaries, annual day, surprise gifts etc, will go a long way.

Pradeep Malhotra

VP & Managing Director, Blue Jeans India

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