The Workplace and the Wage Puzzle

November 01, 2018

Demand for talent is at an all-time high in Chicago’s knowledge economy, leaving companies with a wage puzzle: how can they offer a competitive compensation package without further increasing salaries? The solution may be as simple as choosing the right workplace.

A workplace is more than a building– it’s a vital part of what a company offers its employees each day. When this space is designed to address employees’ needs, it can become part of their total compensation package, according to Alison Avalos, Director of Research and Certification Management at WorldatWork.

 

The Workplace as a Recruitment Tool

 

Perks like gym memberships, on-site wellness centers and craft coffee bars have become standard fare at many top companies. Now, organizations of all sizes can offer these benefits simply by choosing a workplace that includes these offerings. And that’s just the start.

Avalos stresses that the real recruitment benefits lie in creating a space that reflects your employees’ needs and values, attracting the top talent who wants to be part of this environment.

 

Designing Workspace for Your Workforce

 

With the amenities arms race showing no sign of slowing down, today’s workplace offerings allow employees to be productive, entertained and stimulated all in one place. But which elements are most valuable for solving the wage puzzle?

There’s no single correct answer. What appeals to employees can vary between industries and even within companies, depending on work styles and daily needs. 

That’s why Avalos advises companies listen to the needs of their workforce before jumping on the latest trend bandwagon.

“It’s about really understanding your workforce and those dynamics and what's going to optimize what they can bring for you,” says Avalos.

For example, you can’t assume that converting an empty conference room into lounge space is suddenly going to make your employees more innovative or creative. But if the lack of a place to decompress is driving up stress levels and demotivating your employees, a lounge could make a huge difference. Or, perhaps your employees don’t want couches, but instead a more flexible office layout so everyone can find a space that matches their preferred work style.

 

Up-to-Date Space Matters

 

One in four employees would consider leaving a company over an outdated workplace, according to our latest proprietary research. In today’s competitive talent market, it is more important than ever for employers to put together a total compensation package that offers more than just money. Providing a workplace that addresses their needs and reflects their values can provide ROI that rivals any other benefit.

 

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