A competitive job market and an unemployment rate of 3.5% are prompting companies around the Houston region to change their mindset and offer creative benefits that focus on work-life balance and company culture, all in a bid to attract and retain top talent.
One of the winning companies, Archrock, a Houston-based energy infrastructure company, hosts annual employee events and contests, such as a chili cook-off during rodeo season and a Halloween decorating contest. These events encourage employees to take time away from their desks to have fun and socialize.
Archrock executives say they've found that when employees are treated well and enjoy being at work, they will also treat their customers well. "When employees are really engaged, they can bring their best, and the customer gets a 'wow' experience," Wendy Millhouse, senior coordinator for talent management at Archrock, told the Houston Chronicle.
Another winner of the Top Workplace awards, ThoughtTrace, an artificial intelligence-powered software company, is offering its employees a flexible work schedule, as well as allowing them to work remotely when needed to help balance their work and home lives. CEO Nick Vandivere told the Chronicle that the flex schedule enables employees to manage their schedule based on all of their priorities. "It's a matter of treating adults," said Vandivere, "like adults."
This transition towards creating company cultures centered around employee engagement and work-life balance could not come at a more appropriate time. According to recent research compiled by the small business advocacy website, SmallBizGenius, 79% of workers say company culture is an essential factor in job satisfaction, and 57% said they would leave their job for a competitor if they believed the company culture was better than at their current organization.
A survey from Flex Jobs, an online job recruitment platform, also found that millennials are more likely to assess a potential job based on the company's policies on working remotely and work-life balance culture than their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts. Of the millennials surveyed, 84% considered work-life balance to be the most crucial factor in evaluating a potential job prospect.
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