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5 top tips for innovative people strategies

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1. Stick your head in the cloud

Technology has changed the workplace immeasurably and continues to develop year on year.

Cloud based computing, for example, allows people to access the same kinds of applications through the internet. This increases security, makes collaboration stronger, creates a more flexible working environment by enabling employees to work from anywhere and is more environmentally friendly as workers only use the server space they need.

2. Get flexible

Flexible working is predicted to rise in the future, so the smartest companies will think creatively in order to keep top talent and knowledge within the business. Whether appointing non-executive directors, offering partnership and shares or giving employees the option of part-time or flexible hours, there are lots of ways to get the best out of workers and retain talent. In fact, recent research from Investors in People found that flexible working was the top benefit employees would like to have at work.

3. Team work makes the dream work: the future is clear

Have an open and transparent environment, where all employees are aware of the future prospects and the company’s goals. Your staff will feel trusted and part of the long term strategy. Investors in People Gold accredited supermarket Sainsbury’s make sure that every team member feels aligned. CEO Justin King spends a day each year on the shop floor to meet his staff and dispel any negative hierarchical vibes. He isn’t alone – all 1,500 staff from the Holborn headquarters are encouraged to spend time working in the store. 

4. Employing Generation Z

Smart businesses plan ahead and think about the future. Innovative companies are already thinking about how to recruit and retain the best talent. This includes talent that may not even be in the job market yet. Generation Z are where the future of your company lies and really innovative companies have recognised this and are already looking at how to attract that talent to their workforce. Think about exhibiting at school careers fairs or offering internships and apprenticeships.

5. Get fruity

Recent Investors in People research has shown that 54 per cent of full-time employees feel their employer doesn’t care about their health and wellbeing, as long as they get the job done.

It doesn’t take much to show your employees that you really care, without breaking the bank. Subsidised gym membership, health insurance, or fresh fruit in the office can be effective. Investors in People accredited Down District Council in Northern Ireland are right behind this. From internal weight loss programmes to yoga and spinning taster sessions and Indian head massages, Down District Council certainly invest in their staff’s health and wellbeing.

Show them if they work hard, they can play hard too!

Here’s a list of some really innovative examples of what companies worldwide are doing to support their staff…

Lactation lounges

Some companies in the US are offering private, comfortable lactation lounges to help ease the transition for breastfeeding mothers who have returned to the office from maternity leave

Asleep on the job

Google offer “energy pods” for employees who need a power nap to perk up their productivity

Look after the pearly whites

We all know how tricky it can be to get a dentist appointment at a convenient hour to fit in around the busy working schedule. More and more companies are providing an in-house dentist, which makes getting to appointments easy.

If you think you are already ahead of the game and your company is Investors in People accredited, enter the ‘Most Innovative People Strategy’ Award at the Investors in People Awards 2014. Applications are open until 10th of April, so download your application forms now! 

Paul Devoy is head of Investors in People.

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