Talented employees have a plethora of opportunities to pursue rewarding careers in both corporates and small businesses, so what does it take to become a great employer that doesn’t break the bank?
For many, the nine to five work day is an outdated concept. It is more common for teams to enjoy some flexible boundaries.
“For me, life is about living, not just working. So that means that the boundaries between our working hours and those we spend with the ones we love should be fairly fluid,” says Ben Webster, founder of travelwithjane.com. When recruiting his team, Ben implemented a policy that ensured all staff could access flexible work arrangements that allow them to choose their hours so long as they fulfil their targets and project obligations.
For me, life is about living, not just working
Since its inception, they have operated within a four day working week, with the flexibility to work from home, or remotely in another town or even country. “We have staff that live across the globe and we often aren’t online at the same time and don’t have a physical office, so it doesn’t really make sense to have rigid work hours and it’s really important to me that my teams have a life,” adds Ben.
Trust and transparency
Likewise, trust and transparency are a vital component to building a healthy and dynamic team. “I try to ensure I am as transparent as possible – with both my team and my customers so that they understand the decisions I make in the business. My team know the problems we are facing and they certainly know when they’re contributing to our successes,” he says. This has cultivated a very real sense of family and a sensitivity for what is needed both inside and outside the workplace.
It may seem like common sense but with women earning up to $1.5m less than their male counterparts over the average work lifespan, small business owners have a responsibility to their staff, no matter the size of their business to ensure they’re fostering a culture of parity. “Despite gender pay parity being enforced by Australian industrial law since 1969, the pay gap clearly states that there are many workplaces yet to comply – don’t be one of them,” says Ben.
Women never recover financially or in their career progression
He acknowledges that often women step away from the workforce to focus on nurturing their families and returning to the workforce often comes with sacrifices. “Many women take junior positions when returning to the workforce, and never recover financially or in their career progression and this simply shouldn’t be the case,” adds Ben.
Building and maintaining a great workplace culture requires commitment from small business owners, through the managers and ground staff being open and creating space to sharing ideas. Regularly touch base with your team about common questions that customers are asking as this feedback loop is essential for both understanding your place in the market and your workplace culture.