Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post from Jennifer Gaggion, Interior Designer and Principal of Design Your Monday! LLC
These days, employers in Connecticut and across the nation are wise to do all they can to attract and keep good talent. Work spaces matter now: their design, what they say about a company, and how that story of its culture is told — through images or other means.
According to a 2016 study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the top three workforce management challenges faced by organizations are retention, engagement and recruitment. I’ve seen this fact lead more local employers to think differently about how they recruit and retain top talent and — consequently — how they consider the impact of office space, how it may serve to attract new employees, and the effect it has on employees’ experiences.
What is an employee experience?
Well, it encompasses everything from catered lunches, latest technologies and time-saving services to the modern physical work environments which employees see, touch and smell. With employees able to work remotely and be easily recruited by any plethora of electronic job boards, the most promising competitive advantage that organizations can create is the scenario where employees actually enjoy going into the office.
According to Leesa Schipani, partner at KardasLarson LLC, a Glastonbury-based HR consulting firm, “The work environment, virtual or brick and mortar, is critical to attracting and retaining top talent. Savvy organizations have recognized the value in designing work spaces that are unique, reflect the organizational culture and create a line of sight to their business goals.”
Companies, then, are not just throwing bean bags chairs throughout their interiors and installing billiard tables for the sake of doing so; these are strategic investments and reflect what the company stands for.
For instance, marketing and distribution company i-Health, Inc, based in Cromwell, recently transformed its 40,000-square-foot office. Partnering with my commercial design firm Design Your Monday! LLC, company leaders deliberately hired me to design a space they now refer to as the Plaza — where employees gather for large meetings, lunch, casual run-ins and “work-minded” play. Play as in shuffle board and foosball, to be exact.
I was thrilled to help with their transformation and have Heather Conley Photography document this investment in the company with professional, architectural images.
The team wanted a fun, casual environment that encouraged employees to come together but would also open doors of collaboration. It worked — the achievement is evident, and the images prove it. When others hear employees playing at one of the tables, there is a natural corral that begins to take shape. The result is fun for the employees but also a strengthening of relationships.
The space also incorporates company branding, encouraging a sense of pride for the employer and team members.
Building credibility about company culture and it’s work environment is important to potential recruits, but also to those who already work there.
Authentic imagery of an intentionally designed work environment gives employers a tool with which to tell prospectives, “We have everything you need to remain a happy employee here.” Images tell strong stories; and is the reason why I encouraged i-Health to invest in a cost-share of professional architectural photography with Heather Conley Photography.
This new space gives workers a sense of pride and makes them feel valued, while the professional images visually story tell and capture the essence of the spaces themselves and in use to get top talent excited about joining their corporate team.
View the transformation and complete gallery of i-Health images here.
Jennifer Gaggion is a CT commercial interior designer and the owner of Design Your Monday! LLC, specializing in custom work environments that positively impact companies’ productivity and bottom line. You can also find her on Instagram @designyourmonday.