What Is Mean by Employer of Choice – Definition Explained
The definition of ‘Employer of Choice’ is a desirable workplace that people want to work for.
The term applies to an organization that has an ‘extraordinary’ work environment. This work environment will mean that many applicants are willing to work for such an employer and that the attrition rate will be naturally low.
Attrition in this context refers to the reduction of the workforce through employees leaving the company for reasons other than redundancy without being replaced.
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What Makes a Company an Employer of Choice?
In order for a company to be an employer of choice, there will be many Human Resource targets that need to be met and which that employer will continuously need to strive to improve.
The organization will need to incorporate more than just favorable terms and salaries to maintain its position as an employer of choice.
It will need to consider other factors such as:
- A desirable company culture
- Leadership style
- Employee engagement
Being an employer of choice means putting the wellbeing, safety, and happiness of employees and customers at the top of the priority list.
Will Every Employer of Choice Fit Every Employee?
The short answer to this question is no.
Just as not every profession or occupation will be the perfect fit for every individual, then neither will every employer of choice be able to provide the ideal workplace for every candidate.
For example, an organization such as Google operates with a culture that involves socializing and coworker activities designed to engage and motivate its workers to create a ‘family’ feel to its employee community.
For a more introverted personality who does not feel comfortable with numerous sociable events, or similarly, perhaps the activities that Google hosts are just not in line with their hobbies and interests, then such a culture may actually feel pressurized rather than inclusive.
The bottom line is, like life in general, that one size does not fit all. Whilst employers of choice may have much common ground, it is important to remember that your employer must be YOUR employer of choice, whatever that might entail.
The whole rationale behind becoming an employer of choice is to help workers to feel more engaged in their jobs and invested in the organization’s success. This, in turn, breeds loyalty, and quite simply, loyal workers are less likely to leave and seek employment elsewhere.
It also means that employers will have the pick of the talent pool, with candidates eager to join their organization. They are likely to be able to employ the best applicants, which in turn can lead to a competitive advantage in their field.
Characteristics of an Employer of Choice
Salary and Benefits
An employer of choice will strive to pay employees a salary that is above or at least equal to market rates. They will offer comprehensive benefits packages that may include incentives such as health insurance, paid holidays, and paid time off.
They may also include a vision or mission as an organization that seeks to add value, such as a non-profit agency with a mission to cure childhood cancer, for example.
Employees can be confident that their employer of choice is financially sound as far as possible. Not having to worry about the prospect of losing one’s job allows employees to focus on core functions, free from stress and uncertainty about the future.
Employees are empowered to make decisions and, in turn, take responsibility for the way in which they do their jobs. Whilst the employer may still provide a strategic framework that incorporates the company mission, vision, and values, workers are able to control their own choices within this framework and thus track their own progress against goals and targets.
An employer of choice will seek to foster a culture of mutual respect, where workers feel able to verbalize ideas, confident that their voice will be heard and respected, even if disagreements exist.
When working for an employer of choice, employees will feel encouraged to develop their skills and progress along their career path.
An employer of choice will offer development and training opportunities to help their workers to grow professionally and to expand their individual skill sets.
Employees will better understand the company’s rationale and progress because they will have access to information, including financial progress and business success.
Knowing what is happening along with everyone else, rather than feeling ‘out of the loop,’ enables employees to feel an integral part of the organization’s success.
An employer of choice will be committed to both their employees and their customers alike. Human resource policies will detail everything from engagement strategies to incentives such as free lunches and beverages to employee and family events.
Business strategies may include involving existing employees in new candidate interviews or running customer boot camps.
A key component of being an employer of choice will be the way in which it makes its employees feel as if they are involved in the business.
Opportunities will be presented to employees in the form of taking part in new product or service innovation, planning events and operational processes, or attending meetings where they may have the opportunity to give input regarding processes that may affect how they do their jobs.
Studies have shown that employees who are engaged in their work also have a work’ best friend.’ Employees who have a best friend at work have been shown to expend more effort in their job and be better engaged in their work.
Similarly, employees who feel like they ‘fit in’ to the organizational culture, in general, will perform better in their jobs and be less likely to want to leave. Cultural fit is given much consideration at the recruitment stage of employment in order to create an environment where coworkers enjoy working with each other.
This consideration also extends to leaders and managers who are dealt with before they have the opportunity to impact negatively on employees and the work culture. Unsurprisingly, one of the main factors in the resignation of employees can be a difficult or unreasonable manager.
Paying appropriate attention to the importance of a healthy work-life balance is a key factor in becoming an employer of choice. Practical solutions such as offering flexible working hours or the ability to work from home can enable employees to juggle life and work responsibilities more effectively.
This can minimize stress and allow workers to be less distracted when working, knowing that all other demands have been met.
A Culture of Performance
A key strength of an employer of choice is the ability to link company performance and interests with those of the employees. This can be done through variable compensation or commission systems, along with regular guidance and feedback.
Many disputes or grievances are caused when an action or treatment is perceived as unfair. Employers of choice will actively seek to treat each employee with fairness, ensuring that systems and policies regard each individual with the same consideration as another.
Workplace guidelines will be clear and enforceable across the board regardless of department or demographic.
Giving credit where credit is due. Regular feedback and positive recognition are key elements of becoming an employer of choice.
Recognition can be a powerful tool in maintaining employee morale and engagement and can help individuals to identify areas for improvement and be committed to pursuing and achieving new goals.
There are many factors that contribute to becoming an employer of choice. Every employee will have different areas of importance for their career and personal wellbeing. However, recognizing the importance of keeping employees engaged and happy can only be a positive thing for employers and workers alike.
Written by Karen Stanley
Karen is a former teacher of 20 years and ten times published author. She writes content for educational organizations and businesses, nationally and internationally. She coaches new and budding writers through to publication and is passionate about creativity; she runs creative writing workshops in schools and fostering agencies.
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Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.