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  • Writer's pictureJames Johnson

Looking ahead to an award-worthy year

Welcome to 2023. In this first newsletter of the year, a few things that are on my mind and might be on yours, too: How to excel as an employer (and get recognized for your efforts), what benefits will appeal to in-demand talent, and how MLK Day provides the perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on your DEI efforts. Are they working?

Read on.

How to be a best place to work in 2023

Is one of your corporate goals this year to get your company on a “best place to work” list? If so, now is a great time to start thinking about it. Within the 2022 lists, one common theme I’ve noticed is that companies that put purpose before profit (as Inc.’s list put it) fare the best.

No surprise then that Patagonia won Inc.’s “Company of the Year” award. Founder Yvon Chouinard made headlines in September 2022 when he literally gave his company away to charity. Inc. also honored companies like Impact, an Instagram-first curator of social justice content, which is working to mobilize its Gen Z audience to get aware and involved.

Your company doesn’t have to be single-handedly changing the world one dinner plate at a time to make this list in 2023. But you do need to think about the thing that makes your business not only a great place to work but a business making a difference in the world.

Better benefits — not more

Companies sometimes get a bit frantic in times of talent shortage, and throwing more benefits at the equation might feel like a competitive edge. But the recent State of the Workplace study by Morgan Stanley shows that employees simply get overwhelmed if you give them too many benefits. It might instead behoove both them — and you — to instead do a better job educating about the benefits you already offer.

96% of leaders surveyed, in fact, agree with this sentiment, noting that employees often fail to access their benefits simply because they don’t fully understand them.

Another approach — instead of adding new options, improve the options you already have. For instance, you might increase your employee matching for 401Ks or offer more PTO this year.

As a Fractional Recruiter who talks to job seekers every day, I assure you that more is not always better. A thoughtful benefits strategy is an advantage in times of competitive hiring.

MLK Day is a good opportunity to reflect on your DEI program

January is the month we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, and it’s also the first month of the year — making it a perfect time to take a look at your DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) efforts. Could they use a refresh?

While you ponder this question, consider that Nasdaq recently updated its Board Diversity Rule so that companies listed on the exchange are now required to publicly disclose their board-level diversity stats. If they don’t have at least two “diverse” directors, they must have a pretty good reason.

This is just one example of how important DEI stats are becoming to company success, but it’s not just about stats, of course. There are plenty of studies that prove that DEI success efforts are closely tied to positive financial indicators. In other words, an effective DEI policy leads to a more profitable company, to put it bluntly.

All stats aside, DEI is a major topic of conversation for plenty of people I speak with in my role as a Fractional Recruiter at Quantum Hires these days. How are your DEI efforts?

I’ll leave you with a few of my recommended reads for this month.

Recommended reads for January:

James Johnson

Quantum Hires

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