The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and a new survey from staffing agency Robert Half suggests most employees will have a shopping tab open while on the clock. Some 64 percent of employees in a survey of 2,800 workers said they plan to holiday shop online at work regardless of their employer’s policy.
While that likely serves as a distraction and can result in lower productivity, Citrix Systems Inc. Chief People Officer Donna Kimmel said it should be the least of an employer’s worries.
Kimmel suggested that employers be more lenient with their workers to improve employee engagement and retention. She added that work is no longer just “a place,” but instead is now an “increasingly dynamic activity that people expect to be as adaptable as they are.”
“When you hire top talent you want to trust them to work however they feel most engaged and productive,” Kimmel said. “Flexible work hours and locations and agreement on deliverables can improve productivity and job satisfaction, build morale and engagement and make new opportunities available to people who are unable to commit to a stricter work arrangement.”
Management consulting company McKinsey & Co. estimated in 2012 that there will be a labor shortage of 95 million medium- to high-skilled workers globally by 2020. Employers should work on what engages and retains employees said Lisa Sterling, chief people and culture officer at Ceridian.
Sterling herself has holiday shopped at work before. In her eyes, allowing employees to shop while at work is part of what makes a welcoming workplace culture. And that culture makes holiday shopping not even an issue.
“We want our people to know we support them in all aspects of their lives and appreciate the intersection of work and life,” Sterling said. “By building a people centric culture these challenges, as seen by some, become irrelevant and are actually ways to build a more engaged organization.
According to research from management consulting company Gallup, 67 percent of employees worldwide aren’t engaged in their workplace. Many of those people could be looking for other jobs, they added. Kimmel firmly believes in putting people first in any business.
“A business is only as good as its people. When your company puts people first, your workforce becomes stronger, their work becomes better, and your business becomes more successful,” Kimmel said. “The more employers begin to create a positive end-to-end experience for their employees the quicker they’ll be able to enjoy the many benefits of an engaged organization.”