May 09, 2019

The roles and responsibilities for Human Resources (HR) vary significantly with organisation size and industry.

It could entail everything that deals with people and issues related to people such as compensation and benefits, recruiting and hiring employees, onboarding employees, performance management, training, and organisation development and culture.

In all but a few organisations human resources role stops short of impacting the physical environment. Workplace design has a profound impact on the employee health and wellbeing and in turn on performance, engagement and morale but this responsibility rests with real estate or facilities team which, more often than not, are not responsible for HR metrics.

We conducted a detailed analysis of key performance indicators (KPIs) for HR professionals to understand which metrics are most affected by office design and environment.

 

Here are the top four: 

  1. Employee Surveys: Surveys have been the most important source of getting employee feedback. They measure employees’ satisfaction with different elements of their job like the relationship with peers and bosses, rewards and recognition, training and development, tools and facilities, office environment and company mission and values. Physical elements required to do your job are always a key consideration. For example, it is the second question in Gallup’s Q12 survey. Leesman Index goes much further and more profound. It identifies individual, focused work as the most critical activity, desks and chairs as the most important physical features and environmental factors like temperature, noise, natural light and cleanliness in the top ten. In short, ergonomics have a significant impact on employee satisfaction. 
  1. Absenteeism: Last year Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK concluded that 21.4% of all work days lost were due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that occur due to poor workplace design and lack of ergonomic considerations. A further 50% of absenteeism was attributed to stress, depression and anxiety – conditions aggravated by poor ventilation, lack of natural light, inefficient space utilisation and poor office design. 
  1. Turnover/ Retention: The first symptoms of disengaged and stressed employees is a rise in absenteeism. Over time this turns into a higher turnover and lower retention. There’s a vast body of academic work that demonstrates a high correlation between the quality of work environment and employees’ intent to quit. One recent study concludes, “Employees are significantly less likely to intend to quit their job if they perceive it to be a good working environment.” 
  1. Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): It is a metric to gauge how willing the employees are to recommend their workplace to friends and acquaintances. If workplace facilities and the environment is driving employees away, then they are not going to recommend others to join.

 

In our experience organisational structures with greater collaboration between facilities management, human resources, procurement and on-site teams lead to holistic solutions and balanced outcomes. Most importantly the physical and social cultures are aligned.


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