The corporate industry has undergone a significant shift over the past two years where relationships between employers and employees have changed, due to evolving employee expectations. And with today's digital world, transparency is key. Employees are questioning the norm and are searching for more employee-centric companies and studies prove this. Many employees find flexibility just as important as salary and more than half are willing to leave their positions if company values don’t align with their values.
Company culture is the shared values, attitudes and behaviors of the company and its employees.
Today, it’s imperative to create a culture of genuine care, connection and communication with employees in order to prevent turnover and unhappiness within the workforce. Company culture includes many elements such as morals, ethics, personality, diversity management and communication styles. Hybrid and remote working presents new opportunities and new constraints for companies, challenging them in how they convey their corporate culture when a disconnect between the employees and the company becomes more apparent each day. But even so, when hybrid or fully remote employee experiences and company culture are of the utmost importance, engagement exceeds company expectations.
So how do companies retain employees when culture is difficult to achieve in this digital era of employment? With the employee experience!
The employee experience encompasses every element of the employee lifecycle.
From onboarding to development and retention, benefits and culture and even exit interviews, a successful employee experience is when employees feel connected to the organization and that the business is investing in their well-being and their future, financially and professionally. When companies take the employee experience seriously, they’ll likely see a return on investment due to higher employee productivity, engagement, and overall satisfaction within the company. It could also reduce employee turnover significantly, which adds unnecessary costs and time to recruiting and training new workers.
92% of employers said that the employee experience would be a priority within the next three years. 
To improve the employee experience, an organization can go down many routes, from providing comprehensive wellness benefits, training and continuing education opportunities to flexible working hours. But to retain employees in today’s environment, a personal approach is needed.
PlumTree bridges the gap between professional and personal with tangible pathways.
PlumTree provides companies with a unique corporate gifting program that acknowledges employees’ personal and professional realities and promotes connectedness. Their custom gift boxes are carefully curated for special milestones like onboarding and promotions to engagements and becoming parents.
Created as a new channel of communication with the employees, PlumTree's gift boxes are curated to fulfill three objectives - embrace, communicate and nurture. Doing so, companies promote a tight-knit environment which invites their employees to ‘bring their whole selves’ to work.
Let’s take a look at these three elements:
Embracing employees’ reality is more than welcoming them into the team during onboarding — it’s embracing them as a person during each phase of life. By acknowledging and valuing their employees' identity, companies solidify the relationship, show empathy and develop a safe work environment where their employees can thrive. PlumTree gift boxes embrace employees and support their situation with products curated just for them. For example, an onboarding gift box may include a coffee mug and snacks, while a new baby gift box may include some new parent or baby essentials
“Individuals want to work where they feel a sense of inclusion and inspiration in what the business is seeking to do, and they want to have a voice in how work is shaped.” - Andy Walker
Honest communication, transparency, and clarity are key elements for any successful business. When companies facilitate this type of communication, employees are more likely to engage, speak up and provide feedback. This becomes more difficult when dealing with remote or hybrid positions where the personal touch gets lost, and the connection slowly decreases.
Sending physical gifts is a nice and thoughtful way of communicating but PlumTree encourages companies to go a step further adding in each gift box corporate material conveying messages and providing information about them. A company directory, a booklet with all the benefits the company provides, a list of resources to reach out to when coping with a difficult situation. With gifting, organizations can quickly communicate what they’re all about — values, culture, etc. — in a tangible way.
Communicating also means building a culture of open communication and respect and even as simple as using a user-friendly platform to communicate. Email is a simple yet impactful tool to connect with employees — not just for everyday work-related communications. In addition to the gift boxes, PlumTree offers email templates to reinforce the personalization of the physical gifts but also to acknowledge other milestones like birthdays, holidays, and work anniversaries, as a quick hello and reminder that they are not forgotten. This communication channel is especially important for remote jobs where a birthday or work anniversary can pass without any acknowledgment.
82% of employees consider recognition an important part of their happiness at work.
Nurturing employees means giving them ample space to learn and grow within the company. It also means providing tangible tools or products to make them feel more comfortable within their position, inspired to work towards the organization’s goals and feel like they’re cared for.
PlumTree also offers surveys to help companies optimize their engagement strategy. With every survey, employees can provide feedback, allowing employers to analyze and implement to better support and nurture them. In addition, surveys are a way employers can connect with employees on a deeper level with engagement and team building.
Every interaction an employee has with a company should be a positive experience which is why it’s important to build a corporate engagement strategy for the entire duration of an employee’s journey. The three elements discussed in this blog post help organizations showcase their culture and make employees feel seen, heard and recognized.
In fact, “63% of people who are “always” or “usually” recognized at work consider themselves “very unlikely” to seek a new job in the next 3-6 months.” And like Rome, an outstanding employee experience isn’t built in a day.