In recent years, the most pressing issue facing BPCC members have with the question of what to do to retain the most important capital that each company has – its employees. The situation on the labour market is currently a huge challenge – new investments continue to move into Poland, unemployment is very low, so good employees receive many offers, often financially tempting.
Are companies, however, doomed to an outflow of their best employees? The BPCC, together with member firms, ABC London Group, Dehora, Kinnarps, Linklaters and the Wellness Institute, has been answering this question throughout BPCC HR Review. A roadshow taking in four cities, Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań and Warsaw, the HR Review was attended by representatives of over 200 companies from across Poland.
Key messages for employers
Employer are able to build a strategy to retain the best employees, as long as they take into account the trends and possible tools that are available to them.
Ewa Stelmasiak, the founder of the Wellness Institute, presented an overview of macro trends affecting the way that employees perceive the world of work. On the one hand, life has accelerated significantly, many spheres of life have been mastered by new technologies, on the other hand, we are dealing with a growing awareness of the health and the well-being of employees. This shift in outlook has dramatically changed employees' expectations of what it means to be a good employer. Above all, it has strengthened the need for purpose and leadership in wellness, as well as co-creating and personalising the work environment. Karina Kreja, international concept manager at Kinnarps, talked about trends in the work environment. The offices where we used to spend five days a week from 9am to 5pm are becoming history. Many employees take the opportunity to work from home as a matter of course, they also work from other places – cafes, transport hubs or hotels. As a result, the offices of the future must become more flexible and open to the needs of employees, and employers should listen to them carefully when building a work environment.
Of course, employers have within their reach tools that can be actively supported to understand employee needs. Piotr Kędzierski from ABC London Group show on the example of the IT market at which stages of employment an employee loses motivation and what hard tools and solutions can be used to keep an employee in the company. By offering the kinds of benefits usually associated with full-time employees on a permanent contract, employers can make moving employers more difficult for freelance IT contractors. Łukasz Chodkowski, managing director of Dehora in Poland, talks about the experience of introducing flexible working time. Self-rostering, the ability to link employees’ preferred hours to production plans via smart algorithms, gives employees the feeling that the employer trusts them and gives them more influence over the schedule, reducing absenteeism and boosting productivity. Monika Krzyszkowska-Dąbrowska and Łukasz Burakowski, lawyers from Linklaters, provide an overview of the solutions that appear on the market. Interestingly, many of them are not recognised at all as benefits by labour law – in such cases, it is worth relying on legal expertise when building employee benefit programmes.
During all four of the HR Review events, the BPCC conducted a survey of companies regarding their current practices and solutions that they use to recruit and retain employees. The report based upon this questionnaire will be presented in London on 15 January will offer an up-to-date overview of the way companies in Poland are dealing with the challenges of record low unemployment, and will be of value to potential inward investors considering the Polish market.