The pandemic has made millions rethink how work fits into their lives and whether their current job is well-suited to their values, time, and overall life goals. Early on, market uncertainty and closed doors meant companies had to let many people go. But today, businesses are looking for new ways to retain their employees and attract top talent. 

With the new normal, there has been a seismic shift that's driving workplaces all over the world to change the way they operate in order to keep their employees. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021 alone. And this all with the backdrop of a record-breaking 10.9 million new  job openings at the end of July. And it looks like this isn’t the end of the turnover tsunami. In fact, a July 2021 poll by Monster found that at least 95% of workers are thinking about a job change.

With memes popping up stating "Congratulations on quitting the job that was killing your soul" to a tweet that went viral by Amanda Pendolino-- “2021: congratulating your friends for quitting jobs as opposed to getting jobs”, this ongoing situation has already been given a name, the Great Resignation. 

So, in this volatile and challenging job market how do you manage to keep and continue to attract top talent?

How does employee empowerment affect your workplace?

Employees are the lifeblood of your business because their performance directly equates to the overall profit, growth, and success of your business. This means that your employees are one of the most valuable assets in your organization. Their skills, knowledge, and experience are contributing factors that can give your company a competitive edge and stay ahead of the game in your industry.

The power has shifted from employers to employees. In ABC RN's Radio program This Working Life, behavioral scientist Aaron McEwan, from global research and advisory firm Gartner, stated “Pandemics reshape society at fundamental levels. The movement of talent is so significant and so sharp that it's different from probably anything we've seen in living memory. It has rewritten the psychological contract between employers and employees.”

In the current competitive job market, empowering your employees is more important than ever. Here are a few ways in which to focus your efforts that will make a strong impact across your company:

Company Culture

Company culture is the soul and essence of an organization. This set of shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices that define an organization, is often one of the decisive reasons people choose to work at a company---or leave it. 

Traditionally, companies have equated a positive company culture with a nice office space, a good salary, and the benefits they offer. Today this has changed. Employees don't want to live to work and the definition of being successful is no longer just to get to the top of the corporate ladder. They want to be able to live full lives and their main interest in working at a company is what an employer can do to improve their life experience. 

At present, flexibility and adaptability have been key to implementing a successful workflow from both the office and remotely. Empowering your employees to be able to decide what work style suits them best is an important first step to ensuring talent retention and ultimately business continuity into the future.

Having a flexible work model that encourages both in-office and remote work makes it easier for your company to thrive. In fact, a study by Accenture found that 83% of workers prefer a hybrid model. Although early on in the pandemic many companies were forced to go remote and were skeptical about how this would impact productivity, many businesses, as well as employees, have seen significant benefits in this new way of working. By empowering your employees to choose how they want to work you will be able to keep them happy, connected, and productive.

Attracting Top Talent

Sure, a lot of people still work just to pay the bills. That may have been the norm even just two years ago, but now if you want to attract top talent to your business, salary isn’t everything that’s going to appeal to your dream candidates. Today, a major factor that plays into being a company that draws peoples’ attention is the benefits and perks you offer

Everyone is looking for a work experience that will bring added value to their life. So what kinds of benefits are people looking for anyway? Well, a recent DoorDash survey found that 85% of employees said regular food delivery would increase their job satisfaction. A DashPass for Work membership is a remote-friendly perk in which your employees have easy access to meals from their favorite local restaurants with $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on eligible orders from home or in the office.

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What can you do to improve your company’s employee empowerment?

The saying people don’t quit a job, they quit a manager has never rung truer than today. If businesses want to ensure employee retention, they have to pay close attention to what their workforce wants, especially when it comes to new ways of working, and on a micro level, how managers respond to those needs. Here are a few tips that can help companies better connect with their team and empower employees.

Create time for employees to connect with leadership

One of the most meaningful reasons people choose to work at a company is to be part of a specific community. But now more than ever before, employees feel excluded. In fact, a recent report by professional and personal coaching company BetterUp shows that organizations are struggling to make people feel like they belong. With some employees joining remotely, they don’t get a chance to have small talk at the water cooler. Instead, they only get a brief couple minutes at the start of a zoom call to get to know their colleagues.

Belonging is a crucial element that has a direct impact on employees' performance and their desire to stay at a company. Managers and other people in positions of leadership at your company are critical in encouraging and promoting a sense of belonging among employees. One of the best ways for managers, senior leaders, or CEOs to connect with employees is to set up lunches together. As Kevin Kniffin, Assistant Professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management stated: “From an evolutionary anthropology perspective, eating together has a long, primal tradition as a kind of social glue. That seems to continue in today’s workplace.”

Leadership sharing a meal with employees is a win-win situation. On one hand, employees feel valued, heard, and that they are part of a team while CEOs and other company leaders can better understand what's going on in the company on a deeper level, offer support to people, and even identify candidates for promotions or potential mentorship. 

However, you have to have the right strategy in place to coordinate and execute a meal that everyone can enjoy (and follows everyone's dietary restrictions). Enter DoorDash Group Orders. This practical solution enables everyone attending lunch to pick a restaurant and meal of their choice and then add their own dishes to the group’s shopping cart, so your team can eat what they want together. This way you ensure that all orders are placed together and the food is delivered at a time of your choosing.

Empower your leaders to empower the members of their teams

Happy employees are productive. Your team is bound to do their best work when leadership makes them feel valued and continuously appreciates what they bring to the table. Empowering employees goes beyond giving recognition solely to performance. Showing appreciation for individuals' efforts even when results are different than were originally intended goes a long way. Taking the time to show the value your employees bring to the company creates a solid base for a culture of empowerment, trust, and gratitude. Simple gestures like writing a thank you note, offering extra PTO, appreciation gift cards, or celebrating personal milestones are some of the most meaningful ways this can be achieved.

Give your HR team the tools they need to shape your company culture

Every company has a unique essence and needs which is why building a solid company culture is a complex process. However, investing in this process will have a significant ROI and if done right, will increase your employee retention. 

To create a company culture that empowers employees and makes them excited to work in your organization, you need to get direct feedback from them. Knowing what works and what doesn't isn't exactly something you can guess. By carrying out an audit and getting feedback from your workforce you can find crucial information like whether the majority of your team would rather continue to work remotely, go back to the office full-time, or a mix of both. Gathering compelling data on the needs of your employees can help you find a handy strategy to improve your organization, positively impact their day-to-day lives, increase overall job satisfaction, and make your employees feel heard.

Encourage and put aside a budget for leadership to offer signs of gratitude

Saying “thank you” doesn’t cost anything but can have a powerful impact on how your team feels about their job. As companies struggle to retain their workforce, showing gratitude is one of the secret ingredients to keep retention. Considering employees' safety, their opportunities, and perks that will make their life easier both physically and mentally are some of the strongest ways to engage and connect with them. According to Trish McFarlane CEO and Principal Analyst, H3 HR Advisors, “Companies like Truist Bank are giving $1,200 pretax bonuses to employees earning less than $100,000. They are also offering several types of childcare incentives including paid time off and reimbursement of child care costs. PepsiCo is also aiding employees by paying full salaries for 14 days to those who need to quarantine. They are also paying front-line employees more and offering special pay scenarios to other employees who need to care for children or other family members who are fighting the virus.” These type of programs show you care about your employees and are there for them when they’re going through a difficult time.

Create a healthy work environment

Designing a welcoming work environment that emphasizes employee well-being is another key element that will help you boost your retention. Creating a meditation space, game room, or installing a new vending machine for the break room are excellent ways to promote in-office wellbeing. For those working from home, a stipend or gift cards are excellent ways to enable remote employees to get something inspiring for their home office or have access to a healthy meal when they are busy. However, your workspace should not only be visually inviting to your team, but should also promote a healthy work ethic. 

Encouraging work-life balance can significantly strengthen company culture and empower your employees. With burnout being at an all-time high it can be difficult to find strategies to cultivate a healthy company culture. Thinking outside the box when it comes to offering benefits that incorporate mental health, mindfulness, and healthy nutrition might just be the key. Here are a few ways you can encourage a healthy work-life balance and ensure employee wellbeing in the long run:

Extend remote work stipends

Remote work isn't going anywhere any time soon. Although many are more than happy to continue to work from home, the line between work and personal life more often than not, gets blurred. In fact, a recent Kentik survey found that 51% of employees worry about striking a balance between work and personal time. By helping employees furnish their home offices with products that best suit their individual needs, you can ensure they not only work better but have a designated space for doing their job. Having a space to work in your home makes it easier for employees to create healthy work-life boundaries.

Boost employee wellbeing with food-based benefits

A recent DoorDash for Work survey found 49% of those surveyed said they’ve had at least one work failure, including missing a deadline, a call, or other work matter, due to a need to prep food for themselves or family. Having to prepare food is time-consuming. By taking meal prep and planning off your team's to-do list you are improving your employees’ overall wellness. This is why more and more companies are adding food-based perks like Expensed Meals and DashPass for Work to their benefits packages. Offering benefits employees actually want can boost your team's satisfaction in the workplace.

Implementing meeting-free days

When employees have too much on their plate, it’s easy for them to get burned out and frustrated especially if they are working overtime continuously and not being able to meet their goals. Since the pandemic began, 44% of employees have experienced video call fatigue. Meetings often make employees lose valuable time they could be actively investing into work. By establishing one or two days per week without meetings, you are ensuring employees can dive into their work without being interrupted and get into a state of flow which is productivity at its peak. Ultimately, having a few days a week where your team can fully focus on their work will have a positive impact on their overall wellness, empower them, and even help your company grow.

Free up time in your employee’s schedules

Speaking of giving employees one or two days a week without meetings, freeing up time in your team’s schedule can actually make them more productive. As increasing surveys, studies, and polls show the impacts of stress and the struggle to maintain a work-life balance, finding ways to give your employees room to breathe becomes increasingly crucial. As employees rush through their workday, occasionally things get lost in the midst of the frantic shuffle. Whether working from the office or remotely, having to stop the momentum that's going so they can brainstorm and prepare a meal can throw your team off their course as well as take a significant amount of mental energy to do. 

According to Gloria Mark, an expert on digital distraction at the University of California, it can take about 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption. This is why increasing companies are including DoorDash for Work in their benefits packages. Food delivery is a perk that makes a positive impact on your team's day-to-day lives by freeing up the time it takes them to think, plan, and prep a meal. 

Software company Synopsys decided to offer employees DashPass for Work, a monthly membership service that provides $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on eligible DoorDash orders because: “You save money, you can order healthy food, and it also takes away that little bit of stress from cooking–there’s a whole mental health aspect.”

Get started with meal solutions to feed your team

DoorDash for Work is a comprehensive meal benefit program. This revolutionary benefit enables your employees to save time while having access to the flexibility to pick a healthy dish from one of the 450,000+ restaurants that are available. This way you'll know you're empowering your employees to take their lunchtime and enjoy a delicious and healthy meal from the office or from the comfort of their home.

Looking for other ways to transform your business? Contact us to learn more about how to empower your employees and boost retention with DoorDash for Work meal solutions or learn about what the future of work looks like.


Kristen Van Nest

Kristen Van Nest is an L.A.-based freelance B2B writer with bylines in Forbes, HuffPost, and VentureBeat to name a few. As a former Fulbright Scholar and Newsroom Columnist for the British Chamber of Commerce, she specializes in market trends and strategies businesses can use to grow. Her free time is spent ordering in dumplings and honeycomb ice cream and writing funny content to make people laugh.