Business needs include organisational values, business objectives and operational standards. Each business unit may have its own needs depending on the nature of its industry or work.
Employee needs depend on their demographic profiles (e.g. young parents will have different priorities compared to employees near retirement). As employee profiles will change over time, you should review your work-life strategy regularly to ensure it remains relevant.
Below are three common methods to determine employee needs, which can be used to complement one another:
Workforce profiling involves mining information within an organisation, especially existing employee records. It indicates areas of priority for new work-life programmes, and yields information on trends or changes that might affect existing work-life programmes.
Some questions may include:
- How many employees are/have
- near retirement?
- young parents?
- parents of more than one child?
- single parents?
- elderly parents?
- dependants with healthcare needs?
- men or women?
- married or single?
- pursuing further education?
- Which part of the business has greatest difficulty recruiting employees? What could be the reasons?
- What are the existing health problems and costs?
- What is the absenteeism rate?
- How much medical leave is being consumed?
Employee surveys provide information on employee sentiments, which may be used to identify workplace concerns when tracked regularly.
Some areas to survey include:
- Issues related to job scope and responsibilities. This may indicate employee stress levels and demonstrate a need for greater work flexibility options.
- Non-work commitments and aspirations (e.g. number of dependents and plans to attain higher education). This can provide information about which work-life programmes to prioritise.
- Existing or upcoming work-life programmes. This can provide information about which programmes are or will be popular.
- Job satisfaction, motivation, engagement, or work-life harmony levels.
Conduct Focus Groups
A focus group is an organised group discussion led by a moderator. It typically involves interviews with six to ten people at the same time. Compared to employee surveys, focus groups allow moderators to dive more deeply into a topic (e.g. views and experiences on a particular work-life programme). Moderators play an important role in drawing out useful information and steering the group towards a productive discussion.