Everyone’s heard of a bucket list. Most even remotely ambitious people have one. Yet precious few employers go big on bucket list rewards and recognition schemes.
Those that don’t are missing a trick. In this post-pandemic world, working remotely has become the new norm, and creating a company bucket list program has never been a more viable proposition.
Here we explore how bucket list employee recognition can turn your workplace into one of the companies with the best work life balance – and how you can use that to attract new talent, even in this challenging recruitment landscape.
WHY IS WORK-LIFE BALANCE AN ISSUE?
“The thing is never the thing,” says Executive Mindset Coach Monica Federico. “So many times clients come to me to work on progressing in their career, and we end up working together on the things they want for their wider life. It could be their health, or their finances, or very often their work-life balance. For high achievers, it can be tough just finding the time to have fun! It’s all connected.
“Employees are people first and foremost,” Monica continues. “They all have their own hopes and dreams. Their own bucket lists. Having come from a HR background myself, it always surprises me how few companies fully grasp how important the personal angle truly is.”
So with that in mind, the question becomes…
WHAT CAN COMPANIES DO FOR WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
“Everyone wants the perfect work and life balance,” says Dynamite founder Matt Fox. “And yet in my experience talking to potential candidates, everyone’s idea of that is different.
“For instance, some want to be able to travel more and work from anywhere so they can have new experiences. They don’t want to be tied to strict office hours. Others simply want time to study or spend time with their family.
“What unites them,” Matt continues, “is that these candidates don’t want to compromise, and that’s why most of them are reluctant to move at the moment. They have comfortable jobs, often with at least some flexibility for remote working, and they’ll only consider leaving for something that offers something even better.”
“A bucket list program could be one idea that helps with that,” Matt elaborates. “But it’s not just about saying ‘we’ll help you with your bucket list.’ Rather, it’s about embedding bucket list rewards and recognition into your company culture.”
So, if you’re a HR professional or company owner, how do you make work-life balance mean more at your brand than it does at other employers?
TARGET SETTING WITH THE PERSONAL TOUCH
“It begins with setting goals,” says Monica. “That’s where all good career coaching sessions start, and it’s where businesses should start too.
“I don’t mean business targets, or employees’ personal career goals,” she continues. “I mean setting life goals to help them tick off the things they have on their bucket list.
“When you ask people to think about something they really want, and then you start helping them adjust their life balance to move towards it, amazing things happen,” Monica explains. “Imagine if as part of your company’s culture, you asked employees to name a tangible, measurable goal in your team meetings, and then discuss with each other how they might go about making those experiences a reality.
“What if some of your people all have the same goal? Like, maybe you discover that three of them all deeply want to visit the Great Wall of China in the next three years. You might find those people get together and start making plans that help them move towards that goal. Then they reinforce and support each other – and all with the support of your company.”
“Experiences like that are great for employees,” agrees Matt. “But they’re also brilliant for businesses. Think about how much loyalty you inspire by just helping those team members make those connections. And then even more so if you incorporate a ‘bucket list bonus’ to reward them for progressing in their role.
“Anybody would want to work at a company that cares that much,” says Matt. “And any company would want a workforce who are that engaged and invested – not just in the company’s goals, but in their own colleagues’ success. It’s a brilliant way to retain the talent already in your business.”
MAKING WORK-LIFE BALANCE A SELLING POINT
Better still, a thoroughly thought-through bucket list rewards and recognition scheme isn’t just great for keeping staff, it’s also a brilliant tool for selling your business to candidates who might be on the fence about making a move to a new company.
“The companies with the best work-life balance are the ones who don’t just say they care about their people – they show it,” says Matt. “If you can put some budget aside to help your team with a bucket list bonus scheme or a similar employee benefit, you can feature that in your job specs, shout about it in your marketing, and have recruitment companies like Dynamite extol the virtues of your company culture to every candidate we contact.”
“It might be a bit of a shift for some companies,” says Monica, “But it should be well worth it. After all, from an employee perspective work-life balance is really just life balance. The more you tell honestly candidates how much you care about theirs in the recruitment process, the more attractive your company will be.”
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