Late last year, Knoll produced a research paper that looked at return on investment models that predict employee retention and revenue for your enterprise. The report looked at data from 49,852 completed workplace surveys. This is one of the largest studies ever for its type.
In the report Knoll notes: “Brain drain is usually regarded as an economic cost, because those who depart usually take with them key skills, knowledge, experience and organizational memory that directly relates to the business success of the enterprise. In addition, engagement, brain drain and ultimately retention have an immediate cost related to recruitment and training of new employees.”
Employee Retention Strategies
They wanted to discover which strategies would prevent these losses. If possible, cost savings for the workspace were to be achieved as well. Knoll found that:
“The research reveals that an organization can reduce fixed costs by investing to improve meeting space quality (number, size and availability) and effectiveness of administrative reception (concierge) support. To increase employee engagement, organizations can increase the proportion of individual work spaces, assigned workspaces, and quality of meeting spaces.”
“The analyses show that regardless of job type, gender, geography or generational affiliation, there are specific workspace design features and capabilities that directly contribute to outcomes such as employee retention and fixed costs. Thus, we feel these results can be generalized to any professional organization that needs to support highly mobile workers.”
Design Features that Influence Costs
For a company with 150,000 plus employees in over 52 countries
“As quality of meeting spaces increases, and as quality of administrative reception capability increases, net facility costs (as a percentage of revenue) are reduced. Thus, investing to improve meeting space quality and effectiveness of reception (whether by adding staff or hiring more experienced employees) will reduce fixed costs, possibly because employees can more quickly make effective use of space in getting work done.”
Design Features That Increase Employee Engagement
If you increase the number of individual workspaces (whether assigned or unassigned) in your facility, employee engagement will increase.
If you increase the number of assigned workspaces in your facility, and improve the quality of your meeting spaces, employee engagement will increase.
“Creating a low proportion of individual workspaces within an office reduces fixed costs short term, but also reduces employee engagement, which our financial model shows is a much greater potential long-term cost to organizations both in terms of immediate costs and longer term organizational effectiveness due to “brain drain” through loss of key employees.”
“Generating a high proportion of unassigned workspaces reduces fixed costs, but also reduces employee engagement. Organizations considering implementing unassigned workspaces, or increasing the proportion of this type of workspace should carefully consider the potential risk of this strategy in terms of workforce retention of key employees.”
“Access to appropriate conference and meeting spaces enhances employee engagement and reduces fixed costs. This situation is a “win-win” and we recommend that any organization supporting mobile employees invest in a mix of appropriate meeting spaces at all their locations.”
“Better administrative/reception capability reduces fixed costs.”