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The HR's manager's guide to creating a modern workplace that nurtures talent

A competitive marketplace and relatively low unemployment mean that businesses need to work harder than ever to attract and retain the best talent. Given the cost of staff turnover can be as high as 150 per cent of the person’s salary, it’s essential to get it right.

Creating a modern workplace that nurtures talent - the HR manager's guide

However, this can be easier said than done, even with the best of intentions. Recent research by Gartner found that only 30.3 per cent of employees had a high intent to stay in their positions in Australia, which is below the international average. Work-life balance was the biggest attraction for jobs, and also in the top three reasons for employees leaving a role.

The reasons for staying or going can be massively diverse but one of the ways organisations can get ahead of the curve is to offer a truly modern workplace in which the employee experience is a clear priority.

What is a modern workplace? 

The term ‘modern workplace’ is in danger of becoming a business buzzword but it’s far more than a trend or a fad. It’s an absolute non-negotiable for organisations looking to attract and retain the strongest talent in a competitive market. Here are three characteristics that create a modern workplace:


Having a work-life balance is a driving factor for employees. They want to know they can still commit to their friendships, relationships, families, charity work, and hobbies, as well as their careers.

Working flexibly should no longer even be a question in the modern workplace. Employees need to be able to securely access all business systems from anywhere in the world, using any device. They should be able to collaborate with teammates as freely and productively as they would if each member of the team were in the office. And they need to have shared workspaces so they can contribute equally to team projects without concerns around security, version control, or missing out on important pieces of information. And, these systems should all work seamlessly with intuitive and familiar interfaces that don’t get in the way of what needs to be done.

Open communication

When employees started working remotely, it was a matter of calling them on their mobile phone. Sometimes it was hard to track people down if you weren’t sure where they were. If they were on the road, they may not be able to join in on videoconferences or access important documents.

In the modern workplace, those constraints no longer apply. Now, a single number should reach an employee no matter where they are, and they should be able to access every system and document they need, with full security, from a mobile device. Clients and partners shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between your employees that are in the office and those who are working from remote locations.

Modern workplace tools facilitate instant communication from messaging and email to video and voice calls, as well as shared online spaces and the ability to meet virtually at the touch of a button.


Employee engagement is a highly-accurate predictor of company success. Organisations that can demonstrate a high level of employee engagement and a strong employee value proposition can reduce turnover by as much as 70 per cent while also reducing the compensation premium they need to pay to get the right employees.

A modern workplace is characterised by high levels of engagement, which can be achieved by creating stronger bonds and connections between and among employees and teams, regardless of physical location. This depends on giving employees the right tools as well as setting a strong culture of teamwork. Businesses must treat their employees as more than just another number; they need to feel valued as individuals and allowed to nurture their own unique workstyle.

A common denominator in achieving these three characteristics is the business tools used to support workers. Businesses relying on disparate legacy solutions, either on-premise or even in the cloud, risk disenfranchising high-performing workers because of the inherent inconveniences and barriers created by these systems.

Instead, organisations should look to standardise on a comprehensive platform that delivers all the functionality required to keep teams productive, happy, and empowered. Office 365 includes all the tools businesses need, from modern communications and collaboration solutions to advanced analytics and business intelligence solutions, all underpinned with the industry’s strongest security measures.

If you’re still connecting workers using email and static documents saved on people’s desktops, then your business has a huge opportunity to modernise. By providing the right tools to create a collaborative and engaged environment, you can bolster your business’s reputation as a desirable place to work. This can help you overcome the costs incurred by high turnover and the remuneration premium required to attract and retain the best talent.


This post is part of the Modern Workplace blog series. At Empired we have great depth of experience in helping organisations on their journey to creating a modern workplace. Talk to us to find out how we can help you get started.

Your work, your way, securely

Posted by: Jaen Snyman, National Business Manager Cloud Design and Integration | 04 October 2019

Tags: Digital Transformation, Digital Workplace, Collaboration, Modern Workplace, #workyourwaysecurely

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