I turned my Ukrainian office into an art gallery. It was a surprisingly good shot.

I walked into the office completely exhausted after a tough meeting, but when I looked up I stopped in awe. Someone had hung a painting on the wall. Suddenly the boring hallway had turned into a Hall with personality and mood.

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My business partner decided to hang an abstract painting by a modern Ukrainian artist Anton Poperniak. The painting undeniably brightened up the space, but its real value was the journey it gave us. Our office has turned into an art gallery.

Hosting an art exhibit in your office might seem like a forgiving thing for a startup to do, but we’ve found that it actually leads to lower turnover and increased offer acceptance among the candidates we have. questioned.

Benefits of turning our office into an art gallery

  • Decreased employee turnover rate
  • Increase in the number of job applications
  • Increase in offer acceptance rate
  • Increase in brand awareness
  • Customer recognition

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Why we did it

My business partner is an experienced patron of the highly underrated Ukrainian art scene. He was always keen to bring art closer to people and wanted to help the team learn about their local culture. I wasn’t as involved in art as he was, but I always wanted to make our workplace an inspiring creative space that people would love. want to forthcoming.

So when we saw that our business was going to grow, we decided to combine our interests when designing a new office.

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We invited ten muralists, graphic designers and calligraphers into the office and gave them flames – an uncensored opportunity to use the walls of our offices as a canvas. Five months later, our 350-person office space has transformed into a modern art gallery.

What did our team think?

They loved it.

Of course, we hoped the project would boost team morale and maybe increase people’s interest in their local art scene. But in the end, what we got was so much more.

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Decline in Tate turnover

We work in the customer support industry which has one of the highest employee turnover rates of any industry. While the average rate for general businesses is 15%, for customer service centers it can reach 30-45 percent.

This is a big problem for companies because the cost of replacing an employee ranges between $10,000 and $15,000. That can add to a lot of money for large call centers.

But since we turned our office into art, our turnover rate has dropped by 16 percent. All of a sudden, our fun art initiative had a real, measurable impact on our bottom line.

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Increase in the number of job applications

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As a customer support company, our recruitment process is continuous and requires a large pool of foreign language speaking specialists. During 2020, we hired 658 people.

Most of our candidates come from job search sites or are referred by current team members. After bringing the art to the office, word spread and the number of organic applications increased 1.5 times.

When interviewed, people said they saw pictures of our office on job sites, on their friends’ social networks or in the press, and it made them want to apply. To them, our company seemed interesting and innovative and stood out among other potential employers.

Judging by the incredibly positive results we’ve had, it’s clear that our investment in the aesthetics of our space has paid off with increased interest among potential applicants.

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Increase in offer acceptance rate

We have three-step job interviews and in the case of a local hire, the last step is an in-person conversation at the office. We have noticed that the average acceptance rate is 50% higher among candidates interviewed in our new office-turned-art-gallery compared to the old one. And it’s clear why from the feedback we received from newcomers: “As soon as I saw this, I knew I wanted to work here,” said one interviewee.

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To give you an idea of ​​why this was so successful, I think it’s worth noting that 42% of our applicants are millennials. Since 78 percent of them value the quality of the workspace when choosing an employer, it is no surprise that a creative workplace attracts the attention of candidates.

However, they are not the only ones who care about the aesthetics of the office: 81 percent of all applicants would turn down a job offer if they didn’t like the workplace. That’s why I view the resources we devote to the office as a long-term investment in our recruitment and retention efforts.

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Increased brand awareness

Introducing an art project like this also caught the attention of local media and put us on a map of global office spaces. This has allowed us to reach new audiences outside of our traditional channels and build a reputation as a responsible employer.

Many factors contributed to bring us there. Team members shared office photos on social media and brought loved ones to our corporate family days. I also found that employees were more willing to promote the company to their friends.

And because of all this interest, we have introduced tours of the office for the public so that more people can come and see the murals. All of this combined increased interest among potential candidates and, subsequently, clients.

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Customer recognition

Since we are in a competitive sector of the B2B industry, relationships and reputation are crucial to us.

Before signing a contract, clients sometimes go on rounds to check out different service providers. Before Covid-19, we welcomed an average of four customer visits per month. Having a unique office makes a strong impression and helps us stand out from our competitors.

The contact center industry is stereotypically perceived as a toxic work environment. We bust that myth and show our customers how their money is being spent: in happy reps, which translates into happy customers.

Clients, who value our commitment to team well-being, appreciate our efforts and tend to choose us as their partner.

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Of course, we cannot attribute all of the achievements mentioned above solely to art in the office. You can’t just hang a picture on the wall and expect turnover to go down – that’s not how it works. Aesthetics should be part of (and supported by) other strategic efforts to improve the overall employee experience.

However, the massive introduction of art into our space has certainly played a key role in how our team views their workplace and the company. Yet one of the less visible but invaluable perks that I love the most is when I hear two people chatting in the kitchen… about which mural they like the most – Manzhos or Kondakov’s.

This article was originally published on The next web.

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