What your employees really want

Here are key aspects of a job that keep employees happy

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February 24, 2015 |
Steven Burns
What your employees really want

Employers can support employees' personal growth by encouraging them to take courses online or be mentored by more senior employees. Photo courtesy of Evan Bench/Wikimedia Commons.

With all the research and literature on employee engagement, it’s amazing that so many companies still miss the mark.

A post on CultureUniversity.com explores the factors that employees seek most from their bosses and employers.

“An extra bonus check or pizza party won’t really make much of a difference if the core issues are never fully addressed,” writes author Jacob Shriar, director of customer happiness at Officevibe. “The analogy I always use is if you woke up one day and realized you had gained a lot of weight, you wouldn’t make an appointment at the gym a year later. You would work on improving yourself every single day, eating healthier and exercising regularly, measuring your results along the way.”

So what do employees really want?

1. Personal growth

Autonomy, mastery, and purpose are the most important factors for personal growth, according to Dan Pink, author of the book Drive.

Autonomy is the desire to direct our own lives. To satisfy this need, employers can let their people pick their next project or allow them to mentor a newer employee.

Mastery is the urge to become better at something. Employers can meet this need by encouraging their people to take courses online or be mentored by more senior employees.

And purpose means feeling like you’re part of something bigger. Fulfilling this need means constantly reminding employees of the bigger vision of the company and what role they play in achieving it.

2. Good relationships with coworkers

A recent study revealed that being ignored at work is just as bad, if not worse, as being bullied.

To address this issue, firms should change their onboarding processes and educate every employee on the importance of being friendly with each other.

3. Recognition and praise

Forty years of research on recognition and praise reveals that the top reason people leave their jobs is from not feeling appreciated.

Yet 65 percent of Americans received no recognition in the workplace last year.

Organizations that emphasize employee recognition are 12 times more likely to have strong business results, according to a Deloitte study. They also had 31 percent lower voluntary turnover than organizations with ineffective recognition programs.

4. Frequent feedback

Sixty-five percent of employees said they wanted more feedback, according to recent Deloitte research. And companies practicing regular employee feedback have 14.9 percent lower turnover rates that those that don’t.

Read more from CultureUniversity.com.

Steven Burns | The Business Behind Design

Steven Burns, FAIA, spent 14 years managing the firm Burns + Beyerl Architects, during that time the firm’s earnings grew at an average rate of 24% per year. After creating ArchiOffice®, the intelligent office, project management and time tracking solution for architectural firms, Steve took his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is refining their business strategy and product development.

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