There’s a small revolution going on in the workplace today that didn’t exist about a decade or so ago, yet is having a profound impact on productivity and employee performance.
These changes have to do with how employees now view their role in the workplace and what they expect from their fellow colleagues. Most importantly, it’s a reflection of how they view their role in the grand scheme of things within a company. Long gone are the days when a paycheck and a vacation is all an employee expected from their daily grind, today the expectations are much larger.
What Matters Most To Employees
1. Receptive Boss
When it comes to the being the boss, nothing can take the place of a good listener. A receptive boss will not only encourage continuous feedback, he or she will actively solicit criticism at any and every chance possible. This could take many forms – informal surveys, weekly meetings, Skype chats, or even contests where the employee with the most original and or most helpful suggestion gets a top prize. In other words, feedback should be viewed as an opportunity for possible improvement. At the end of the day only an open, accessible, and receptive boss will be able to fully take advantage of this information and turn it into a valuable action plan (supported by happy employees).
2. Office Perks
There are many ways to reward good performance that don’t involve a monetary exchange. Some companies, like Apple, reward employees with office perks ranging from onsite fitness centers, flexible and/or work from home arrangements, a generous health plan, educational opportunities, and even a special Mac cafe where it’s been said their iconic CEO, Steve Jobs, would visit about once a week. Many companies offer traditional (and not-so-traditional) additional office perks from a dog friendly office, to Yoga Tuesdays, an awesome snack room filled with plenty of extra goodies, to eco commuter incentives and so much more. It’s astounding how much the little things that help increase quality of life for your employees will boost longterm employee retention and create a happy, productive atmosphere in the meantime.
3. Career Growth
This one in particular is very important to many employees. At the end of the day, potential growth opportunities can mean the difference between staying at a company versus looking elsewhere for something that aligns with future growth goals and longer-term financial security.
If an employee doesn’t see a future with their company, there is a good chance they’ll begin shopping around for other opportunities once they feel they have reached a plateau in their current position. You can avoid this by making sure you have and give your employees room to grow and counsel them along the way to a better post within the organization. This could take many forms, from proposing new positions in other divisions, to a higher level of responsibility in the current position or placement in upper management.
Employees with an opportunity for career growth are happy and productive, and are able to stay focused on their current job (rather than having an eye open for external opportunities).
It should go without saying that sometimes what matters most to your employees is good ole fashion recognition. Whether formal or informal is up to you, and only after surveying your specific workforce will you know which one they best respond to. Some employees will want a tangible recognition such as a “Certificate of Appreciation,” while others might respond better to a monthly luncheon with top level executives formally thanking them for a job well done. You can do a variety of things to inspire and raise morale which, in the end, will go a long way toward improved worker productivity. Get creative and don’t forget to survey your staff to see what motivates and excites them to greater performance.
When you find good talent, do everything you can to keep them at your company. Although cash and monetary bonuses have their place, they do not have to always be the default reward program. There are many ways to keep and reward good talent at your organization – try our four tips above for a fresh and renewed sense of employee empowerment.
McKinsley Quartlerly – Motivating People: Getting Beyond Money
The Salary Reporter – Non-Monetary Perks: How Small Businesses Can Retain Top Talent
Mashable Business – 6 Companies with Awesome Employee Perks