6 Things Employees REALLY Want
There’s a misconception that, when it comes to our jobs, all most of us want is more money. After surveying friends and associates, I found that’s not at the top of the list. Here are 6 things that were most often shared as being important to job satisfaction.
“It is the province of knowledge to speak. And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
- To Be Heard. How many times have you wanted to make a suggestion or voice a concern at your job only to find that no one is listening? Most of us want to be productive, contributing members of our team, but that’s hard to do if you feel that no one really hears what you have to say. It’s important to create forums or appropriate ways in which employees have a chance to talk about concerns or share ideas.
“There are two things people want more than sex and money – recognition and praise.” Mary Kay Ash
- To Be Recognized and Respected. It’s hard to stay motivated when you feel that no matter how hard you work, your efforts are not appreciated. The companies that offer things as simple as an “employee of the month” parking space, events where employees are praised, a brief break after a big project, notes or tokens of thanks, newsletters highlighting employee successes, go a long way in creating a positive work environment. We all want to have respect from peers and leadership. To retain loyal employees, treat them well. This can mean all kinds of things in different companies and cultures, but some ways might include asking employees to do things instead of telling them, not waiting until the very last minute to assign tasks, and offering help when you see that an employee is overwhelmed.
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” Henry David Thoreau
- To Be Paid Fairly. I know I mentioned that money was not the most important thing. It’s not. It’s not just an amount of cash that most people really work towards. However, we want to know that according to the quality of work we do, and for the time we spend working, we are compensated in a fair way. We are resentful if we feel that a company is scrimping on paychecks, especially if there is waste or extravagance in other ways. In these days of economic uncertainty, a company’s most valuable assets are good employees.
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
- To Be Challenged. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from colleagues that they would love to really show what they can do, but they never get the chance. They are not asked to be involved with the most prestigious projects at their companies. Obviously management has to decide what their employees are capable of, and what responsibilities they can handle, and make decisions which are best for the company. But I would suggest that a good leader hires the very best people and then gives them every opportunity to shine.
“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
- To Be Properly Trained and Supported. There is nothing worse than to find that you are in over your head. If it’s our own fault then shame on us, we need to get busy and learn some new skills, or we need to ask for help. However, I am amazed that companies hire employees and once they get established in their jobs, they never offer training again. Nearly every kind of business offers seminars and advanced training courses. It’s a confidence booster to know that you are current with trends in your field, and that you are armed with the best information to do your job. It’s also great to know that your company wants to invest in you and your continued success.
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
- To Work For A Boss Who Is A Good Leader. Well this really opens a can of worms! I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about what makes a good boss. I will name a few things that I think are important after many years in business, as well as some points that people have discussed with me. A good leader shows by example how it’s done. They don’t tell you one thing and then do another. They set the tone for the company and have a strong influence on creating a positive culture. They have a clear vision for the company that they share with their employees so that everyone is working towards a common goal. They want you to succeed and they want to empower you to be a better employee.
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Jack Welch
What do you look for in a great job? And what characteristics do you think make a good leader?