What Employees Really Want

February 17th, 2012

In today’s competitive market, unhappy employees can easily find a job somewhere else. If your retention rates are suffering, or you simply want to ensure that you retain your employees, enacting a strategy to keep them happy is the first step.
It may surprise you to learn what it is employees want from their employers. The most obvious answer, more money, is actually ranked quite low. There are many things that employees consider to more valuable, both now and long term.
1. Recognition. Recognizing and appreciating employee efforts is a key way to keep them happy. Employees want to feel as though they are a vital part of your organization and that they are being recognized for the work they do. Consider enacting a reward’s based recognition program for employees who meet certain goals, or for those who go above and beyond.

2. More Say. When employees feel as though they actually matter and are part of your company, chances are they are going to want to stick around longer. Ask your employees for their opinions on operations and what your company should be doing. Select the best ones and take steps to implement them. Not only will your employees appreciate it, but you’ll be getting some very valuable input for your business.
3. Room to Grow. No one wants to feel as though they’ve reached the end of their employment arc. Offer continued training to help your employees develop more skills. Encourage them to attend seminars that are related to your field. Consider setting up a program to reimburse continuing education for your employees.
4. Focus on Teams Not Individuals. While an individually based success program motivates employees on the short term, this motivation tactic can backfire long term. Focus on team building and rewarding teams, not just individuals. Make sure teams are supportive of one another and that you are supportive of them.

With a little effort and creativity, you can give your employees what they really want, and ensure that they stick around for many years to come.