What do employees really want?

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, companies are needing to up their game to attract the best employees to support business growth. The perception of a happy workplace is littered with fun extras that are designed to motivate and get the most out of employees, from table tennis to napping pods and everything in between. But it somehow seems the keep to a happier workplace and workforce is the much simpler.

Employees today who feel that their employers invest in their development are more satisfied with their jobs, are find more meaning in their work, and are less likely to consider quitting than those who have little to no access to training opportunities.

Its not all about the pay cheque …

Respect

Respect is essential in any relationship and is a requirement when dealing with management and staff. Ask anyone in your workplace what treatment they most want at work and they likely will say it is the desire to be treated with dignity and respect. You can demonstrate respect with simple, yet powerful actions.

An example of demonstrating respect is trusting employees to do the jobs they were hired to do without micromanaging. If something isn’t being done correctly, address it in a straightforward and professional manner that details what needs to be corrected.

Feedback

Feedback is an important communication tool in a healthy work environment. It helps the company by improving processes and shows employees that you care about their career. If phrased correctly, regular feedback can be a useful tool for helping employees and, hence, the company to grow.

Feedback can range from detailed and regularly scheduled performance reviews that let employees know where they stand to simply saying “good job” on occasion. It also involves constructive criticism. If employees are doing something wrong, they want to know, and they want to know how to correct the problem.

Appreciation

Feel free to tell your colleagues, co-workers, and staff how much you value them and their contributions any day of the year. In fact, small surprises and tokens of your appreciation spread throughout the year help the people in your work life feel valued throughout the year. Letting employees know they are valued is a great motivator that can drive productivity.

Support

Create a mentoring culture where employees share their skills and knowledge to help one another to learn and grow. Set up a training system that includes someone who has more experience and knowledge to act as an adviser or mentor to other employees.

This also encompasses several other tips for improving the workplace. By asking an employee to serve as a mentor, you are showing trust in that employee and re-enforcing your appreciation for her work. Those being mentored see this as a means of recognition to which they can aspire.