What do employees want from work? There are several factors that must be present in your workplace for your employees to be happy and motivated at work. They are so fundamental to an employee's well-being that they form the basis for employee motivation, engagement, and retention.
Workplaces that lack these factors tend to experience high turnover, dissatisfaction, and general negativity. These employers develop bad ratings at sites such as Glassdoor.com. Their unfriendliness to employees spreads, harming their reputation and their brand.
Potential employees, especially people who have the skills and experience that employers want, tend to gravitate to employers of choice. They won't waste their time considering an employer who has a bad reputation for how their employees are cared for and treated.
Ability to manage my work-life balance
Recognition for my contributions
Opportunity to learn new skills and technologies
a fun work environment
Working on meaningful projects
Feeling a sense of belonging
Being empowered to make decisions
Leaders who set clear direction
What Employees Need
The following describes what employees want from work.
Respect is the fundamental right of every employee in every workplace.
If people feel as if they are treated with respect, they usually respond with respect for coworkers and bosses. Employees who feel respected respond with responsible actions.
Part of respect is praise and feedback so that people know how they are doing at work. Employers express respect for employees when they treat employees as if they are adults who are capable of making smart choices. In a respectful workplace, everyone is equal; they just have different jobs and roles.
- Employees want to feel as if they are members of the in-crowd. This means that they know and have access to information as quickly as anyone else in your workplace. Employees hate to feel as if they are excluded from the information that they need to understand and support their organization's mission, vision, and goals.
- For employees to feel up-to-date, employers share as much as they know about organization challenges, finances, and budgets as soon as they know it. Their employees need to make good decisions based on good information to act in the best interests of the business.
- Employees want to have an impact on decisions that are made about their jobs. Employee involvement and employee empowerment help to create engaged employees willing to put forth their discretionary energy to the business.
- At the same time, employers must remember that empowerment is not a free-for-all. You need to structure empowerment in a framework that includes organizational vision, goals, and clear responsibilities. Managers need to communicate with each employee about what this framework means for their job.
- Employees need to have clear direction and know what they are accountable for producing. They need to know the parameters of the box in which they are empowered to make decisions. And rewards, recognition, and compensation need to reinforce empowerment within the framework.
- Employees do want leadership. They want a sense of being on the right track, going somewhere that is defined and important. They like being part of something bigger than themselves. Employees like to know that someone, who is trustworthy, is in charge.
- So, the executive team and even the employee's manager must exhibit confidence and the sense that they know what they are doing. Employees are watching. They need to feel confident that they have a product that can be successful and a company that understands and listens to the marketplace.
- They want to know that they will have a job next year and that they can commit to the organization long-term, assuming that they are happy in their work. The quality of their leadership answers a lot of the questions raised here.
If these factors existed in every workplace, productivity, motivation, and happiness would soar.