The big question Freud so famously asked was “What do women want?” But if you’re an employer dealing with turnover, your big question is likely “What do employees want?”
There was a time when both questions were unanswerable. However, thanks to hundreds of sophisticated studies done over the last several years, we can now answer “what do employees want?”
They want engagement.
Employee engagement is more than just the latest buzzword. It’s the well-studied solution to your issues with employee performance and turnover.
It turns out that common assumptions are wrong. What employees want most from an employer is not perks like Foosball tables, espresso machines, or in-office chair massages. What they want most isn’t more pay–though I’m sure none would turn that down.
No, what employees want most from an employer is a reason to be ENGAGED. Employees want employee engagement more than they want any other benefit you can offer them.
What is Employee Engagement?
An “engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their job. Engaged employees take positive action to further the businesses’ interests. Why? Because they perceive the companies’ best interest to be aligned with their own. They contribute more discretionary effort than disengaged employees.
In a nutshell, engaged employees don’t think, “Me!” Engaged employees think, “We!” Unfortunately, they also are the first to leave if they don’t feel appreciated or valued, leaving the toxic disengaged employees in your company.
A company with a high level of employee engagement may, therefore, expect to outperform those with low levels of employee engagement with all else being equal.
Resources for Review
An interesting read is an October 2016 article published in Forbes. While I agree with their top 5 list, I don’t necessarily agree with the rankings. That is because they list more money as the #1 most important thing to employees. As noted above, this is important, but I believe their #3, #4, and #5 are more important. More money only temporarily retains an engaged employee if these other engagement factors aren’t met.
Feeling overworked is a close second to salary as a reason why employees leave. I recall a time when the company I worked for was in a crunch and canceled all vacations and was paying lots of overtime. Eventually, employees just wanted a day off to rest and to be with family. More money stopped engaging them.
Opportunities for development and advancement.
This is important to all but especially to the growing millennial workforce.
A sense of purpose.
The previously mentioned articles state that research shows “50% of millennials would take a pay cut for work that matches their own values.”
A recent paper by the Chairman and CEO of Gallup supports this by sharing that millennials are seeking:
- Purpose not a paycheck
- Development not job satisfaction
- Coaches not bosses
- Ongoing conversations not annual reviews
- A place that is not just a job but their life
Employee engagement offers such a clear competitive advantage to companies, you’d think they all be embracing it with open arms. However, this is not the case. Too many businesses don’t give it a thought. The reason may simply be that they don’t know how to create a company culture that makes each employee feel appreciated and heard.
It seems easier and more doable to put an espresso machine in the break room instead of trying to understand each individual employee. Whether you have 5 employees or 500, assessments can make it easy for an employer to understand each employee and build employee engagement. These far-reaching benefits will last longer than even the fanciest coffee gizmo.
How would engaged employees help you be wildly successful? Do you struggle with retaining key talent, especially millennials? Let’s schedule a conversation and see how we can help you “Be Wildly Successful!” It’s easy – just click here or call 540-420-1004.
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