Knowing what’s important to employees and meeting those needs helps employee morale, retention and your bottom line!
HR expert Susan Heathfield emphatically believes retaining top performing employees is key to the long-term health and success of your business. “Managers readily agree that retaining your best employees ensures customer satisfaction, product sales, satisfied coworkers and reporting staff, effective succession planning and deeply imbedded organizational knowledge and learning,” she writes. “If managers can cite these facts so well, why do they behave in ways that so frequently encourage great employees to quit their jobs?”
Maybe it’s because managers don’t really understand what’s important to employees says Susan Cullen, president of Quantum Learning Solutions, Inc., who cites several important research surveys showing:
the No. 1 thing employees say they want from their employers is….full appreciation for their work!
The first survey, conducted by the Labor Relations Institute of NY, was published in Foreman Fact in 1946, and has since been repeated with results replicated many times since then, most recently ending in 2001. It shows the top three things managers believe employees want, contrasting with what employees actually say they want.
Top Three Things Managers Believe are Most Important to Employees
- Good wages
- Job security
- Promotion and professional growth opportunities
While those are all in employees’ top ten list (No. five, four and seven, respectively), they’re not the top three.
Top Three Things ACTUALLY Most Important to Employees
- Appreciation for their work
- Being in on things
- Understanding of their personal problems
The discrepancy, writes Cullen, shows the value of intangible rewards: appreciation, involvement and understanding. What Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees calls the the “secrets of successful employee recognition”. Importantly, the three things most important to employees involve their relationships with their direct supervisors.
Cullen also notes research shows a manager’s ability to communicate with, coach and engage staff has a direct link to retaining top talent in the workplace. Once again research shows us recognizing and appreciating employees’ contributions is of vital importance to employees’ workplace happiness and business success.
Do your managers understand employees’ need for recognition and appreciation? What do you do to show employees your appreciation for their work?
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