Many employers believe that they’ve done their duty by providing a competitive salary package and staff benefits to their teams; however, that’s not enough for a happy and productive workplace. In today’s highly-competitive market, businesses must up the ante to attract and retain the best employees. They need to go beyond a paycheck and basic benefits, and should be willing to offer perks that truly resonate with today’s workers.
So, what actually motivates employees, and how can you retain your best people?
Here are eight things that your employees need from their employers in order to stay motivated, which in turn, can lead to higher job satisfaction, better productivity and stronger retention.
Health and Wellbeing Initiatives
According to a survey by Gartner, staff members who are satisfied with their work environments are 16 percent more productive, 30 percent more attracted to their employers over competitors and 18 percent more likely to stay. In fact, two-thirds of the respondents revealed that they would be more likely to accept a new job or keep the job they have at a workplace that cares about their health and wellbeing.
Another survey by Future Workplace and View found that employees look for the basics first — namely, access to natural light, better air quality and the ability to personalize their workspaces. Fifty percent of the respondents reported that poor air quality makes them drowsier during the day, whereas more than a third said that, as a result, up to an hour of productivity is lost. In fact, light and air quality were the top influencers of employee happiness, performance and wellbeing, while technology-based health tools and fitness facilities were the most insignificant.
This means that organizations that are prepared to adapt to an employee-centric view of workplace health and wellness will not only increase their productivity, they will also enhance their ability to attract and retain top talent.
The stringent nine-to-five workday doesn’t work anymore. Regardless of the industry, flexibility is extremely important to employees across the world. According to Mercer's 2018 Global Talent Trends study, 51 percent of employees want their company to offer more flexible work options. Of the participants thriving at work, 71 percent reported that their company offers flexible work options, compared to 32 percent of those who are not thriving.
Flexibility can address the widening skills gap by allowing businesses to tap into a broader talent pool with a wider range of skills. It can also support gender diversity strategies, as companies that make flexibility a core tenet have better representation of women today and better future courses.
A Supportive Boss
One of the main reasons good employees quit their jobs is because of their immediate superiors. There is thin line between a high retention rate and a high turnover rate, and usually the boss defines that fine line.
Staff members spend a lot of time at their places of work, and the type of boss can make a huge difference in their work environments. A boss who is understanding, helpful and well-loved by their subordinates often receives a high level of loyalty, even when other work factors may not be ideal.
Opportunities for Growth
Good workers often leave an organization because they feel they are no longer adding value, or that they have reached a ceiling in terms of their career paths. Typically, most employees are satisfied with their jobs the first two to three years after joining a new organization, or being promoted internally. However, they often get bored and complacent after a few years, as they master their daily activities.
Just because a staff member is performing well doesn’t mean they’re enjoying their job. And ignoring their need for growth and advancement could result in them looking for greener pastures.
Having a Purpose
Today’s workforce looks forward to realizing their full potential at work, and these team members want their employers to help them achieve that. According to a Forbes article, the majority of workers rate doing more meaningful work and feeling connected to a purpose as the top ranked factors contributing to workplace happiness. And they are even willing to take a pay cut if their work is making them unhappy.
Meaningful work can be defined as work that makes employees feel like they are contributing toward a larger goal, such as their own career goals or even the goals of their organizations. Whereas menial or mundane work can translate into chores that are dull, less important or require no brain power.
No one wants their every action micromanaged and each move questioned. Employees feel unappreciated when they are not only burdened by regular day-to-day expectations, but also when they have to justify their every move and decision, which adds to their everyday stresses. Therefore, staff members look for autonomy at work because continuous second-guessing by their bosses can erode their attitude and confidence toward work and productivity.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Employees, now more than ever, want to work for an organization that is socially responsible. In fact, according to a survey by the nonprofit Net Impact, 53 percent of staff members said that a job where they can make an impact was important to their happiness, and 72 percent of those about to enter the workforce agreed. Most respondents said they would even take a pay cut to achieve that goal.
A socially responsible employer benefits not only from extremely positive branding and corporate reputation, but the good will it builds with its strong corporate governance and activities can also attract, retain and develop human capital, keeping operations and employee morale high.
Culture of Integrity
Due to the amount of time they spend at work, many staff members place a corporate culture of integrity and positivity high on the list of things they expect from their employers. In most cases, the top brass of a company are responsible for shaping and upholding the company’s culture, and what they don’t realize is that their values, beliefs and vision have a trickle-down effect on their employees. Therefore, whether it’s promoting underperforming or insincere people or making other decisions that question the integrity of the cultural fabric of an organization, staff members who hold integrity in high regard cannot withstand such dishonorable behavior for long, and ultimately jump ship.