May 10, 2013

The 2 things employees most want in the workplace

Our survey consistently reveals, year in and year out, across all different types of companies that employees really want the following two things above everything else:

1. To be excited about the direction of the company

Employees spend a third of their waking lives trying to make the organization they work for more successful. If an employee is not invested in where the company is headed or what the company stands for, then they’re only there for a paycheck (and we know from our surveys that that is not very important). Get employees excited and bought-in to what the company stands for and the employees will really enjoy the journey and deliver more effort in getting there.

2. To feel appreciated for their contribution

If employees are devoting a third of their lives to help build a better company, then they deserve some recognition for doing so. When employees don’t feel appreciated they become disconnected and mentally check out. That’s when employees start looking for a new job. Quite simply employees want to love their company and for their company to love them!


Simple things companies can do

Leaders need to be really clear about the company’s goals – and don’t be afraid to over-communicate this! Leaders should be passionate about those goals and get employees excited about them too. Remember to include what the benefits of achieving those goals are for society, customers and employees – a message of ‘this will make a lot more money for our shareholders’ is not meaningful.

Secondly, companies should create a culture of appreciation – as role-modeled by the leaders. It’s great when leaders spend some casual time with employees – asking about their roles and thanking them. If you are a leader, why not carve out an hour a week to walk through the office speaking with different people? Leaders role-modeling appreciation is important as it encourages managers and employees to do the same.

We know creating a Top Workplace isn’t easy, but it is important. These few tips can get you off to a great start.

  • Todd

    Anyone else reading this article totally disagree? Basically, I don’t think it’s necessary to have to waste my time by talking with my support staff- and yeah, it’s a waste. I was brought in to replace the old department manager. I manage a department of ~20, and there is a reason *I* manage and they don’t. I worked hard to get where I am– countless meetings, trying to appease all the other department heads who don’t understand what it is my department is even responsible for, barely– I don’t have time to waste walking around and looking at these people when my time and attention is so in demand by everyone else, and time is money. I’m not going to put these uneducated, public transportation taking, chain smoking, dullard welfare parents on a pedestal when they do not have a fraction of the work ethic that I do. I am sick of this emphasis on THE FEELINGS of lower workers…

    • Dr. Phil

      Good job Todd. You are a POS. You’ll get yours.

    • Dr. Johnathan Nissan

      Countless meetings, trying to appease all other department heads? You bring 0 value to the company. I think you would be a much more productive member of society if you quit your job and applied for welfare. At least that would keep you from wasting time of the other directors.