Ten Things Your Employees Really Want

 things your employees really want

Think your employees want ping pong tables and fancy lunches? Although employees probably wouldn’t say no to these perks, frivolous things like these aren’t what employees really want.

A happy workforce is a productive workforce. Knowing what kinds of things make your employees happy to come to work can reduce turnover and encourage them to be their best in the office each and every day.

Skip the beer on tap and outdoor swings and invest in these ten things your employees really want from you as their employer:

  • Safety and security
  • Work-life balance
  • Clear expectations
  • Management trust
  • Opportunities for growth
  • Engaging work
  • Input in operations
  • Sense of community
  • More time off without judgement
  • The ability to reach financial goals
Safety and Security

Even if you’ve checked all the boxes with all of the other things on this list, if your workforce doesn’t feel safe and secure, you aren’t going to get the kind of focus and hard work from them that you’re hoping for.

Keeping your employees safe means paying attention to the workplace. Does the office have a reliable security system? Do you have plans in place for active shooters, burglars, fire, and other emergencies that you have actually shared with your employees?

It also means thinking about your employees’ safety and comfort around other employees. Make sure there’s a way for employees to lock their drawers and intervene if bullying is happening in the office.

You also have to think about your employees’ digital work lives, especially if they work remotely. Make sure you configure and protect each and every device your employees use for work, and provide your employees with devices they should use on the clock. That way they aren’t potentially compromising company information by using a personal computer, but hackers aren’t tempted to go after their personal devices to get company information either.

Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is like trying to find a needle in a haystack for most employees. Anything you can do to make it easier for them to find that balance is sure to be appreciated.

That might mean offering remote work options to your employees. It enables employees to work in a way that is comfortable for them while being there for their families at the same time.

If allowing your employees to work remotely isn’t an option, there are other things you can do to encourage work-life balance. Encourage employees to take time off without judgement and give them the ability to choose their own start time, end time, and break times.

Clear Expectations

You may think what you expect from your employees is obvious, but it may not be as obvious as you think. The problem is that employees worry about looking unqualified, or even stupid by asking for clarifications, so many make assumptions that not only put them on edge while they are working, these assumptions can affect your bottom line.

Do them, yourself, and your business a favor by making sure expectations are clear. Don’t just create a handbook either. Although it’s important to have one, if you really want employees to benefit from clear expectations, they should be communicated to your team directly.

Management Trust

What’s trust like in your office? If you don’t trust your employees, and in turn, they don’t trust you, employees will find the office a sick and dysfunctional place to work. If you don’t trust your team, you’re more likely to micromanage them, which they definitely won’t appreciate.

If employees seem to be having a hard time trusting you, look for ways to wow them they can trust you. Be transparent about things happening in the company, be upfront and honest about performance and behavior, and hand out important tasks that you would normally do yourself. By showing trust you’re more likely to be trusted in return.

Opportunities For Growth

Your employees want to learn and grow, but doing it on your own time outside of business hours is harder than it sounds. They would much rather be supported in the office.

Encourage your employees to learn and grow on the job by:

  • Helping employees create growth plans
  • Paying for and providing time for training and certification
  • Offering mentor/mentee programs
  • Offering incentives to go back to school

Boring meetings aren’t usually what employees have in mind when it comes to growth opportunities. The more you can personalize and support each individual in meeting their specific goals, the more it will be appreciated by your employees.

Engaging Work

There’s a lot of talk about burnout. It’s a serious problem, but there’s one that you may not be as aware of—boreout.

Boreout occurs when employees experience chronic boredom. It includes the tasks they are required to do on a daily basis as part of their workload, but it can also include things like sitting in a cubicle farm and following the exact same schedule each and every day.

Ask your employees what kind of work is most fulfilling for them and look for ways to give them more projects like that. Create flexible work spaces where employees can work at their desk or in a lounge, for example, and shake things up every once in a while. Host special events during work hours and have meetings in a nearby restaurant instead of the same boardroom to help each day feel a little less monotonous.

Input in Operations

No one likes to feel like they don’t have any control over their daily lives. Unfortunately, that’s how many employees feel because work is doled out while management seems to operate in a bubble.

Workers will feel more ownership over your business, and you’ll increase feelings of trust too when you take the time to get feedback from your employees.

Asking employees and having meetings to gather feedback is a good start, but you should also send out surveys so employees who aren’t comfortable speaking up can still say their peace. Make sure you ask employees to share their ideas on how to make things better and provide them with the ability to write in their own responses to get more thoughtful feedback.

Sense of Community

Employees spend a lot of time at work. They want it to be more than just a place to go to do their job in exchange for money. Employees want to build relationships, have friends, and feel a sense of community when they spend so many hours of their lives on the clock.

That doesn’t mean you should have more team building meetings! Most employees don’t enjoy them. Instead, build a sense of community by:

  • Asking for input and really listening to employee responses
  • Encouraging employees to share their personal and professional skills
  • Hosting activities outside of work hours

It’s also important to discourage judgements and assumptions in the office. For example, employees shouldn’t feel pressured to attend activities outside of work, and they shouldn’t feel judged about their decision to stay home when they return to the office. This will make everyone feel like an accepted member of the team.

More Time Off Without Judgement

Most people work to live, not the other way around, and most wish they could do a little more living and a little less working without judgement. You can do that for your workforce by giving them more time off and letting them use that time off whenever they want.

The ultimate gesture of trust would be to give employees unlimited time off, which is something some businesses are actually doing. If that isn’t doable for your business, try giving extra days off as a reward for a job well-done and allow employees to come in and leave at different times so they can schedule appointments during business hours.

Employees will also appreciate a work atmosphere where no reason for taking time off is needed. That way, employees can take a mental health day or play hooky to go on a day trip without worrying about what their boss might say.

The Ability to Reach Financial Goals

No list of what employees really want is complete without mentioning more pay, but it goes deeper than just adding more money to everyone’s paycheck. Employees want to work in a workplace where they can reach their financial goals.

That means being able to save enough for retirement, save for their child’s college education, and even save for trips. In order to support your employees in these endeavors, you should look for ways to keep insurance costs down, increase their compensation regularly, and offer financial resources and tools.

It also means being realistic about the gig economy. Support employees who want to have side hustles, but compensate your employees fairly so having a side hustle isn’t necessary in order for them to meet their financial goals.

What employers think their employees want and what employees actually want often aren’t the same thing. Nerf gun wars and free gym memberships may be appreciated by some employees, but if you want to make all of your employees happy, you should take these tips to heart.



South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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