Cleveland Business Connects

For immediate release (October 6, 2017) Media Contact: Judy Abelman Email: Phone: 440.725.8861...

Employees want only five things — so make them happy and serve them up

By Sunny Klein Lurie

Organizations continue to look for ways to improve motivation and performance. With 50 million millennials in the workplace — employees who leave jobs faster than ever before —  companies are also seeking solutions for retention. Understanding what’s important to employees will not only help retain top talent, it will also support employees to be their best and to thrive, which is great for business.

So what do employees want in their workplace?

Workplace surveys, including Gallup, say the top five critical areas relate to work, belief in the organization, social connections, manager, and pay and benefits.

Some leaders turn to material perks (massages, pets, games, free food) in the hopes of making employees happier. However, research suggests that these extras are appreciated but are not as effective as other long-term intrinsic motivators. Motivating employees to do something because it is personally rewarding and comes from inside the individual is a great strategy, where as influencing employees to act by using negative consequences or external rewards, such as free gifts, is extrinsic motivation and produces only short-term outcomes.

When companies understand intrinsic motivators that are personally rewarding to employees, it fosters higher-level performance. Here are the top five things employees want:

  • Work — purpose-driven, meaningful work, training and development, use of strengths, well-being with work-life balance.
  • Belief in the organization — its direction, leadership, and values.
  • Social connections — feeling appreciated and cared about, included in things, promoting supportive relationships within the organization and opportunities to give back to the community.
  • Manager — cares about concerns, provides ongoing feedback to help learn and grow.
  • Pay and benefits — provide competitive programs for health, wellness, and financial well-being

There are other factors that influence performance. But these five components continue to be ranked highly important by employees. Companies that address the five areas create a workplace in which employees are more committed, give more effort, and are much more likely stay.

For more information on the latest employee engagement survey results, please email me.

Sunny K. Lurie, Ph.D., is the CEO of Advanced Performance, which helps organizations maximize employee engagement, motivation, and performance by promoting organizational well-being.


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