What Do Employees Really Want?

Today’s HR Daily Advisor Tip from BLR details the 8 things that employees want, and money is not one of them. Aside from compensation, there are several things a company can do to retain its top performers. According to Walter Hall, a writer for ere.net, “a company’s organizational values, its core values, culture, and mutual expectations, are a company’s best recruiting and retention tool.”

The List

  1. Appreciation – A sincere thank you or a short note can mean a great deal.
  2. Respect – Respect plays out in letting people know that their work is appreciated, in treating them like adults, and in being fair in your dealings with them.
  3. Trust – People need guidance, but they need to know that their boss trusts them to be able to get a job done on their own.
  4. Individual Growth – Today’s workers—especially the Gen Y group—want training, want to take on new challenges, and want to advance based on their new abilities.
  5. Good Boss – In a recent Robert Half survey, 1,000 Gen Y workers ranked “working with a manager I can respect and learn from” as the most important aspect of their work environment.
  6. Compatible Co-Workers – Spending the day—every day—with people you don’t like does not make for a productive workplace.
  7. Compatible Culture – Employees want a work environment that fits their needs. That could mean hard-driving, high paying, or it could mean high flexibility and significant attention to work/life balance.
  8. A Sense of Purpose – People want to know that they are contributing to something worthwhile. They need to know what the organization’s core purpose is and what it is trying to achieve. And then they need to know how their particular job fits into the whole.

(“What 8 Things Do Employees Want? (Hint: Money’s Not on the List)”, June 30, 2008, Steve Bruce, HR Daily Advisor, hrdailyadvisor.blr.com)

Using What Employees Want As A Retention Tool

According to Hall, creating a culture of organizational values, including many of the ones on the list above, can be an effective recruiting and retention tool. He says, “The key to a company’s success is a reciprocal, balanced level of expectations between the organization and each of its employees.” Hall says that the primary retention motivator can be a company’s organization culture – more specifically an employee’s desire to come to work everyday. Building a workplace based on the principles from the list above can be a great step in retaining top talent and creating an excellent organizational culture.

Sources: “Organizational Values As Primary Recruiting, Retention Tools“, Walter Hall; “What 8 Things Do Employees Want? (Hint: Money’s Not on the List)”, Steve Bruce.

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