Leaders should pay close attention to the following needs their teams are afraid to negotiate.
A study from Oxford University found that employees are 13 percent more productive when they are happy — even when their mood is affected by things unrelated to their job, such as the weather.
Many organizations have seen all too well what happens when workers are dissatisfied, while the job market continues to see record-breaking resignation rates, largely fueled by the hope of landing a better gig.
As an employer, you shouldn’t wait for your team to ask for the things they want — because they might assume the benefits are never coming and quit.
1. A path to promotion
Managers are often unaware of their teams’ goals and aspirations. Employees are often afraid to ask for a promotion or raise because they fear that the organization views them as replaceable.
To counteract this, leaders should give their workers a clear path toward promotion. Clearly lay out what needs to be done for a team member to earn a position with greater responsibilities. Even more importantly, when a worker fulfills this criteria, follow through on your promises.
2. The right tools for their talent
All too often, employees aren’t given what they need to complete their job as efficiently as they could. This can become especially frustrating when workers are told they need to do a better job, but then their requests for resources that would improve efficiency are denied.
Managers should actively seek input regarding which tools could assist them in their tasks. Simply telling an employee that a particular tool is not in the budget could send the message that they aren’t a priority. Careful consideration of such requests — and understanding how they could improve productivity — will enable a stronger evaluation.
3. Better benefits
Fifty six percent of U.S. employees said that liking their health benefits is a key factor in deciding to stay at their current job. Workers expect health insurance, sick leave and other key perks to maintain the high quality of life that is crucial to productivity.
It’s just as important to ensure that benefits are easy to understand.
“We’ve found that 66% of employees need help understanding their health coverage,” says Guy Benjamin, co-CEO of Healthee. “A full 60% will delay or even avoid treatment because they don’t know if their work plan covers their expenses…keeping your workers healthy is one of the most cost-effective ways to enhance your bottom line.”
There are far too many instances where employees are mistreated and the business eventually finds itself subjected to lawsuits, (the controversy surrounding video game maker Activision Blizzard is just one recent example).
Harassment, bullying and other forms of mistreatment have no quarter in the workplace, but when such behavior comes from a manager, employees may feel they have no way to get the relief they deserve. This creates low morale and high turnover. Leaders should always be ready to assess their own actions to determine if changes need to be made.
Clear reporting mechanisms and support resources should be made available to all, without the risk of negative consequences for whistle-blowers.
5. Give them a break
After the shift to remote work, many employees find that the traditional 9-to-5 no longer applies. Emails and phone calls often come at all times of day, with the expectation that workers are always available to respond to any request.
Especially when considering a recent survey of 2,000 office employees, commissioned by Zimbra, in which 58% of respondents admitted their work emails were connected to a personal device.
While your team may not complain directly, blurring the line between work and home can quickly lead to stress and burnout.
As a study by the Academy of Management explains: “An ‘always-on’ culture with high expectations to monitor and respond to emails during non-work time may prevent employees from ever fully disengaging from work, leading to chronic stress and emotional exhaustion.”
By providing the tools that your team needs to achieve the best possible results and giving them meaningful personal goals to work toward, they will be more motivated to give you their best efforts.
In today’s competitive environment, retention is one area where no company can afford to fall behind.
By Eric ‘ERock’ Christopher