What Makes A Great Work Environment?

One of the most common problems I hear from employers at this time is a not having enough staff to run their business and grow.  Many employers as we know lost employees at the beginning of the pandemic and have not been able to replace them.  The employee pool is quite shallow currently as well making things difficult for so many businesses.

An important question employers need to answer when looking for employees to join their team is, “What are employees looking for to make the job they choose one they will not only enjoy but are willing to invest themselves in?”  It is well-known that when we enjoy what we are doing it makes all the difference in the world in how we do our job.  It is also a known fact that an employee can enjoy the work they are doing, and still not willing to take the extra step to invest themselves for the better of the actual business.

As an employer you need to be realistic knowing that you will not be able to capture each employee and turn them into a super investor in your business, but for those who would, what does it take so you don’t lose them?  Here are five key elements that employees state that not only keep them at their place of employment, but satisfy their job needs.  In other words when an employee has these five key factors met, they are more than happy to come to work each day and give their best.

1. Purpose:  Employees must know what they need to be doing at work each day and why.  The “why” is a big part in understanding the end purpose which fills us with drive to get there.  If you worked on an assembly line making widgets but had no idea what they were used for you would have no fulfillment. But knowing the widget you were making goes into a heart monitoring device that can save people’s lives gives what you do meaning.  Make sure you let employees know what the purpose is of what they do each day so that they can see the value they make in the “big picture

2.Enhancement: People need jobs that are enriching to them.  They need to be able to be creative in their job tasks or their job will be boring.  When we can have a say in how we do things (to a certain extent) we become elevated and feel we are making what we do better, for us, for those we work for and serve.  No cookie cutter job ever keeps employees for long, even those who work making those widgets can add creativity to what they do by the way they do it.

3. Respect:  This word pretty much says it all, no one is willing to invest in a business where they are not respected as a human being. We need to be able to cultivate relationships with those we work with, and respect needs to be at the center of them.

4. Knowledge:  Employees not only need knowledge of what we are doing, but they need knowledge about the business.  People do not work well when they are kept in the dark about the company’s direction.  Employers who share openly about growth, goals and financial issues have a higher likelihood of employees who buy into the business and are willing to invest for the long run with their employer.  They become a part of the businesses history in the making.

5. Salary:  Compensation while it is not the most important key to having employees who are in it for the long haul, it is one that can make employees leave.  Companies that value their employees and are willing to pay them just slightly more than the average are more likely to keep those who are willing to give back.  If your employees are worth the value they bring to your business, then pay them well, it will cost you way more to replace them, if you can.

“Motivating employees to work at their full potential is the main premise of successful management.” – Eraldo Banovac, Croatian author and professor

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