What employees really care about
There is much evidence to support that the nature of company loyalty has changed for good. According to our strategic partner, HR That Works, employers must acknowledge that today's loyalty is not to a company, but to projects, career, and work relationships.
"When it comes down to it, this is what most employees care about:
- A fair day's pay. 99% of the population goes to work because they have to earn money. Depending on the employee's needs and environment, pay can either be a major or minor motivating factor.
- An opportunity to grow at the company. Growth means job security, as well as more pay. Do your employees have a roadmap for this growth? How are you managing a situation in which there are few growth opportunities? Remember, people might know their present circumstances, but be uncertain of their future. Don't leave them guessing.
- A positive work experience. Work is innate to our souls. It's a great source of meaning to us. Ultimately, people want to enjoy the work experience. As Joseph Campbell so famously stated, "Work can be a life-draining affair." I hope this isn't the case at your company, especially if you tend to retain your best people.
- A good relationship with their boss. This is perhaps the most critical part of the work experience. Do your managers empower employees or try to control them? Do they have a good bedside manner and do they encourage employees to take on new tasks and to grow in their jobs? Many a good company has lost many a good employee due to mediocre or poor managers."
Recent Career Builders survey: Bosses need to improve communication
Workers who think their boss is a lot like Jacob from the TV show "Lost"—they're never really sure where he is, what he wants and what he has in store for them—are not alone, according to a Career Builder survey conducted in May and June.
Asked which TV show boss most resembles their own supervisor, the top names that surfaced from an online survey of 4,498 full-time U.S. workers are:
- Judge Judy of "The Judge Judy Show"—no nonsense and fair in making decisions
- MacGyver from the 1985-1992 show of the same name—resourceful and can fix any situation
- Jack Donaghy of "30 Rock"— likeable and a corporate guy to the end
- Oprah—highly influential and informative
- Simon Cowell, formerly of "American Idol"—judgmental and insulting
- MacGruber from "Saturday Night Live"—terrible at managing projects and deadlines, causing everything to blow up around him
- Michael Scott of "The Office"—bumbling and idiotic
- Leslie Knope of "Parks and Recreation"—believes her job is more important than it probably is
- Donald Trump from "The Apprentice"—demanding and powerful
Bosses received a mixed report card: 72% of workers said their supervisor did a good job offering flexible work arrangements, 69% said their bosses listened to their ideas and concerns, and 68% said their bosses provided them with the resources they need to perform their jobs effectively. Conversely, 61% said their boss does a poor job grooming them for advancement, 45% said their boss does a poor job providing regular and consistent feedback, and 34% think that they could get better backup from their bosses.