What do employees really want in their work environment? The answers might surprise you. When Robert Lebow, a marketing executive, wanted to start a consulting practice in Bellevue, Wash., he asked Chicago's International Survey Research to help him answer that question. After analyzing the responses of 2.4 million workers in 32 industrial sectors in the United States over 17 years, the following eight characteristics "were the standouts," says Lebow, chairman of Heroic Environments.

1. To be treated with uncompromising truth

2. To be trusted by one's associates

3. To mentor and be mentored unselfishly

4. Receptivity to new ideas, regardless of their origin

5. To be able to take risks for the organization's sake

6. Credit to be given where it's due

7. Ethical behavior

8. The interests of others to be considered before one's own interests -- Ellyn E. Spragins