In my line of work, I often hear founders complain about employees' lack of engagement and dedication. It can come as a surprise to learn that such issues often stem from leaders being in the dark about what their employees want and need. It's not always easy for someone who thinks like an entrepreneur to understand those who don't. And you must understand them to develop an effective culture that will grow with your company. That means investing the time, money, and effort to comprehend what makes your employees tick.
The ADP Research Institute performed a study to help entrepreneurs know what employees value. These facts and stats will help you recruit the right people, and keep them happy.
Fact: 60% of employees who leave a company do so because it was a different experience than they expected.
In your eagerness to recruit the ideal candidate don't exaggerate or misrepresent the job. If you make it sound more glamorous than it is, your employee will be packed and gone inside a year. Also, avoid making promises that you can't guarantee, like rapid career growth, paid gym memberships, or other benefits that are not yet in place.
Fact: Career development and job satisfaction are important to today's employees. Workers often leave their current employer for opportunities to move up and make more money. Yet, 76% of employees say they'd prefer to grow at their current company.
Keep it real when discussing growth opportunities. You may intend to grow into a multi-million-dollar company, but you're not there yet. Remain open and honest about the company's current situation as well as your growth strategy and timeline. Doing so will help both you and the candidate to assess if it's a good fit.
Fact: Companies that develop tools, techniques, and programs do better at recruiting talent and maintaining a high level of engagement.
Smart people want to feel challenged and valued. Invest in education, training, and even coaching for your employees. On an average, people spend 44 hours a week at work; they won't thrive if they're bored during most of them. Give your people the tools they need to do the job and recruit them to document systems and techniques that work.
Fact: Employees value work/life balance and want time to devote to causes and experiences that are important to them.
I've worked with employers to develop programs and benefits to support causes that are important to their employees. What a difference this makes in morale and loyalty. From sponsoring their kid's little league team to allowing time off to donate labor to community projects, your employees will respond favorably to thoughtfulness and flexibility.
Fact: Workers want positive work relationships. We know that these relationships contribute to increased productivity, high morale, and stronger bonds.
Certainly, you can't control how your team gets along, but you can create a culture that nurtures relationships. It all begins with your own relationship with each employee. Are you approachable? Do you acknowledge their concerns and reward their achievements? Create opportunities for employees to get to know one another, and never discuss one employee's shortcomings with another.
Fact: A healthy environment benefits both you and your employees, and it's something that workers look for today.
Physical safety, wellness programs, the absence of toxic relationships, and community engagement are all things that factor into a healthy environment. Remember, health isn't strictly about the physical body--it includes emotional well-being too.
Fact: People want to feel a sense of purpose.
Beyond the flexibility to participate in community events and enjoy personal time, your employees want to know they add value at work. Allow them ownership of projects--don't micro-manage. Encourage collaboration and idea generation. Take input from your team seriously and implement their ideas. Also, employees and candidates appreciate a company that has a cause-related component to their mission.
Use these facts as a guide to build a culture that brings meaning and purpose to the jobs you create. Happy employees make for a brighter future all around.