“I aspire to work for a mediocre company where I can, at the very least, tolerate my job.” Very few people actually start out their careers with this goal in mind, but many wind up doing exactly that–enduring day after day of dissatisfying drudgery for an employer that they feel no connection with or loyalty to. But things are changing. Today’s increasingly skilled workforce is no longer satisfied with job security and a paycheck. They want more from their careers. And much more from their employers.
Do your employees jump for joy when they enter their workplace?
If your company wants to attract the best and brightest, you need to find out what today’s employees most covet in a job and a workplace. You need to figure out what will make them jump for joy.
Humans thrive on setting goals and accomplishing them. Life is, after all, one giant “bucket list.” It is especially important to have goals at your job–quantifiable, doable objectives that give your day-to-day tasks meaning and enable you to measure your performance.
Unless you are operating an illegal sweatshop, your employees are full-fledge grown-ups who are no longer in need of parental supervision. Why, then, are so many companies afraid to provide their employees with autonomy? It is likely because they are afraid to relinquish control. In “10 Things Employees Want Most,” Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, recommends that company leaders “let people figure out the best paths to the goal, rather than breathe down their necks all the time.” Remember, you’ve hired these superstars for a reason. They are perfectly capable of carving out their own path toward achieving the goals that you have set.
Everyone–well, almost everyone–loves a celebration thrown in their honor.
Stars love to shine–and recognizing a job well-done is an important way to enable your employees to celebrate goals achieved. Employee incentive programs not only tell prospective job candidates that your company values the input of its people, but it gives them something to look forward to if they join your company. Seriously. Who wouldn’t want a chance to become the best sales person and win a tropical vacation? “What Today’s Employees Want from Their Managers” advises that it is better to institute a recognition system that is ongoing as opposed to “one off” occurrences. Ensure, therefore, that your reward system is one that you can sustain.
Everyone loves perks. While a competitive salary is, obviously, an important consideration when selecting one employer over another, it is by no means the deciding factor. Benefits, however, are becoming a major draw. According to “Group Health Insurance FAQ,” providing health insurance “motivates employees, increases loyalty and productivity, and helps to recruit and retain good workers.” Today’s employees want the peace of mind that comes from knowing that a portion of their health care premiums–and those of their dependents–will be covered by their employer.
CNBC’s “How to Pick the Right Employer Benefits Plan for You” purports that disability insurance is another valuable perk as “disability is a statistically ‘more likely’ event than death during your working years.” Offering a disability plan will better equip you to compete for the top talent.
Remember. A tolerable job at a mediocre workplace will not attract the “cream of the crop” people. If want superstars, you need to create a company culture that is as coveted as their talents.
What do you look for in an employer? Why?
Freelance writer, avid blogger, and career counselor
Follow Kimberley on Google+
(Images courtesy of Thinkstock.com)