The title of today’s post is a question I hear all the time. “What do our employees want?”
The first answer that comes to mind is “If you don’t know, ask them.” But I do realize that’s easier said than done. It’s hard to survey employees. Organizations could be apprehensive to ask a direct question for fear of what employees might say. The last thing anyone wants to do is ask, “What would make you happier working here?” and then not be able to deliver.
So, sometimes we look to surveys as a starting point. And that’s okay. Surveys and reports can get conversations started.
I wanted to share with you a couple of new surveys that you can use to start the “what employees want” conversation in your organization. The first survey is a Harvard Business Review article titled, “The Most Desirable Employee Benefits”. What I like about the results is that the respondents were workers aged 18 – 81. It represents everyone in the workplace, not just a small cross-section of a generation.
The second survey was published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). It’s their 2017 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey. This survey shares how certain activities can contribute to job satisfaction. It has more than simply benefits, which is nice.
One of the things I look for in surveys is some sort of trend. That could be an indicator of where to start. I don’t believe you’ll find any surprises in these surveys. Employees want to be respected by their manager and co-workers. They want to be paid a fair wage for the work they do and traditional benefits like health insurance. Finally, employees want to have flexibility in their work schedules.
The good news for employers is that this shouldn’t be a surprise. What employees want isn’t some sort of wacky, out of the ordinary request. What employees want is a positive work environment, competitive compensation and benefits, and flexible work. But they want those things consistently and they want them executed well.1