What is it that your employees actually want from their workplace? How many organizations or people in managerial positions give a thought to this on a regular basis? Very few! And understandably, those organizations that spend the most thought into pleasing their employees are the ones that are the most successful. Management Development Programs in organisations can address this with more efficiency.
Yes, people work for money. But that really isn’t all that they work for. Management development programs work towards instilling in the minds of managers that there are quite a number of things other than a good pay scale that employees expect from their employers. If your organization isn’t providing them with all or most of these, your best talents are bound to gravitate towards other companies that do.
Here we break down the top 10 things employees want most from work:
- A purpose to work for: One of the most important things of value to an employee is knowing that the work they do on a daily basis has some purpose behind it other than just their salary. Most employees would willingly give up a fancy game room in the office in exchange of more fulfilling work that feels like being done for the greater good of the society. However, in today’s profit-driven world most companies fail to instill this sense of purpose into work. Managers need to remember that everyone wants an opportunity to bring about some change through their work. Working with a purpose increases motivation, productivity and job satisfaction.
- Flexible work schedule: Though the concept of flexible work timings had been coming up for quite some time now, the pandemic infused it into everyday work and made sure that it is a process that will persist even after the pandemic dies out. Companies have realized that strict nine-to-five workdays are outdated and will not help to attract or retains millennial employees. Research shows that employees are more attracted to companies that provide a flexible work environment through flexible office hours, telecommunication and work from home facilities compared to those with rigid office hours. The youth of today value the balance between their work and personal life and expect their employers to value the same. This lowers work place stress, boosts mental well-being and increases productivity.
- A clear goal: Most employees aren’t given a clear goal or objective of their role and this can be a huge turn-off. Employees want to know what they are working for. Through management development programs, managers can understand how to set up clearly-defined goals for individuals and for teams. These objectives should be clearly measurable and obtainable. Instead of the traditional method of yearly objectives, try doing it quarterly or more often. You cannot possibly solve a problem if it comes to your notice only once a year. After the goals are set up, leave it to the individuals or teams to figure out how they will work towards it.
- Independence and trust: Well, this one is very obvious. Every employee wants to be trusted by their managers about being able enough to do their work. However, employers often utilize their authority to not give employees the independence they want. You need to keep in mind that when people have the freedom to work in ways that work for them, it makes them more productive. Let them figure out the path to their goals. Follow up, but don’t breathe down their necks all the time. Trust goes both ways. If you as a manager are genuine and ethical and admit your mistakes, so will your employees.
- Opportunities for innovation: Working to continuously meet deadlines and get our minds saturated whereas creativity boosts well-being and productivity. Some time back, Google announced their 20 percent creative time policy where employees get to spend 20 percent of their work hours on planning any company-related creative ideas they have in mind. While every company might not be able to give so much time to creative projects, it demands at least some time. Employees want to have some sort of creative freedom at work. Through management development programs, managers can learns ways to bring out the innovative sides of their employees.
- Recognition of good work: Employees want to be recognized and appraised for the good work they do. It can act as a powerful motivational tool and spur employee development and the growth of the company. A good manager is one who makes their employees and their work feel valued, something that can be learnt through management development programs. Recognize them on a job well done, on a progress or when an individual or a team meets a goal. Learn the names of the individuals you are appraising. Knowing your employees by their names shows you value them. Also, employees expect that the management will recognize every person who meets a criteria and not just single out a few. That can lead to low morale.
- Opportunity to learn and grow: Millennial employees of today are not just satisfied with working for the organization, they expect their organization to help them learn and grow. Employee trainings are of utmost value today to both employers and employees. Top talents of today will naturally be gravitated to companies that train them not only to further sharpen their skills, but also to learn new skills. Skills required for a job keeps changing through time. Employees expect their companies to educate them about the most recent trends in demand. Management development programs can help curate such trainings for employees of all levels.
- Respect at workplace: Mutual respect is the foundation of any relationship and manager-employee relationships are no exception. 80 percent of employees in a survey said that they don’t feel respected at work. Needless to say, they will not respect their managers and employers back. You only earn respect by giving respect. Every staff in an organization, from managers to juniors want to be treated with respect and dignity. The power of a higher position does not give higher authority the right to mistreat employees or intentionally instill fear in them. Treat your employees as responsible adults and not just as workers you are managing, and respect is bound to be instilled in your team.
- Responsibility of work: Give your employees the much deserved responsibility for their work. Responsibility comes with trust. Managers are often so engaged in delineating work, they forget that employees would actually like to have something more to do on their own. As an effective manager adept in management development programs, the best way you can make your employees feel responsible is by letting them solve problems on their own.
- Adequate pay scale: No matter how important everything else is, at the end of the day every employee has their own life and family to support. Each one of us already have a lot of issues in both our work and personal life and employees expect companies to pay them enough to at least take the issue of money off the table. Not having enough food on the table will never inspire anyone to do anything extraordinary. So sometimes it is better to pay your employees a little more than the market norm instead of paying them based on their performance, so they can focus more on work.