What employees want: it’s not what you think

Employees in a sunny office

How well do you know your employees? Sure, you recognize the importance of having a strong, talented workforce and the underlying value this holds for the company. Most employers strive to create a positive working environment where recognition, respect, fairness and open lines of communication are paramount. However, do you really know what your employees want in the workplace?

Here are five myths that employers have about their workers:

Employees Only Want Money

Money is certainly an important factor in the world of work. Everybody has financial commitments and bills to pay. Who wouldn’t want more money? However, money is only part of the equation when it comes to employees showing up for work each day. People seek happiness and fulfillment in their jobs. According to a Randstad Canada, a leading recruitment firm, “Job satisfaction is about more than just salary and compensation. Corporate culture and work environment is a key determinant for Canadians making the choice to stay with an organization.” They may come because of the money, but they stay when other personal intrinsic needs are met. Remember ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ from school?

Employees Will Stay for the Long Term

Many employers have the notion that if they do a good job in responding to an employee’s needs they will stay the course with the company. While this may have been true many years ago, workers are much more mobile and flexible than ever before. Employees are not afraid to look at other job options in today’s competitive environment. As well, our fast-paced lives have made workers much more resilient to change. Employees for the most part are now free agents. There is no guarantee an employee will be around through thick and thin.

Employees Aren’t Concerned About Company Performance

Many employers seem to think that employees come to work each day for a paycheque. They couldn’t care less if the company does well or not. This is a big myth. Study after study has shown that employees want to feel proud of the company they work for and the work that they do. It’s all about employee engagement. Empowering employees to directly benefit from a company’s success will inspire them to share in the strong corporate culture you have created.

Employees Want a Boss That Leaves Them Alone

Most employees will tell you that they like a boss who leaves them alone to do their job. Nobody likes to be micro-managed, however, don’t go too far to the opposite end of this spectrum. Employees that are completely left to their own devices, with a boss ‘missing in action’, will not serve any company well. In order to feel productive and appreciated, workers need bosses that can guide them and provide useful feedback on a regular basis.

Employees Want to Work From Home

Ask any employee and they’d probably jump at the chance to work from home. Alternative work arrangements are popular in many firms. However, it is wrong to assume that everyone would be happy in the work-at-home environment. Employees need a sense of belonging and enjoy team camaraderie. While it may make sense to work from home on an occasional basis, there are many benefits of employees coming together in one place.
Employers know that employees are their biggest asset. Treating people fairly, with recognition and respect will go a long way to solidifying any professional relationship. Make it a point to go the extra mile and dedicate your efforts to fostering a positive work environment. Keep the lines of communication open and listen to your employees. These company values are sure to lead to huge success down the road. Good luck!


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