Surprise: the biggest reason people quit isn’t the money (it’s not even in the top 5). What sends them out the door is unhappiness with the working conditions. That’s good news for your payroll budget, but you may have other issues to address if you want to retain valuable personnel. So what do employees list high on their happiness scale?
Relationships with superiors and co-workers.
- Promote a corporate culture of mutual respect and support.
- Praise employees when they do well at least as often as you point out mistakes.
- Create a comprehensive, clear employee manual so everyone knows what’s expected.
- Take employees’ comments and needs seriously.
- Treat everyone the same, even relatives.
Job activities and opportunities.
Employees are happiest when they are interested in what they are doing, feel that they are stakeholders in the company’s success, and are given new challenges from which they can grow professionally and personally.
- Hold regular meetings in which everyone has a voice.
- Set goals for career growth.
- Offer cross-training.
- Establish achievement reward programs, such as sales competitions.
- Get involved as a group with the community or charitable events.
Putting in so much overtime that there’s nothing left for friends, family or fun causes stress and burnout, leading to mistakes and poor productivity. This factor is especially important for employees from the millennial generation.
The physical workspace can greatly help or hinder productivity. This includes:
- Comfort, cleanliness, health, and safety
- Efficient and effective tools and equipment
- Clear paths, workflows, and processes
Being proud of where they work is a powerful motivator for employee happiness and loyalty. This means:
- A good reputation within the industry.
- Corporate values of quality, honesty and fairness towards the community, customers, and workers.
- Financial stability.
All these happiness factors come before the compensation package when employees are deciding whether to stay or go. Some attention to interpersonal relationships, management style, and employee recognition may be all it takes to turn dissatisfied workers into enthusiastic, hard-working ones.