The seven key needs of employees
In the ‘Do you want your boss to be your friend?’ entry for July 13, I mentioned Terry Bacon, an expert in talent management, who has surveyed workers worldwide to determine what matters most for them to be engaged at work. Bacon wrote an article for a human resources newsletter on the topic. This is excerpted from that newsletter:
1. Trust. When organizations trust employees, people behave ethically, are better stewards of the company’s resources, are more committed, provide better customer service and are more satisfied overall. Companies need policies that prove trust such as flex-time.
2. Challenge. Employees want to feel challenged, to feel they are learning and growing on the job. The best employees become bored and eventually leave if they are not challenged.
3. Competence. The workers who feel competent and skilled work harder, do better and are more creative. Every employee should have a professional development plan.
4. Self-esteem. Companies that successfully create a climate of high self-esteem treat employees in a respectful manner. They ensure that managers are courteous, listen to employees, value real contributions and recognize and reward people.
5. Excitement. Employees need interesting and challenging work. People who are engaged and energized are more committed, resourceful, creative and productive.
6. Involvement. Top companies and managers learn what individual employees feel passionate about and find ways to give them related assignments.
7. Appreciation. Many companies don’t understand the importance of formal and informal recognition and the role of managers in showing appreciation on both levels.
High-performance and high-potential employees leave
Bacon writes that high-performance and high-potential employees leave or refuse to join an organization for lack of opportunity, lack of recognition and not understanding what people really want in the workplace.
This I believe
Your skills and unique personal attributes are your responsibility. Be proactive, creative and in perpetual motion working on your professional goals. It’s your career path. For example
• Be trustworthy and conscientious about your use of your time at work, your expenses, your organization’s resources. It’s a lot about being honest. Trust creates trust.
• Ask for different assignments and volunteer for new assignments. Creativity and flexibility are valued in the knowledge economy, in this job or the next.
• Learn at work and outside of work. Read, listen to books on CD on commutes or trips. Take advantage of lectures and seminars; many are free. If they are during work hours, explain how they’ll improve your skills or knowledge and ask to attend. If you work for cooperative extension anywhere in the United States, eXtension has 30 minute professional development sessions, often on social networking topics. (If I can understand these topics, you can too.) See http://about.extension.org/
• Be civil and promote civility.
The article by Terry Bacon, Retain valuable employees by acknowledging what they really need, http://www.lorenet.com/assets/Press/HRMN_643-06.pdf