Money really can’t buy happiness, especially when it comes to your employees. A number of studies have revealed that, while money is certainly important to employees and job seekers, it’s not necessarily the most significant ingredient in the recipe to keeping them happy. As peoples’ basic physiological needs are satisfied—food, shelter, clothing—social and ego needs then become the priority. The same holds true in the workplace. A recent Princeton study found that once people earn $70,000 more per year, a number of other factors begin to drive their engagement, satisfaction, and retention. So what matters most to today’s employees and job candidates?
- A healthy and comfortable company culture. People want a workplace culture with values that are aligned to their own. Even studies conducted among recent college graduates showed compensation and culture running neck and neck in their level of importance. The culture and values of an organization repeatedly take the top spot as a predictor of job satisfaction in Glass Door surveys, regardless of salary level. You’ll greatly improve your odds of attracting and keeping the best talent by reinforcing a positive culture and values within your organization.
- Welcoming leadership. This doesn’t just refer to company executives but to management at all levels, including an employee’s immediate supervisor. An approachable leadership model allows employees talk to their bosses about everything from work issues to future career plans, and even non-work topics. In truth, people leave or stay for their managers, not jobs or companies. Research by the Labor Relations Institute, Inc. supports this fact: working for a leader deemed welcoming and approachable correlated in 89 percent of employee satisfaction, 88 percent of willingness to go above and beyond at work, and a 71 percent decrease in turnover intention. Fostering an open, “we’re in this together” approach with your employees will serve your company well. When employees feel their boss doesn’t listen, they start looking for one who will.
- Recognition. Everyone likes to be acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts. And in the workplace, recognition can be far more important than compensation. As a leader, one of the best gifts you can give your staff is to value them. People don’t want to just clock in, do their work, and clock out every day. They want to contribute and do meaningful work, and they want to be appreciated for it. To that end, a 2016 Gallup study found that workers were twice as likely to resign within one year if they felt their work had not been duly recognized. Recognition also has an amazing ROI compared to doling out bonuses and salary increases, which have been shown to have virtually no effect on employee engagement or retention.
- The flexibility to balance the demands of work and life. Alternative schedules. Paid time off. Job sharing. These are just a few of the many ways that smart organizations are implementing best practices when it comes to achieving work-life balance for their employees. They know that doing so benefits their people and the company, as well. Work-life balance enables employees to pay attention to all of the important aspects of their lives. As a result, they’re less stressful, more engaged, and more productive.
While nothing is quite as important as earning fair and adequate compensation, there are many things that also matter to your employees.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit www.thehrteam.com.