March 24, 2023
Employees are the most important part of any business. Without them, you have no one to make your product, sell your service, run your store, or help your customers. Keeping them satisfied and happy with their jobs is essential if you want to build a strong and devoted team.
However, many business leaders struggle with meeting their employees’ needs and fail to understand what they value most. So what do employees value most? That is a question you need to be able to answer as a leader, manager, or business owner.
In this article, we’re going to cover why you should listen to your employees and what employees value most, as well as how to meet those demands.
5 Factors that Employees Value Most
With the benefits of listening to your employees covered, let’s look at what employees want. Some of these are incredibly obvious, while others are harder to see. Either way, these are the key things that employees value most.
1. Competitive Salary and Benefits
None of the other things listed here matter if your pay isn’t enough to live comfortably. What good are strong workplace relationships if you can’t cover rent? Why does job stability matter if you don’t make enough to cover emergency expenses? What’s the point of insurance if it barely covers anything?
If your employees aren’t paid well at competitive rates with a good benefits package, they will find employment elsewhere. Statistics back this up as well. A recent FlexJobs study found that 59% of people who quit their job did so because of low pay. Whether you like it or not, you need to pay your employees competitively.
Businesses who try everything and anything except raising wages will inevitably fall to the wayside as their employees leave for companies that pay better. Workers are demanding higher pay to accommodate a higher cost of living, and businesses have no choice but to accept those demands—even if it means accepting lower profits in the short-term.
2. Work-Life Balance
In recent years, employees are putting more value in their work-life balance. Getting paid well is great, but what’s the point if you don’t have the time to actually live and enjoy your life? Employees need to be able to have a healthy balance between their work and personal lives, and a big part of that responsibility is on the employer.
Thankfully, there are a multitude of ways to better your employees’ work-life balance. Remote and hybrid work options can give them more flexibility to balance out personal needs and responsibilities. You can try focusing on output instead of hours. Let employees leave early and stay late as they feel necessary to complete their work, giving them more flexible work.
If you’re willing to consider bigger, more impactful changes, you can try reconfiguring time off. Giving employees more time off can allow them to take the breaks they need for their mental health. And if employees just aren’t taking their time off, you could consider forcing them to use it by limiting how much time off rolls over into the next year.
Also, many businesses are starting to see the benefits of moving towards a four day work week with fewer hours per week while paying employees the same. While that may sound counterintuitive to some, it has been shown to have many positive impacts around productivity, work-life balance, job satisfaction, retention, and more. A pilot program was done with 60 employers taking part, and 56 plan to continue the four day work week after the trial.
3. Opportunities for Growth and Development
Another thing that employees value is opportunity for growth and development. People don’t want to feel like they’re in a dead end job. They want the ability to grow, develop their skills, and move upward. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to help upskill employees so they can reach their full potential and give them room for growth.
This is also one of the easier demands to address for most companies. There are multiple simple ways to help your employees grow, such as promoting from within, trainings, classes, paying for further education, and more. For example, promoting from within shows your employees that you are dedicated to them and that there is potential to move up within the company.
Trainings and classes are also great ways to focus on growth and development. At Local Express, we have a wide variety of professional development programs that you can use to upskill your employees and meet their demands. If you take the time and effort to help your employees grow, it will pay dividends later.
4. Positive Work Culture and Relationships
This one is a little less obvious, but it’s still incredibly important. We all know how draining full time work can be, but a positive work culture and good relationships can make work much more enjoyable. Employees want to work in a work environment where people are positive and their co-workers are friendly.
However, this can be difficult to address. How do you tackle an issue that’s spread across your entire company? One of the best ways to address work culture and relationships is with team building. Team building can be a fun and rewarding way to build relationships and instill a positive workplace culture.
For example, our Team PechaKucha event is a fun way to build trust, camaraderie, communication skills, and a positive working environment. Clean Water Connection can be a great opportunity to make a difference in the world while also helping your team develop teamworking skills.
The other thing to keep in mind is leading by example. If you and other leaders are negative and don’t have good relationships with employees, that is going to trickle down to everyone else. You and your leaders need to set a standard at the top level. If employees see their boss(es) being happy, friendly, and communicative, they are going to do the same.
5. Recognition and Appreciation
One final thing that employees value is recognition and appreciation. As humans, we all want to feel appreciated and recognized for our hard work. Whether we are on the bottom rung of the business ladder or are the owner, we want to feel acknowledged and cared about.
For businesses, this is likely the easiest thing to address on this list. Making sure your team members are recognized and appreciated is something that you can easily work into your daily practices across your business.
Take the time to congratulate your employees on their success. Do little things that show your appreciation for their work, like luncheons, parties, or awards. These small things add up over time and can make a huge difference.
What Are The Benefits of Listening to What Employees Want?
Before we go into what employees want, let’s talk about the benefits of listening to employees. Here are a few of those benefits.
From a business perspective, one of the best benefits is retention. You want your employees to stay with your company, develop their skills, and continue being important members of your team. Listening to them and meeting their needs is a fairly simple and proven way to increase retention.
Employees leave because they aren’t happy with one or multiple aspects of their job. According to a recent Pew Research study, the majority of people who quit a job in 2021 did so because of low pay, lack of opportunities for advancement, or feeling disrespected. Focusing on your employees and what they want can help you greatly better your retention.
Another benefit of listening to your employees is job satisfaction. When employees feel satisfied with their job, they feel fulfilled and motivated to keep going. Satisfied employees will be more dedicated and harder working than employees who aren’t. They’ll also be more communicative and friendly in the workplace, leading to stronger relationships.
On the other hand, unsatisfied employees can cause a litany of problems. As mentioned above, being dissatisfied correlates to employees leaving for other jobs. If they don’t leave, those employees will likely do lower quality work at a slower rate. It’s clear that job satisfaction is a big benefit for employers and their employees.
Workplace pride may not seem like a big deal, but it is a benefit you don’t want to miss out on. Being proud of your workplace is about a lot more than being happy and satisfied with your job. Employees with workplace pride believe in their company, their goals, and more. They are dedicated to your company and will do everything they can to help it succeed.
As expected, this has a lot of benefits. Employee turnover is going to be lower when employees have pride in their workplace. They aren’t going to leave if they are happy and satisfied with their position and workplace. It can also help you get more employees. If your employees love their workplace, they’re going to recommend it to others, making it easier to market to other job seekers.
Start Focusing on Your Employees
As a business owner or leader, there is nothing more important than your employees. It’s essential that you understand what they value most and provide those things for them. If you do, you’ll have a team of loyal, dedicated, hardworking employees that can propel your business to new heights.
Make your employees a top priority by working with TeamBonding. We have a huge selection of events and activities that can help you meet your employees’ needs like a positive work culture, growth, work-life balance, and more. So get in touch with us today and start putting your employees first!