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Beyond Benefits, What Else Do Workers Expect?

06 Apr 2015 by

While compensation is certainly a factor in an employee’s decision to accept a position and remain at a company, many employers mistakenly believe it’s the most important consideration for job seekers. If employees are treated well, they’ll not only work for less, they’ll be happier and more productive members of your team–and they’ll stick around longer.

Here are three expectations that employees have for their companies that we’ve gathered from hundreds of conversations with job seekers:

To Feel Proud

When an employee accepts a position with your company, your brand becomes part of their identity. Just like the school they attended and the city they’re from, a person’s employer says something about them to other people. The recent increase in personal brand awareness and intentionality has driven an elevated need for employees to belong to a company they can proudly associate with.

Employees evaluate “good” and “bad” companies based on three factors: the quality of the brand’s products, their customer satisfaction, and their reputation in the industry.  If any of these three areas are lacking, an employee’s ability to proudly associate with your brand is damaged.  The employee will distance themselves from your company emotionally (by disengaging from their work), and eventually physically (by resigning from the position), to protect their own identity and image.

They’ll Be Kept in the Loop

The fastest way to build trust with an employee is consistent, transparent communication from company leadership. When employees are not informed about progress toward goals, organizational challenges, long term vision, and their personal standing within the company, they will fill in the blanks with their own speculation and rumors. Poor or absent communication creates a dark chasm between the employer and employee relationship.  Without good communication, resentment, fear, and gossip are allowed to grow and infect an otherwise healthy workplace.

Creating a culture where employees are kept in the loop about the organization’s status, goals, and issues provides a safe and trustworthy workplace that makes employees feel respected and part of the team. When employees know where they stand, they can spend less time worrying and more time focusing on the type of innovation, creative risk-taking, and collaboration that your company needs to grow. In these open environments, employees consider themselves “on the inside” and feel a greater loyalty and commitment to the organization, which creates a more fulfilling and joyful work experience for them and less turnover for you.

Crossover Between Work & Life

In today’s culture, the line between “work time” and “personal time” has become blurry. According to GFI, over 80% of employees check their work email outside of work hours; 55% have checked their work email after 11:00pm. Employees consider this extension of work responsibilities into their traditionally “personal” time a normal occurrence in today’s society, and generally don’t mind carving out a few hours on their own time for work.

The rub for employees occurs when their employer isn’t willing to extend the same courtesy to them during working hours. Employees expect that if they are willing to stay late on a Wednesday night to wrap up a proposal, they will have some flexibility to leave the office early to take their dog to the vet or print a personal document from the company printer.

Most employees consider their “To Do List” a single sheet that lists work-related responsibilities like “Finalize Sales Report” right next to personal responsibilities like “Pay Cable Bill.” When employers welcome crossover for some personal tasks to be completed at work, they acknowledge and encourage employees’ willingness to complete work tasks on their own time and make them feel like a valued member of the team.

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