Bob is hired to work at a local company. Bob is excited because although the job pays about the same as his previous job, he believes the hours will be a little better for his family and it is closer to home. A couple of months later, the “shine” has worn off a little bit and Bob is not so sure he made a good decision. After a year Bob has become frustrated, but figures it is a job. His manager is concerned because he had high hopes for Bob, but he really is not showing the promise he hoped for. Two years later, Bob is told about another job opportunity with another company and he takes the position. Bob gives two weeks’ notice, but after a day he doesn’t come back. His manager figures it was no loss, Bob wasn’t that great. He comments to another supervisor that it is really hard to hire good people anymore.
This scene plays itself out day after day. The employees get frustrated because it is hard to find a decent job they want to do. Management is frustrated because you can’t find good help anymore. So is the problem with the workforce or is the problem with the culture and the environment? I believe employers can do a lot to make their environment a good place to work, where employees do like their jobs and where employees honestly want to be part of a team that succeeds. Most employers would be surprised to find out that with just a little effort employees would start to change their attitudes, the work environment might improve and it doesn’t actually cost them anything, yet the chances for better profitability go up!
If you really look at what most employees want, it is pretty simple. They want to know that what they do matters. They want to know that they are part of a team and they have the tools to be successful. Employees want to know that their employer treats people fairly; they don’t tolerate poor performance, harassment and other undesirable behavior. They hope that people in the workplace, particularly the management, says things like hello, please and thank you. Management listens, they don’t just talk. Things like safety, customer service and team work are more than just words, but how the company does business. Their employer gives them honest feedback on their performance on a regular basis and recognizes when they have gone above and beyond.
The good news is that most of the things employees want doesn’t cost much if anything and are very simple to do! The webinar we are having in April will talk about what companies can do to have a better workplace, one that engages people in what the company is doing and a place where they can expect fair and courteous treatment, while at the same time avoiding major employee issues, potential lawsuits or third party intervention.