What Employees Need Besides Just the Pay

Knowing the Big Picture
Want an energized group of employees? Share the big picture stuff. Having a dialogue about where the company is headed, what the goals are, or opening up a dialogue about what the goals should be, that’s the kind of talk that gets people excited. When every member of the team understands the goals ahead, they can take an active part in reaching those goals. Most everyone wants to see their work pay off and why shouldn’t they? We’re all wired to want to achieve something.

Being Heard
Everyone wants to feel heard. While meeting that need can be difficult, it can also drastically change how your company operates and the level of pride and dedication people take in their work. By listening to the people who are part of the team, you’re letting them know they are valued and appreciated. Listening can take place over a coffee, a quick office meeting, or even an online conference or phone call. Don’t like half-baked proposals? Why not implement a standard open-door-policy that says, “Let me know when you’ve got your ideas/solutions as fleshed out as possible.” This makes it possible for everyone to give their input while also signaling that you appreciate thoroughness.

Fulfilling Life Goals
Let people share their life goals with you. The notion of “the company man” is from a completely different era. Today, most people have five to ten year goals they’re setting and most of those paths will, quite honestly, lead to other jobs. When you let employees know you understand they may have goals that lead to elsewhere, you actually welcome a whole new way to communicate and foster good will. People start thinking about what else they can achieve while working for your company, they start setting their sights on creating opportunities, learning more, and doing more. By recognizing that people have their own ambitions and goals, you implicitly show them you’re about more than just business and that’s a very, very good thing.

Community is the fundamental reason people choose to commit to a company, even when there’s more pay or better perks somewhere else. Who doesn’t want to work in an environment where there are people to talk to and connect with, where there’s a sense of belonging and good, fun, solid relationships. Fostering an inclusive environment that is fair for all should be of primary concern for those in charge. Where there’s an in-group, there’s also those who may feel left out. So manage fairly and don’t ever, ever play favorites. A healthy work community requires someone on-top to keep it fair and equitable for the rest.

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