Workforce experts estimate that the cost of replacing a worker is 1.5 times the annual salary of the worker. To minimize your turnover costs and maintain a productive workplace, employers need to look beyond the salary and benefits.
Work can be a satisfying and positive experience for your employees when their work expectations are being met. Salary and benefits are the obvious compensations that an employee expects from his or her employer, but there are a host of immaterial things that can provide job satisfaction. Whether you, as an employer, are considering a new hire or trying to retain current employees, there are four key factors that can help make work a positive experience.
Many employees expect a pleasant work environment. No one wants to wake up each morning dreading going to work. Do your workers prefer a low-stress environment that has a social atmosphere? Perhaps you should consider assigning projects that require teamwork and personal interaction. However, different personalities expect different types of work environments. Some people work better under pressure and welcome the opportunity to be challenged. Giving workers the opportunity to express their ideas in a workplace that emphasizes results over personal relationships may give them satisfaction.
Structure vs. Independence
Structure is an integral part of the workplace for some employees. Perhaps they like to know that certain resources are available to them. Providing workers with specific timelines, procedures, or guidelines may be beneficial to them when completing a project or problem-solving. Some people, however, expect to work independently. They may want to set their own priorities or use their methods of problem-solving. Granting freedom to take on new responsibilities or to streamline current procedures might be a way to keep your employees happy.
Work vs. Personal Life
Most employees expect a certain balance between work and personal life. They have commitments outside of work and feel that work should not distract them from fulfilling those commitments. Assure your employees that you understand their commitment to their families and other activities. Let them know that work will not interfere with their personal life, but also that you expect high standard of job performance.
Having a career is important to many people in today’s society. If your employees enjoy their job, invest a lot of time and effort, and succeed at it, they probably expect to get rewarded. The reward doesn’t always have to be monetary; sometimes a new job title, increased responsibility, or other incentives will provide the positive reinforcement they desire. Career-minded employees probably want to gain new experiences and increase their set of job skills, making themselves more marketable to other employers. Making sure your employees know there are opportunities for advancement may keep them satisfied and keep them with your company.
Once you have identified the things that can make work a positive experience for your employees, you must keep the lines of communication open. Your employees may never be satisfied in their current positions if their work expectations are not met. As an employer, you understand the high cost of employee turnover. If you want to retain your employees, learn what their work expectations are and do what you can to increase their job satisfaction, making work a positive experience.
About the Author
Eric Fox is Manager, Web & Technical Systems at Corexcel, a company specializing in online continuing education and workforce training.