We’re a few days out from Labor Day – the celebration of all the work employees do – so let’s talk about making Labor Day meaningful for employees and their bosses.
One of the top biggest reasons workers leave their jobs is because they don’t feel their work is appreciated. Whether they feel they’re underpaid or that their work goes unnoticed, it leads to the same chain reaction: anger, stress and eventually giving their two weeks’ notice.
But that isn’t what employees want – and it isn’t what employers want either. The uncertainty of the job market causes a huge amount of financial and emotional stress for employees. Meanwhile, employees don’t want to feel forced back into the uncertainty of the job market, and employers have don’t want to scramble to find new hires and they’ll have an agitated workforce filled with unsatisfied workers.
So, what’s the fix?
First, put yourself in your employees’ shoes. You have to understand what your employees feel they deserve and then identify what you can do to make them feel more valued. This isn’t as easy as giving everyone a raise, as the budget may not allow it, but you may find that not everyone is solely interested in making more money.
According to a recent report by the Society for Human Resource Management, the biggest drivers of employee satisfaction are, in order, respectful treatment of the employees in the workplace, compensation, benefits and job security.
If you want to increase employee satisfaction and you’ve heard concerns about job security or the treatment of employees around the office, that’s where you should start. Or, if your employee reviews reveal that your workers are interested in new perks – like working remotely or a more flexible time-off policy – think about how you can implement these ideas without affecting productivity.
While you’re putting your new plans into action, remember that an employee’s age and experience may affect what perks they appreciate at work. According to the study, millennials reported the lowest levels of job satisfaction, while Boomers and those close to retirement were the happiest with their jobs. Think about what this means for the benefits you offer and the environment you’re creating. Everyone appreciates a day off, but some workers will value consistent raises while others want more vacation time.
If you’re unsure where to start, just ask your employees. No one knows what your employees want more than they do. It’s important to know your limits on what you can and cannot offer, but don’t let these barriers keep you from making any changes or improvements. Your workers will notice your efforts to address their concerns, whether it’s through new perks, raises or a combination of benefits.
So, on this Labor Day, understand that your show of appreciation doesn’t have to be an enormous change-of-management demonstration or once-in-a-lifetime bonus as long as it’s consistent, authentic and relevant to what your employees want. But putting in the effort to make your employees feel valued and appreciated will juice workplace profits over time.