It’s no secret. Employee satisfaction has everything to do with business success. An employee who jumps ship costs your business around 20 percent of his or her salary — and that’s just part of the impact. Workplace productivity, company culture and brand reputation can all suffer when just one team member quits.
But let’s be honest: There isn’t always an open line of communication between executives and employees. Even if the channel exists, employees often fear voicing their wants, needs and feedback will make them seem like complainers and lead to negative repercussions.
If a vibrant, productive, innovative workforce is on your list of priorities for 2017, consider some things your employees might want but won’t tell you.
1. Updated Workplace Technology
If technology doesn’t exist, doesn’t work properly, or doesn’t help your employees do their job, productivity will suffer. In addition to the most common workplace technologies, there is a bevy of mobile applications, collaborative tools, multimedia tools and more that are worth investing in to bolster productivity, efficiency and employee engagement.
2. Less Micromanaging
Micromanagement weakens your workforce’s ability to think for themselves. It also stretches management teams too thin and strips employees of their autonomy. This is not an environment in which innovation thrives, and could drive your top talent out the door.
3. Greater Flexibility
Mobility is one of the greatest gifts technology has given today’s workforce. Over 60 percent of workers report having the option to work outside the office at least part time. According to a Forbes report, these people are generally happier, too, because they “enjoy the freedom and flexibility.”
As for the other 40-something percent of employees who still haven’t been given the option? Don’t be surprised if they leave for a company that supports greater work-life balance.
4. A Clear Career Trajectory
Your employees want to know what opportunities lie ahead and where your organization sees them fitting into its future. Without a clear vision, motivation fizzles and employees feel unfulfilled and underappreciated.
5. Continuing Education Opportunities
Development is important in a job, according to 87 percent of millennials, which makes it a top employee retention factor. If you want to cultivate an ambitious workforce, you must provide them with opportunities to continue their education, hone their skills and grow as professionals.
6. An Ergonomic Work Environment
About 30 percent of human life is spent working. As reported by Medical News Today, sitting for long periods of time every day has a remarkably negative impact on our health. By investing in ergonomic chairs, desks and keyboards, you can create a healthier environment for your employees that allows them to work with less exertion and greater efficiency. A more comfortable workspace will also improve employee engagement and overall productivity.
7. Logical and Effective Processes
Another element that kills job satisfaction is illogical processes. If employees are forced to abide by workflows and protocols they know are inefficient, and nothing is done to improve processes, they may seek a more progressive employer.
Pro Tip: Space, reservation and asset management technology will help leaders identify workflow bottlenecks and adjust floor plans to streamline processes and better support resource demands.
8. Recognition & Appreciation
Employees want to be seen and heard by managers and executive leaders. They want recognition for a job well done, constructive feedback if they fall short and routine performance reviews so they know where they stand.
The science behind why social media is so popular is our inherent human desire to belong. The workplace is no different, which means a strong company culture goes a long way with employees. Define your brand’s purpose and values, assign cultural ambassadors, invest in the treatment of your employees and create events that fortify inter-office relationship building.
10. Fair Compensation
We placed this “want” last on the list because surprisingly, it’s not the most prioritized item on your employees’ wish list. But it still matters. Your employees know what they’re worth, and online platforms like Glassdoor and PayScale make sure of it. Competitive compensation will keep your staff loyal and motivated.
Just because your employees haven’t mentioned the above items doesn’t mean they aren’t top of mind. But ensuring you’re making efforts to meet these 10 wants and needs, you’ll enjoy a happier, more fulfilled and more productive workforce.
Editor's Note: This post was previously published on Inc.com and has been republished here with permission.