Employee Morale and What Workers Actually Want

A primary goal of most companies—for obvious reasons—is a high degree of employee morale. Organizations with engaged workers outperform those with disengaged workers by 202%. By understanding what employees truly desire in their job and their workplace, managers can drastically increase employee morale.

More meaning and less perks.

When executives consider policies to address employee dissatisfaction, they often ignore internal sicknesses in their company cultures while simply addressing external symptoms. For example, Fundera recommends better pay, more benefits, flexible schedules, robust internal communication, and fewer email chains as remedies to employee dissatisfaction crises. While none of these policies are harmful on face-value, they simply misdiagnose the severity and causes of employee morale.

On the other hand, Forbes properly diagnoses the need to address root causes of worker dissatisfaction: “perhaps the most underrated desire of modern-day employees is the desire to work with a purpose… many employees would be willing to give up fancy nap pods or office game rooms in exchange for fulfilling work.”

Empirical data affirm this idea. A recent survey from ServiceNow indicates that “six in ten workers would like to ask their boss for more meaningful work than for a raise (61 per cent versus 34 per cent).”

Ultimately, a lack of perks does not discourage or disillusion workers. When employees are unhappy, they are most likely not experiencing the greater purpose and importance of their job function. Rather than patching bullet holes with band-aids via addressing the symptoms of low morale, heal the disease itself by communicating meaning and purpose to employees.

Respect is key.

Being respected in the workplace is just as important as a sense of meaning in one’s work life. In a 2014 survey, for example, 20,000 employees ranked respect as the most important attribute in their leaders.

As Harvard Business Review reports, “research indicates that employees value two distinct types of respect… owed respect is accorded equally to all members of a work group or an organization; it meets the universal need to feel included… earned respect recognizes individual employees who display valued qualities or behaviors.” Employees want to be treated with a basic level of dignity, while also being specially honored for their accomplishments.

However, most American companies fall short of this expectation. According to Gallup, only one-third of employees strongly agree that they receive frequent praise for their high-quality work. Employee recognition is not necessarily expensive; however, it does require an intentional effort by both human resources departments and direct management.

Qlicket can help you give employees purpose and respect at work. Our kiosk system allows managers to ask survey questions to their deskless workers, thereby making them feel heard. We enable managers to post announcements, which highlight work anniversaries, birthdays, and special accomplishments. Find out more by visiting our website.

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