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by Craig Clive | March 10, 2009

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Studies have shown that employees seek more from the work environment than just a paycheck. These studies indicate that salary is not high on the list of employee satisfiers and motivators. This article highlights the higher employee satisfiers and provides examples employed to address these motivators.

The work should be as interesting as possible. Permitting employees to learn other jobs and to structure their work in a way for them to complete efficiently pays big dividends. Employees want to be challenged at work and most will welcome the opportunity to learn new jobs or to enrich their jobs.

While it may seem unnecessary to list, many organizations still do not treat their employees with respect. Devices, such as time clocks, indicate a lack of trust and respect by management. In every organization there are a few slackers who come in late or leave early. Rather than punishing the entire workforce, managers should confront the offenders and not punish all for the sins of a few.

Employees want to feel part of the organization and that they are part of a team. Successful organizations foster team spirit in the workplace by providing clothing which identifies employees as part of the organization, organization sponsored community service projects such as home rehabilitation, working in soup kitchens, collecting clothing, and other community outreach efforts. Organization sponsored teams, social events such as an organization night at a sporting event, reduced price tickets to amusement parks, etc. Encourage the social side of the organization.

Being respected for knowledge and skills is an important satisfier. Employees also want to be part of a team at work. Employees know their jobs better than anyone else and can provide valuable insight into work redesign, cost savings and new process introduction.

Task force participation, work redesign projects, cost savings programs, and employee work teams also enhance the team feeling.

Employees also want to be recognized for their accomplishments both inside and outside the organization. Articles in organization publications, postings on an employee information bulletin board, recognition at unit meetings, and other positive communications provide needed recognition.

Positive visibility of senior management is a high level satisfier. The opportunity to speak with managers and executives provide employees an opportunity address their concerns and comments directly to the top and immediate actions taken to resolve the issues show the employee that the organization cares. During a recent visit with a client, I spent time with employees who expressed a concern that management didn't care about them. I spoke with the CEO who explained that he was working 60-70 hours per week and did not have the time to meet with employees on a scheduled basis. I explained that I understood his dilemma but the workforce did not. This is a service organization and the product is the employee. If employees feel disassociated, they may elect to find an organization with which they feel that management is concerned about the employee and demonstrates this caring by being visible. The CEO understood and reorganized his schedule to include regular times for employee meetings and walking tours of the facilities.

Non-financial rewards and recognition programs provide significant levels of employee satisfaction at little or no cost. The least costly non-financial reward is "Thank You." We do not thank our employees enough for their efforts.

Other non-financial rewards can include spot awards for immediate recognition, as well as other actions. The list of non-financial rewards is limitless and the rewards programs can be tailored to be effective for every employee group.

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Filed Under: Workplace Issues
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