Time to take a hard look at the hard questions and maybe experience some of the hard facts that workers are not all that happy. Better to know now and do something about it than to wait until they jump ship to find out in their exit interview how you screwed up. You are doing exit interviews, aren’t you?
Answer these questions provided by the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement to see how your organization measures up.
- Are employees empowered to service customers at the highest possible level?
- Does the company recognize the role of employees in retaining customers?
- Is the performance of employees regularly measured?
- Are internal communications truly aligned with external marketing initiatives?
- Does the company’s overall corporate objective include human resource and motivation issues?
- Is the company committed to employee development and training?
- Are employees encouraged to provide feedback and given the tools to do so?
- Is employee feedback incorporated into planning and operations?
- Can the company demonstrate a link between people performance management and sales and profit?
In an annual survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management, here are the results concerning work-life programs in corporate America today:
- 57% of companies now offer flextime to their employees
- 56% have wellness programs
- 36% allow telecommuting
- 20% have on-site fitness centers
- 19% offer stress-reduction tips to workers
- 13% offer massage therapy
When employees feel included when they feel a sense of belonging to an organization, when their personal values and goals are in alignment with the organizational values. In order to gain a maximum sense of involvement and engagement in an organization, here are some elements that need to be present to foster dedication, retention, and productivity:
- Intrinsic personal interest and worthwhile work
- Challenge and stimulation
- Personal involvement
- Positive environment
24% of 1000 workers surveyed said they were chronically angry at work. The most common reason cited was a sense that their employers “violated basic promises” and didn’t fulfill “the expected psychological contract with their workers”. The anger problem remains mostly underground and workers simply lose interest in work and become lethargic and uncooperative. What is going on in your office to undermine expectations?
Ask burned-out employees (or less than enthusiastic family members) “What do you really want from your job/school/your life/this family?”. Write down 25 quick answers to help jostle them into thinking about their interests and desires so they can look for a way to pursue them through work/school/family life.
So how does your organization measure up? Are you incorporating these types of things into your environment? If you have other ideas that are working for you, let me know at Gaia@GaiaHart.com.
Over the years I’ve interviewed many hundreds of clients in what they do to keep their customers, care for their clients, and show their colleagues they really matter in more ways than the obvious. I’ve compiled some of my favorites for you to glean from them on what they’re doing right to reach out and show their workplace love.
- Surprise your team and take them to lunch, to a mall with $50 each and tell them they must spend it all on themselves and whoever has money left over will give it back to you.
- If you are game – or in good financial standing – take them on a trip or a cruise such as Phillips International’s Chairman, Tom Phillips who took 1350 employees and their families on a Disney Cruise to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary. Meeting planners who are interested in cruises as incentive programs can visit www.corporatecruises.com for deck plans and virtual tours of 360 ships and an online RFP service as well as destination info and tax-deductibility guidelines. Another site for unbiased info on cruises and destinations is www.cruisecritic.com. Bon Voyage!
- Forget the Euro – time is the currency of the new millennium and giving the gift of time is a powerful incentive. Almost 40% of Americans now work more than 50 hours per week (National Sleep Foundation) and Americans work up to 12 weeks more in total hours per year than Europeans with 26% of all US employees not taking a vacation according to a study by Boston College. Many companies are now offering perks and incentives to help employees gain back some time such as giving them the services of a lawn care company, pest control, monthly house cleaning, or having a car detailer visit the workplace. ServiceMaster offers these types of home services on a large scale across the country.
- One of my early clients, Northwestern Mutual has a dry cleaner pick up and deliver clothes to the workplace. Their dry cleaner also offered to accept Fed Ex packages for workers during the holidays and then deliver them to the workplace to avoid having holiday packages sit on doorsteps or having to drive to the Fed Ex shop to pick them up. They also offer several clubs and affinity groups in their organization such as a choral group, a band, and professional associations for staff to meet others with similar interests and promote loyalty and a sense of community. People are less likely to leave a community of friends than a company of cubicles.
- Below are ideas from various clients on what they’re doing to show they care about their teammates:
- Help keep employees healthy and informed about their health and well-being to reduce your costs for sick-leave, mental-health day absences, retention, and insurance claims. Here are some tips for planning a wellness program excerpted from Human Capital Magazine:
- Provide people with the facts, and raise awareness regarding the risks of being overweight.
- Help them identify risk factors including Body Mass Index and blood pressure.
- Empower employees to change and provide them with the knowledge and tools to improve their situation – books, trainers, coaches, nurses, health club memberships, time off each week to work out, seminars, seated massages, healthy choices in the cafeteria, and smoking cessation or Weight Watchers classes.
- Implement a total wellness program into your menu of options for employees – more than an exercise program, it includes a combination of activities that focus on health promotion and disease prevention and healthy, active lifestyles.
- The Society for Human Resource Management’s annual survey of several hundred employee benefit managers found that 31% subsidize or reimburse gym membership fees, 22% provide on-site fitness centers, 24% offer weight-loss programs, and 11% offer nutrition counseling.
- One high-tech company in Washington DC gave employees a stipend for monthly house cleaning and yard work to allow them extra time to work out – no excuses for not having enough time.
- A survey by Career Builder.com found that the majority of workers are dissatisfied with their career progress with 63% reporting that finding a better job would improve their quality of life.
What are you doing for your team to energize them and help increase their quality of life at work? How are you showing your team that you care about them in more ways than giving them a paycheck?