When there is a problem of any kind, it seems most people think of “money” as the solution. But that really isn’t true.

love-jobSure, it can be a real boost to any person to find a $100 bill, or win a lottery, but if you check out what happens to people who win that lottery, most find that it leads to more problems.

So what can an employer do to demonstrate he or she values his or her employees? What would employees appreciate?

Employers should begin by not just “talking” to their employees but by “listening” to their employees.  What would employees find rewarding, helpful and a long-term value? Employers should sit down with a fair number of representatives of their workforces, if meeting with all would not be feasible or practical.  Ask them to share some of their challenges both at work and home. If some are uncomfortable sharing in front of others, have them to write it down and give to the employer.

Employees want to be “heard” as well as appreciated. From some employers and employees, here are some of the “needs” and “requests” that employees have shared:

  • Many employees who are hardworking and talented have requested the opportunity to receive coaching and/or training in order to move up the company ladder. This is actually one of the top requests from employees.
  • Some who are older and are unsure of their abilities to afford to retire would value learning factual and practical information from an impartial source about what to expect in retirement—as well as some risks—and without any sales pitch.
  • Instead of pizza parties, many employees would appreciate some assistance with some of the other demands in their lives. For example, have a dry cleaning service come to work to pick up and return clothing, or a daycare to come to the work place, or a car repair service, as well as possible discounts for the employees.
  • If an employer is concerned about their employees’ health, perhaps the company can provide a discount at a gym or an onsite workout session after work.
  • Many employees today are struggling with debt; therefore, how about providing the employees with a “Money Management Workshop?” This could relieve these people from a lot of stress and may help them to be more productive.
  • Consider a Mentoring Program for employees.
  • If you have a very diverse workforce, it might be helpful to schedule an “Effective Communication Workshop,” which could build a more cohesive workforce.

Employers are encouraged to have an open exchange with employees and not just one time. Meeting once a quarter could dramatically improve employee engagement, loyalty and retention.

Robyn Crigger is managing partner, OI Global Partners – Compass Career Management Solutions in Charlotte, NC.

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