8 Qualities Employers Desire Most In Workers

May 15, 2012 – How can employees make sure they receive some of the retention perks and benefits many companies are beginning to award again to talented workers?

2 out of 3 employers (68%) have implemented programs in the past year to retain some of their most talented workers as turnover has increased at 30% of them, according to a survey by OI Partners, a global coaching and leadership development and consulting firm.

Companies are rewarding their most valued workers with raises in salaries and benefits, tuition reimbursement, and providing coaching and cash bonuses, depending on the level of the employee.

For more information on retention survey, go here.

However, employers are awarding these benefits very selectively and are not even giving them to all top performers. “Workers need to demonstrate to their bosses that they are making critical contributions, have the qualities the company desires most, and that they have earned retention rewards,” said Steve Ford, chair of OI Partners.

Following are eight qualities employers value most in workers, according to the survey. “The degree to which workers exemplify these characteristics will strengthen their case for receiving retention perks,” Ford added.

  1. Being a team player (selected by 71% of surveyed companies): “Being part of a team has taken on a higher priority since many companies are still operating with leaner work forces and there is a greater need to accomplish goals through others,” said Ford.
  2. Fully focused on satisfying customers (chosen by 68% of employers): “Employees should share complimentary letters and emails they receive with their bosses. Don’t assume that he or she already knows about your excellent customer service, but do it in a discreet way,” Ford added.
  3. Motivate and engage others in their jobs (chosen by 65% of companies): “In a challenging economy, employers appreciate when their employees reach out and keep each other motivated and involved in their work,” noted Ford.
  4. Success in achieving your “critical few objectives” (picked by 62% of companies): “These are the top one or two reasons why you were hired in the first place. Accomplishing these will count more than any other contributions you have made,” said Ford.
  5. Work smart (preferred by 60% of companies): This includes being up to date on the latest technology, keeping your skills and professional knowledge current, and continually searching for improvements in productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
  6. Work hard (selected by 57% of employers): “Although companies for years have preferred working smart to working hard, they still want to see that you are dedicated to your job, put in an extra effort and volunteer to fill any gaps when necessary,” said Ford.
  7. Add value to the organization (chosen by 52% of employers.): Retention rewards are a recognition of your value. Track and document the specific ways you have added value to your employer.
  8. Contribute to improving the bottom line (selected by 48% of businesses): There are various ways to do this, including helping to increase sales, cut costs, decrease turnover, and make useful suggestions and recommendations.

Workers seeking retention rewards should first determine how your company measures performance and discover which benchmarks and qualities count the most.

“Next, objectively assess whether you should be considered a top performer, if you have not already been so designated. If you feel you are already one, have a conversation with your boss and bolster your case with examples and quantifiable achievements. If you are not, discuss a developmental plan for you to pursue to become a star performer in the future,” Ford added.

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