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Employee needs guide them toward better performance and continued relations with the company. Did you know that highly engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to exit their present companies?

Employees are one of the assets of the organization and play a major role in the progress of the organization. In return, they need to be compensated not only in monetary terms but through other means too. This can reduce the attrition level in the organization.

This blog explains the needs of employees and why organizations should make it a point to address them effectively.

Why should organizations pay importance to employee’s needs?

Employee’s role in the growth of the organization is immense. Companies should respect employee needs to:

1. Maintain a happy workforce

When organizations pay attention to the needs of employees, they feel valued and are happy to work at such a place.

2. Improve productivity

Employees who are happy contribute better. When employees contribute better, it leads to improved productivity that ultimately drives organizations to success.

3. Improve customer service

Employees are more engaged and actively involve in satisfying the needs of the customers, when they are recognized. This imoproves customer service.

4.Retain employees

Employee turnover is a huge cost to the company. Paying attention to employee needs keeps them committed and continue their service in the company.

5. Bring in innovation

Encouraging employees brings in innovation and new talents, which helps companies grow more in competitive business environment.

What are some of employee’s needs?

Employees are driven by many needs apart from their monetary requirements. Some of them are:

1. Job security

Employees need to have confidence of security of jobs, to work peacefully. The fear of losing their current job keeps them looking for other opportunities. To prevent this, companies should communicate with their employees and keep them informed of the position of the company.

Employees should be able to develop trust that they can continue working in the company as long as they contribute their best. Amidst heavy competition and uncertainties in business, secure job becomes highly essential, and most employees look for this factor when they choose a company.

For example, in this case study, Nobel Consulting reveals the challenges it faced due to lack of recognition of the employee need for job security. Due to poor leadership some employees were fired within a week’s notice while the procedure was to give a month’s notice. This created fear of security of jobs.

2. Career advancement

Every employee has a vision about the progress they want to make in their respective careers. Companies should facilitate the same and offer training and development facilities. This motivates the employees to perform better.

Companies should play a supportive role and help employees grow up the ladder. Frequent meetings and discussions help managers understand the needs of employees.

Google, the tech giant follows a 20% time policy, where employees spend 80% of their time in core projects and 20% on innovation activities that kindle their interest, for their career growth. The company also invests a considerable amount on training and development to help employees advance in their careers. You can read the full case study about Google’s 20% policy here.

3. Equal opportunity

Equal opportunity encompasses equality in recruitment policies, equal training, equal payment for similar roles, etc. Companies practising equal opportunities ensure fairness in operations. This prevents any bias among employees and boosts their morale.

A case study with specific reference to BDF Hospital in the Kingdom of Bahrain indicates how equal opportunity and performance of employees are interlinked. When employees are treated alike, they feel valued and are eager to contribute their best toward the growth of the organization.

4. Work-life balance

The lack of work life balance in most organizations is the main reason for high level of employee turnover. Most companies do not recognize the need for employees to devote time and energy to their personal commitments and this results in demotivated workforce.

Employees can concentrate and work better only if they are able to balance their time between work and at their personal end. They must be encouraged to go on vacations, spend time on health and wellness, etc.

Ikea, the Swedish furniture manufacturer, pays great attention to its staff’s health. The health promotion policy at Ikea includes supply of subsidized healthy meals and free podiatry.

Due to the physical activity involved at work, the foot massage brings great relief to the staff. Even on shop floors, the departmental managers also take turns to help, thus providing a balance to the floor staff.

5. Flexibility

Flexible work environment is what every employee expects to be in. This can be flexibility with respect to shift timings, work from options, paid leaves, etc. A flexible workplace understands the needs of the employees and is more welcome by them.

Most companies do not pay regard to this need and this results in disgruntled employees. Organizations offering flexibility, like Kraft foods, for example, can see considerable improvement in employee satisfaction.

The hourly workers at Kraft foods were highly dissatisfied due to lack of flexibility. They were not able to change shifts or request job sharings. This led to the creation of flexible work option called Fast Adaptsfor those employees who were working 24/7 in manufacturing facilities.

With this program, the employees could take single-day vacations, and request change of shifts. This was favored by employees and improved job satisfaction.

6. Competitive compensation

Fair and competitive compensation is another major employee need. This is very important to keep them committed to the organization. Employees start to look for other companies that provide competitive pay if the need is not satisfied in the current employment.

Periodic increments based on inflation should be fixed by the company. Though employees desire recognition other than in the form of monetary compensation, this factor is primary.

Retention bonuses, rewards for excellent performance, increased pay for more responsibilities, etc., are some forms by which companies can compensate employees.

The case study involving Warid Telecom, Bangladesh emphasizes the need for competitive compensation for improved job satisfaction. The changes in business environment compelled organizations to look for a total compensation strategy to satisfy their employees.

Warid Telecom implemented this strategy and this led to a lot of positive feedback from employees. The total compensation package included allowances, adjustment for cost of living, merit based payment, relational returns, etc.

7. Recognition

To engage employees better, they need recognition in the form of rewards or awards. Employees work toward the goals of the organization and their contribution must be appreciated.

The reward and recognition program must be flexible and scalable. Heineken’s reward policy was one such. When the company identified that they needed a reward and recognition program that covered more staff than before, they came up with BREWards.

This included monetary and non-monetary rewards. The recognition program was fair at all levels of the organization. It covered the diverse workforce at Heineken.

8. Inclusion

There is a greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion world over in recent times. There are several underrepresented groups of candidates who are waiting for equal opportunities. Organizations have started to recognize this and have made inclusion a part of their recruitment policy to fulfil this employee need.

Inclusion ensures that the organization is free from bias based on gender, color, race, ethnicity, etc. Many leading organizations have shown how inclusion and diversity can build a brand image.

Henkel, for example, introduced an inclusion policy whereby they aimed to increase the share of female participation at all levels of the organization. They promoted gender-balanced leadership through networking, campaigning, and mentoring.

9. Feedback

To be heard is one of the major employee needs. They want employers to listen to them and introduce necessary corrective measures. This process motivates them and improves employee satisfaction. A satisfied employee gives back to the company in the form of improved performance.

A case study on Mastercard, the popular multinational financial services company, revealed that one of employee’s needs was feedback on their performance. The company wanted to improve employee engagement for which a survey was conducted. The results revealed that managers needed coaching on the feedback front.

A coaching program was initiated with an aim to incorporate this skill in managers. Post the session, the survey showed noticeable improvement in the feedback front as managers were now able to satisfy this need of the employees and keep them engaged better.

10. Sense of belonging

Employees spend most of their time at the workplace and seek a sense of belonging. They expect a supportive team and want to feel valued. They are a part of the success of the organization and do not want to be secluded.

Companies can develop a sense of belonging with an inclusive policy, team-building exercises, etc. Accenture, an organization with thousands of employees, cultivated a sense of belonging through several changes to its HR policies.

One of them was to eliminate bias and promote inclusion and diversity. It moved away from the traditional approaches and built a flexible framework that employees could appreciate.

Wrapping up

In order to retain the talents that are the backbone of the company, it is imperative to pay attention to employee’s needs. Satisfying these needs create a closer bond between the organization and the employees.

Happy employees spread happiness in the form of better performance that helps organizations accelerate their growth. Thus, companies should understand the needs and help employee development along with organizational development.

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We often come across some fantastic writers who prefer to publish their writings on our blogs but prefer to stay anonymous. We dedicate this section to all superheroes who go the extra mile for us.