In Real Estate, it’s Location, Location, Location - with HR Service Delivery it’s a 2-way Street…

It seems that most industries have their own language – catch phrases and axioms – by which they operate. One frequently heard in the real estate business is ‘location, location, location’ meaning “identical homes can increase or decrease in value due to location. It's repeated three times for emphasis, and so you will remember the phrase. It's the number one rule in real estate, and it's often the most overlooked rule," writes home-buying expert Elizabeth Weintraub in her column 'Location Repeated Three Times Refers to Real Estate.'

She adds, "You can buy the right home in the wrong location. You can change the structure, remodel it or alter the home's layout but, ordinarily, you cannot move it. It's attached to the land.” The best locations include those in prime spots such as: in top-rated school districts, homes with views, in economically stable and safe neighbor hoods and close to outdoor recreation areas.

The same theory can be applied to one's job - and the same attention to detail needs to be considered for a happy and successful career. And the responsibility falls equally on both employers and employees to establish and maintain a happy & healthy work environment highlighted by open two-way communication. Keeping employees’ happy means being in tune with their wants and needs – which often goes beyond simple raises in pay…

"Want to retain your best employees? Your first thought may be to offer them a raise, but as it turns out, the old adage is right: Money doesn't buy happiness," writes Nicole Fallon Taylor, assistant editor for Business News Daily in '11 Secrets to Keeping Employees Happy (Without a Raise).'

"Many studies have shown that employees with high job satisfaction are generally more productive, engaged and loyal to their companies. Hiring managers, HR experts and business leaders weighed in on the best ways to keep employees satisfied when salary isn't the driving factor."

So what do employees want from their employers? Well, the short answer is that it varies depending upon the individual. There are however, a number of things many employees look for in their jobs as revealed in a research article by Anne Bahr Thompson titled 'The Intangible Things Employees Want from Employers' for the Harvard Business Review.

Her findings reveal that the "acid test of a satisfying employee-employer relationship is rooted in a set of specific behaviors along the “me-to-we continuum.” The best employers help us each achieve our personal “me” goals and dreams on the one hand, while simultaneously collaborating with us to solve more generalized “we” worries about the economy, the environment, the world on the other hand."

She cites that there are certain tenants that all employees look for from their employer including trust (don't let me down), enrichment/enhancement of their daily lives, a sense of responsibility and fair play, a sense of community and connectivity with colleagues, and contribution to the community they care about.

Treating employees fairly and well means being in tune to their wants and needs. Instilling into the workforce a sense of shared responsibility, a feeling of we’re all pulling together to meet the challenges, goes a long way towards establishing and maintaining engaged employees. In other words, businesses need to treat their employees as they would their best customers.

“Treating employees as customers is not a new idea. However, the difference between human resources and human relationships is significant. Supporting employees across the ‘’me-to-we continuum” encourages more holistic relationships between employees and employers. It enables employees to achieve their full potential based on mutual understanding, mutual respect, mutual reliance and mutual benefit thereby cultivating more loyal connections,” adds Ms. Thompson.