Morale is an effective barometer of your organization’s overall health. Dissatisfied employees - those who complain about and berate the firm, its managers, its direction or vision, or any number of other company complaints - are damaging to the organization’s prospects for healthy growth and sustainability, both in the short and long term. And while you won’t find ‘employee happiness’ in a business plan under ‘corporate objectives’ – maybe you should – as an ever-evolving global workforce becomes even more transitory.
People leave their jobs for a variety of reasons, but contrary to what many believe to be the usual ones - departing for more money, benefits or advancement; the main reason people quit is due to unsatisfying work relationships. According to management specialist and author Victor Lipman in his Forbes.com article, ‘Why Do Employees Leave Their Jobs? New Survey Offers Answers,' "People leave managers, not companies. When management is persistently over-involved in unproductive ways, it can quickly become a retention issue."
In the Tinypulse Employee Engagement Report – a survey (referenced above) of 400 full-time employees across the US – several factors explained what keeps employees happy and ‘in their seats’ versus what makes them depart ‘for greener pastures.’ Summarized findings by reporter Laura Troyani include:
- Supervisors can make or break employee retention – with a clear relationship between freedom to make decisions and happiness
- Colleagues Have a Lot of Power - Great peers can make or break an employee’s work experience and can be the difference between staying on board and looking for a new job
- Culture Matters a Lot - a healthy workplace environment where employee's feel a sense of belonging and that they ‘fit in’ impacts their likelihood to stay
- Don’t Forget Rest and Relaxation - Employees that are tired and burnt out are 31% more likely to think about looking for a new job
- Your Team Wants to Grow or They’ll Leave - Employees that reported having access to professional development opportunities were more than 10% more likely to stay with their current employer - making these not just a nice-to-have - they are a need-to-have
So establishing and maintaining a happy and productive workforce is obviously good for a company’s success. And while raises and other monetary incentives are part of the package – in terms of overall employee satisfaction, and the desire to stay with a firm, the ‘people factors’ weigh much more heavily. That’s why employers need to care; challenging their employees intellectually and engaging their creativity – making them want to stay.