Have you ever wondered about a frontline employee’s workplace wish list? As a long-term employee, I have spoken with many staff members about their “wishes,” which are summarized as follows:
• Financial Stability: The workplace is where most of us spend the duration of our weekdays. However, some still struggle to earn enough money to cover their basic monthly expenses such as food, fuel, and electricity, not to mention luxuries.
• Career Progression: The majority of my life has been spent in the workforce. As time passes, employees begin to yearn for growth opportunities. In order to retain employees, employers should ensure clear and open communication regarding advancement options, since this is a hallmark of a successful career. This is mutualism at its finest: employees and employers work together for the greater good of both parties.
• HR Expertise: The appropriate person acting as the Human Resources representative is key to stress-reduction for front-line employees. Knowing that HR is approachable, wants to listen, and will not judge is a critical building block to cultivating the staff/HR relationship. Human Resources must remain unbiased. If an employee has previously had a substandard experience with HR, this becomes even more paramount.
• Congenial Environment: Inclusion is worth a million bucks! Be mindful for the presence of cliques or inner circles that exempt or exclude employees from involvement. An employee feeling rejected by his or her peers is demoralizing. Employees observe for consistency. Often, the perception is that be expectations vary because of tenure, those with young children, or those of different generations.
• Appreciation of Diversity: Diversity is something that I value. Differing opinions, views, upbringing, and education make for a great team. Employees recognize these prominent and differing characteristics and yearn for acceptance and equality. Whether materialistically wealthy with fancy clothes and jewelry or of modest means and rationing monthly bills, true riches are emotionally and psychologically derived. In this context, an employer heavily influences an employee’s sense of wealth.
• Listen: One of the most important things that an employer can do is listen to its employees. Ad hoc committees are terrific for providing an employee pulse to senior leaders and tend to increase positive morale. Happy workers are wonderful ambassadors and similarly, disgruntled employees potentially lead to negative press. Word of mouth is valuable advertisement, which must be earned. Employees who feel respected and listened to may provide the most positive billboard or thirty seconds of advertisement imaginable! It’s like a puzzle, a riddle or a quiz. All of the answers are waiting to be told but employers have to listen.
Trina M. Ward is the author of Sandy Creek and The Martin House. Both works have received 4 stars from readers at BTSemag which has earned her two nominations in the Red Carpet Review Award. She is currently working on a screenplay and the third installment to the above mentioned novels.