Different workplaces have different needs, but there are four basic steps any manager can take to kick-start job satisfaction:
Conduct realistic job previews. As the name suggests, this involves presenting prospective employees with both positive and negative information about the job. This shows integrity. It also builds a sense of confidence and trust on the part of job applicants toward the hiring manager. Realistic job previews are also an effective tool for communicating general performance expectations, the nature of the work, and the conditions under which that work is to be performed.
This is an area where Harrah’s Entertainment is also doing it right. After an extensive recruiting process, new hires go through a special orientation and training program that not only covers the expectations the company has of them in their new roles, but also what they can expect from the company. During orientation, it is made clear that the company has a responsibility to get to know employees and their talents so that everyone can work more efficiently, using role models and leaders and the right resources and tools to do their jobs. Expectations are set in an environment in which praise and recognition are expressed and new goals are regularly set.
Participate with employees individually and in groups to understand why they feel the way they do. If you are a high-level manager, set up a process to touch base with employees who report to your direct reports. Find out what is working and what isn’t for these employees, especially as it relates to the work they do and their excitement about the work itself. Benefits accrue for managers who follow this counsel. Not only will they learn more about the capabilities and interests of employees, but they’ll hear ideas about new and innovative products and services, create a smoother operation, and develop a more satisfied workforce. A variant of this recommendation is what happens at Eisai Company, a Japanese pharmaceutical maker. The company creates exciting and engaging work for its employees by using “innovation communities,” a group of employees who span the company to work together on new products, services, or business process. For Eisai, this means that every employee worldwide, regardless of title or function, participates in a health care – related project, such as investigating new structures and sizes of medicines that are more patient-friendly or creating social programs for families of victims of Alzheimer’s disease. The company believes it is important to show employees the people for whom the company designs medicines so that the employees can see and understand what issues patients find most significant. It’s an incredibly successful motivating tool as well.
Recognise employees for a job well done. As we pointed out in Chapter 3, it is crucial to let people know when you appreciate their good work. This does not require a financial reward. Simply saying “thank you” can be both powerful and low cost.
Remember to have fun. Some of us grow up to conduct our business affairs with incredible seriousness. “No time for nonsense” is our mantra. But social activities such as team luncheons can go a long way toward building and maintaining strong working relationships. They not only give people a chance to interact on a more personal level, but they also provide a little fun and variety to a typical day’s work.
Zappos.com, an online retailer, uses unconventional means for keeping employees engaged and energetic about their work. The retailer’s culture centres around ten values, including “Create fun and little weirdness” and “Deliver WOW through service”. Employees perform against these values. One high-level example of fun involves a group of executives who work in “monkey row” an area decorated in green foliage hanging from the ceiling.
RESPECT: Delivering Results by Giving Employees What They Really Want Jack Wiley, Brenda Kowske ISBN: 9781118027813 R520.00
Is it possible that the way to win in business is to give employees exactly what they want? Yes. As RESPECT reveals, managers and organizations who give their employees what they want outperform those who don't. This is no hunch – it's a fact based on more than 25 years of global research. Drs. Jack Wiley and Brenda Kowske have amassed a research database unlike any other, and it all started with this simple question: "What is the most important thing you want from the organization for which you work?"
Organizations that apply this research have more engaged employees, more satisfied customers, and better shareholder returns. It all boils down to seven key elements, summarized by the acronym RESPECT. These are the seven things that employees really want: Recognition, Exciting Work, Security, Pay, Education, Conditions and Truth.
This book taps the authors' "in the trenches" consulting experience and offers real solutions on each element of RESPECT. Written for all types of leaders—from supervisors to the c-suite—readers can pick and choose the proven solutions that are relevant to their own organizations.
By weaving stories and narrative, the authors make complex information easy to understand and fun to read. In addition, RESPECT meets the demands of the global economy, offering an international perspective with corresponding cultural nuances that are critical to helping leaders manage the needs of their workforces.