Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

What Do Employees Want?

July 19, 2012 by Jeff James, Vice President & General Manager, Disney Institute

In past posts we have identified the value of work-life balance, which gives employees more time to enjoy things that are important to them. But who’s to say what those things are?
A recently conducted survey by Dr. Bob Nelson of Recognition Pro identifies the top five themes sought after by employees:

1. A learning activity and choice of assignment: Employees want to better themselves, to learn a new skill, to perform better their current role and to enhance their future marketability. As a leader or a manager, identify how that person wants to grow and develop, then give them the opportunity to do so.

2. Flexible working hours and time off from work: Time is more valuable than ever, and employees are looking for jobs that offer them the flexibility to meet their out-of-work obligations. Providing them with the occasional afternoon off or opportunity to catch their childs play may motivate employees to work even harder during their working hours.

3. Personal praise—verbal, public or written: Making a concerted effort to thank your employees sounds simple, though most employees report that they are never thanked. Whether in a meeting, a written note or in person, thanking your employees for a job well done encourages that behavior to continue.

4. Increased autonomy and authority: Granting greater autonomy or authority to your employees is the ultimate display of trust; use it as a form of recognition for past results. It serves as a powerful reminder that authority comes as a privilege and not a right.

5. Time with their manager: When a manager spends time with an employee he/she sends the message that, as busy as they are, they are making that employee a priority. That, in itself, is a form of recognition.

Knowing what’s important to your employees allows you to structure your managers and their hiring practices in a way that attracts top-flight talent, but also ensures that the best interests of the employee are kept an organizational priority.

Disney Institute is ready to help you apply strategic rigor to your customer experience efforts - call us at 321.939.4600 or complete our Contact Form

Posted in Employee Engagement | Tagged Employees, Selection, Training & Engagement | 1 Comments

1 Responses to What Do Employees Want?

  • Iris says:

    on July 19, 2012

    I agree with all but one point. I do thank my employees for their efforts. I thank everyone every day, with words and often with small tokens of my appreciation. However I am paying said employees to perform what they were hired to do. I should always expect their best without having to placate them with niceties. I pay them promptly, often with a little something in the envelope, I'd like the work performed in a timely manner and to my satisfaction. To say that employees should be thanked and if not, one might not get good results, is a bit off, isn't it?

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