You hire someone. They come to work the first day. They must want something your workplace promises to provide. They come back the second day. And the third, and fourth, and fifth. And they continue to come back. Granted, that’s not actually surprising. But let me ask a question. What keeps them coming back?
Ka-ching! Cash money. Easy answer. That might be the whole story. But if their connection to work is purely transactional, how long will it last? Talent may be wasted. Engagement may be paper thin. Productivity and creativity may progressively droop when propped up only by faceless, digital deposits. Teamwork may only occur by luck.
How does your workplace rate on these reasons your people keep coming back? (From the perspective of your employee.)
- Money. The trade of my time for money is worthwhile.
- Respect. I get respect.
- Friends. I have at least one friend on staff.
- Leadership. I have a good boss.
- Direct Reports. I like working with my direct reports.
- Customers. I like my customers or clients.
- Peers. This is a winning team.
- Talent. I’m good at my job.
- Challenge. I’m stretched but not overwhelmed.
- Purpose. I feel connected to the mission and values of this company.
- Learning & Growing. I learn and grow on the job.
- Productivity. I am of use to others.
- Safety. I can be myself.
- Fun. It’s fun.
- Life Fit. It fits into the rest of my life in terms of time, location, and effort.
- Achievement. I achieve. I’m put on a path to achieve.
- I like myself at work. I’m a good version of myself here.
If you rate your organizations highly on all of these (or, your employees would), then surely you have a solid culture, with a good reputation, and a lot of potential.
But what would all that look like in an ideal scenario? (Again, in the first person perspective of your employee.)
- Money. I always get paid on time and in full. The compensation is a very fair exchange for my time which boosts the strength of my work.
- Respect. Respect is in the air here. We are valued and respected and we value and respect each other. Both for our work and our humanity.
- Friends. I have several friends on the team and at least one close friend. All the staff are friendly and congenial.
- Leadership. I love my boss. She leads by example, she acknowledges us, she trusts us, she supports us, she inspires us, she forgives us, we enjoy working hard toward her high standards.
- Direct Reports. I love my team. We gel. We have a great culture. We are a strong team. We look forward to working together each day.
- Customers. I love my customers.
- Peers. I know I play a helpful role on this awesome, winning team. We are there for each other professionally and work well together.
- Talent. I bring strengths to my work that are acknowledged. I’m great at my job.
- Challenge. I’m challenged the right amount. The challenges feel really good.
- Purpose. I strongly believe in the mission and values of this company. I am passionate about them and would work towards them in some way even if I didn’t work here.
- Learning and Growing. I’m learning and growing personally and professionally. Success comes because of it. There will be opportunity for advancement here or at another company because of it.
- Productivity. I am of important use to the team and to our customers. I’m given the time, space, and support to be highly productive. My efforts are acknowledged. My output is critiqued fairly.
- Safety. We make room for each other. We encourage each other. I can be myself and others can be themselves.
- Fun. We have a great time serving our customers and working together towards our common goal. Our roles fit each of us and we enjoy what we do.
- Life fit. This job is flexible. It suits my needs regarding other areas of my life. I can take time off. I can work remotely. The hours per week suit my life.
- Achievement. We do great things here. I have a strong record of personal success in my roles.
- I love myself at work. This job brings out the best in me.
No doubt it’s rare to check every single box on the first list. But why not try to go even farther and check all the boxes in the second list? It’s sort of the difference between like and love. Why would you not go for love?