I once again read with great interest the annual report by Workplace Dynamics analyzing what is important to workers in Orange County, California. Since I have no reason not to assume the information they assembled is likely true across the country, and perhaps across the world, I offer their conclusions for your consideration.
The questions that were asked fell into six categories: pay and benefits, managers, execution, careers, conditions and direction. What is most important is that if you ask most executive leadership or managers what they think workers care about the most, the almost universal answer is pay and benefits. But once again, it was the least important workplace factor. Only 45% of respondents rated it most important and only 29% said they were happy because their benefit package is good compared to others in the industry.
This is so important to understand. For those of you who still think people are motivated by money, please learn from these findings and think again.
What I found most interesting is what workers found most important, namely direction. 74% of workers said that was most important to them followed by 71% who focused on workplace conditions, and 69% who found execution and career opportunities to be most important. The study looked at the statements workers made to reach those conclusions. The statements that received the highest scores were:
I believe this company is going in the right direction; I am confident about my future at this company; I feel genuinely appreciated at this company; I have confidence in the leader of this company; I am happy with my career opportunities at this company; and my job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful.
What’s the lesson to be learned? Create a company with solid management leadership, with a clear sense of direction and career opportunities, and you’ll have a company that workers can be proud of and excited to be a part of. You will then have the fundamental requirement for a successful company: a happy, satisfied workforce aligned on a direction for the future