The recession did more than raise unemployment and cause businesses to struggle to stay afloat; it changed the workplace structure, employee goals, and employers’ priorities
Gone are the days when employees robotically went to work each day just to receive a paycheck. And, gone are the days when employers’ expected the paycheck to fulfill their employees’ needs and desires.
During the recession companies needed to cutback and also needed to ask workers to do more for the same benefits, and sometimes less. Along with this, workers were laid-off at record numbers, and turnover rates climbed. Many companies also had to trade in the more experienced, high-earning worker for the younger worker who is ready and willing to establish his career.
This scenario led to a diversified and multi-generational workforce, along with a climate of distrust and anxiety. It’s no wonder a reformed workplace environment emerged.
The new workplace playing field has employers designing strategies and incentive programs to enhance employee satisfaction. This is currently at a crucial point because as the market continues to improve, more and more job opportunities will open, leading unsatisfied employees toward greener pastures.
In an article from Incentive Magazine, three industry leaders offered their views on what has changed within the workplace, and their advice on how businesses can keep their talent onboard.
Referencing a new study from Robert Half, which involved employee information derived from the Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers, O.C. Tanner’s vice president of business development Michelle Smith explained that “workers of all ages have a new appreciation for company stability when making career decisions.” The two essential workplace features employees desire are “working for a stable company and having job security.”
Peter Hart, CEO Rideau Recognition Solutions, adds his expertise on employee satisfaction to the article, “Given that 82 percent of employees voice that the recognition or praise they receive at work motivates them to improve their performance, and companies that recognize their people outperform companies that don’t by 30 to 40 percent, losing your top performers because of low job satisfaction just as the economy rebounds would be a great blow.”
The third expert, Rideau’s vice president Kevin Cronin, advised that “employee safety programs are also vital to a company's culture as any recognition program.” Simply having such a program in place isn’t enough, the workers need to be aware of it and all that’s involved to create a safe workplace environment. According to Cronin, this awareness should begin at the recruiting process. Establishing a strong safety program protocol can help build employee satisfaction and employee loyalty, along with a safe environment.
Reinforcing these trends, a recent study by MarketTools concluded that just about 50 percent of workers have contemplated looking for greener pastures, and 21 percent have already applied at other companies within the last six months. In a statement for the company, vice president of enterprise products Justin Schuster ties it all together: "A strong correlation exists between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, a company's revenue and profitability."