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More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of employees would consider leaving their organisation if they weren’t recognised for their contribution, and one in four are already actively seeking a new job or intend to in the next three months according to the more than 4000 people who responded to the recent RedBalloon for Corporate survey.

Managers receiving the bulk of the criticism, with 44 per cent rated “very poor”, “poor” or just “satisfactory” at delivering praise; three quarters of employees are starved of recognition, receiving it only monthly, quarterly or once a year; and 11 per cent receiving no praise at all.

Surely it is not that hard – we then asked the respondents what they would like to see improved in their business right now

Top things employees want to see improved in their business right now

  1. 20% pay, benefits and conditions – This does not always have to be about the dollars – some of the simplest things can make a difference, especialy when it comes to work place perks. I remember once we had a ‘game’ at RedBalloon that if we achieved a certain business outcome I would buy lunch for the team for a week. Everyone focussed, we got the outcome and for the sake of not much money everyone in the business ate together for a whole week. The added benefit of people really connecting with each other was well worth the relatively small investment
  2. 15% work-life balance – Know your people and how they like to work – it may simply mean that someone would prefer to start at 7.00am and leave at 3.00 to pick up children or catch a wave… This works for us as we are better able to serve our NZ customers when we have people at different hours in the office.
  3. 12% rewards and recognition – Who did you thank authentically today? What about taking pen to paper and writing a card. Do it every day… and make someone’s day.
  4. 12% systems and processes – no one likes to see that their efforts are wasted; that is why we use ‘Love Loath’ lists at RedBalloon – if people are able to say what they hate about there job – at least there is some chance that you could acknowledge it and improve on it.
  5. 9% communication – Better to over communicate than say nothing. Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves – so the least you can do is let them in to the vision, strategy and performance of the business. If the team really know what is going on they can better contribute. Communicate until they say ‘enough already’.
  6. 9% career progression – Sometimes in smaller organizations it is hard to give internal career progression – but if we be real with people and assist them in understanding what sort of experience they will need to get where they want to go – you will have a relationship built on mutual trust – and shared purpose.
  7. 8% training and development – it is not just about technical skills – but also about broadening people’s horizons – so that they can be introduced to ideas they may not have considered before. You never know where innovation might come from.
  8. 7% culture – Values Values Values – do I need to say any more!. Culture comes from everyone and shared values is the basis for that – everyone is an equal participant.
  9. 5% leadership/senior management – as the leadership team goes so goes the rest of the organization… so you best ensure that each leader is singing from the same song book – and is as able as any other leader to articulate the vision and what the enterprise stands for.
  10. 4% my boss – Sometimes they need to be set free… there are plenty of tools to help review the effectiveness of managers, and given that engagement is dependent on direct supervisors – it is essential to stay focused on consistent management. Sometimes managers are better at managing up – you need to really look at the impact each individual has… there are systems, programs and processes to help.

Quite frankly with these ten tips – all executed by next year when we do the similar survey I expect to see massively different results! Done – the work places of Australia are transformed forever and we have created the greatest employers on the planet. It will take a little effort – but I’m sure as a nation we can pull it off. Let’s go!

Reader Interactions


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