And what do they really want?
There are various reports that say that employees are unhappy at work, and more often then not they blame their organisation for it. e.g. a report by Forbes say that 52.9% people are unhappy at work, another report says that 57% people would not recommend their organisations as a good place to work.
Organisations are at their wits end and try all sorts of means to keep the employees happy. Various interventions are conducted to find out what the employees really want. People who leave generally give reasons like bad boss, low salary or unsatisfactory ratings etc. But is it all that there is.
As per a study done in one of the universities abroad, people seldom know what they want. Interestingly speed dating was used in this experiment. a group of 10 guys and 10 girls got down to spend around 4 minutes with each prospective partner and then gave their choices. Now the catch was that before the exercise each participant wrote down the qualities they are looking for in their prospective partner and then speed dated. Surprisingly when these qualities written earlier were matched with the qualities of their chosen partners, they did not match at all.
All of us think we know what we want, but actually what we think we want is a mixture of so many variables that mostly we don't even know what we want.
So in a corporate setting employees might say that they want the corner office or the big project or bigger salary and so on but as per research what they really want is Connectivity and Meaning. They want fulfilling relationships at work and a job which gives some meaning to their life. Yes money and status is a want but it comes way down the list.
So how to do it, simple measures like having a long table at lunch so that employees get a chance to interact offline, spending more time with your subordinates and colleagues asking them about their personal life etc, highlighting how their work contributes in making the world a better place, go a long way towards achieving this.