What employees really want

Last month, we noted that building staff morale and motivation is a process that begins by addressing employees` job-related needs. The purpose is to create an environment that is so satisfying, employees will want - really want - to do their very best. Work that is interesting and challenging, for example, is an important "need."

Apr 1st, 1997

What employees `really want`

Bob Levoy

Last month, we noted that building staff morale and motivation is a process that begins by addressing employees` job-related needs. The purpose is to create an environment that is so satisfying, employees will want - really want - to do their very best. Work that is interesting and challenging, for example, is an important "need."

Other common (though not universal) job-related needs include:

- Having a say in matters pertaining to work. Ask employees for their input. Involve them in decisions that affect their jobs. Nothing is more flattering or generates greater buy-in than being asked for one`s opinion. It`s the key to "participative management."

Action steps: Seek your employees` opinions about changes in office decor, policies and personnel. Encourage upward communication. Allow qualified personnel to recommend or buy outright, needed office equipment or items they use on a regular basis. Empower staff members to bend office policies to accommodate a patient or "make things right" in a mishandled situation.

- Autonomy. Today`s employees also indicate a strong preference to be left alone. They want to solve their own work-related problems and be accountable for the results. In a recent study of over 1,000 Americans aged 25 to 49, nearly 79 percent said "independent on the job" was about as important as money in their choice of jobs. Some said more so.

Action steps: Hire the right people for the job. Give them the training to do a good job; and leave them alone. The benefit of "letting go" (not abdicating your supervisory responsibilities, just loosening the reins a little) is that your management style will be more nurturing, satisfying and motivational to employees with a need for autonomy.

Bob Levoy is a marketing consultant, seminar speaker and writer based in Roslyn, NY. His new book, "101 Secrets of a High-Performance Dental Practice," will be published by PennWell Books, (800) 752-9764, this month.

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