Employees put forth a lot of effort in order to meet their boss’s expectations. So, it’s only fair that we strive to meet the expectations of our employees — and, believe me, they have them.
In a recent PsychTest.com survey of 871 workers, 43 percent of employees reported that they would leave their organization for a “better opportunity.” And with 28 percent having already changed jobs for that very reason, it’s time to take employees’ workplace expectations into account.
Here are four data-backed examples of what employees expect from their workplace or boss, and how to meet — and exceed — those expectations:
Expectation #1: A work environment based on open communication.
Reality: Employees aren’t satisfied with the quality of communication within their companies.
In fact, a recent 15Five survey of more than 1,000 workers nationwide found that only 15 percent of employees are satisfied with the level of communication at their company. The same survey also showed that 81 percent of employees would rather join a company that values “open communication” than one that offers what we typically think of as “fun” perks: happy hours, free food, a game room, and the like.
How to meet (or exceed): Maintain a strong sense of transparency with employees. Start by being visible and available at work. Employees will be much more likely to approach you with comments, questions, or ideas if they feel that you’re readily accessible and willing to listen.
Expectation #2: More support when it comes to selecting their benefits.
Reality: Employees are often left without the proper resources they need to make informed decisions when it comes to their benefits.
This reality has caused 90 percent of employees to choose the same benefits year after year, and many admit they don’t spend much time researching their benefits options, according to the 2015 Aflac WorkForces Report on open enrollment.
With nearly 90 percent of employees expecting more decision-making tools and support when it comes to selecting their benefits, it’s obvious the traditional open enrollment process is flawed.
How to meet (or exceed): Provide employees with plenty of educational resources to help them make smart decisions concerning their benefits. What resources do employees find the most helpful? According to the Aflac report mentioned earlier, employees want:
- Summary of your previous year’s medical claims and expenses (66 percent)
- Websites or other online sources of information (65 percent)
- Interactive, online tools to help make coverage decisions (64 percent)
- Opportunity to speak with representatives from your providers (58 percent)
To take it a step further, consider automating benefits enrollment to make the enrollment process more enjoyable for both you and employees.
Expectation #3: A better sense of work-life balance.
Reality: Employers tend to leave work-life balance up to the employee.
Virgin Pulse’s latest survey of more than 1,000 full-time employees in the U.S. and Canada revealed that supporting work-life balance was ranked as the No. 1 way companies can show employees they care. But, 40 percent of employees said they wished their employer cared more about their work-life balance.
How to meet (or exceed): You can provide better work-life balance to employees by embracing alternatives to the traditional 9-to-5 workday.
One alternative is to allow employees to work outside of the office one day a week, giving them the opportunity to work from the comfort of their home or their favorite coffee shop. Alternatively, consider allowing employees to design their own work schedule — after all, not every employee works best within the conventional 9-to-5 workday.
Expectation #4: Technology that enables them to work from anywhere.
Reality: Some companies are still relying on outdated technology that restricts employees to the office.
As technology continues to advance, it’s only natural for employees to expect to see that tech being used in the workplace. Specifically, employees want to use more technology that enables them to work from anywhere, according to a newly released survey of 1,000 U.S. employees by Jive Software.
And 72 percent of respondents believe their company could do a better job at providing technology that enables flexibility.
How to meet (or exceed): Embrace the cloud. Cloud-based software is designed to make it easy for employees to work from anywhere, at any time. By moving common business functions to the cloud, employees can work from devices — and environments — they’re most comfortable with.
Employees aren’t asking for a lot. And, really, what they are asking for benefits the entire company: It contributes to more efficient work processes and happier employees who will want to stick around. In the end, if you invest in your employees, they’ll invest in you.
What are some other things employees have come to expect from their workplace or boss? Let us know in the comments below!
Matt Straz is founder and CEO of Namely (www.namely.com), the all-in-one HR, payroll, and benefits platform built for today’s workplace. Namely, his third startup, closed its Series C round of funding in June of 2015. Headquartered in New York City, Namely helps innovative organizations everywhere build engaging company cultures and manage everything HR. Matt is a weekly contributor to Entrepreneur and frequently writes for several other publications about human resources, startups, and technology. Follow him on Twitter: @mattstraz.