Chris J Powell

What do you want from work

Normally Friday’s are dedicated to Gadget but I could not pass this one up.  It is more focused on Personal Improvement but when I read the article from Business Insider I knew that this was a perfect time for me to weigh in on the age old battle between what we want as employees and what our employers think we want as employees.


The article by Nick Hughes really focuses on the disconnect between our bosses and our wants and needs.  I was asked this exact question about 2 years ago and I clearly stated that the monthly incentives that we receive as sales professionals; while appreciated, do little to motivate us.  The chart that was included with the article cleary shows that the biggest disconnect occurs between the employee’s top three choices and what the employer thinks they want from them.


Lets look at those top Three items today:


Full Appreciation for work done.

It really doesn’t matter if you dig ditches, pour coffee or make multi million dollar business deals appreciation matters and it matters alot.  Knowing that the value of what we do for the companies that we work for truly is appreciated goes a very long way and for myself means way more than a bonus or a raise.  The lack of sufficient atta boy’s can break morale faster than a pay cut and in my experience if their is recognition it is focused sporadically and with out direction or only focused on praising the one aspect of the job that is facing everyone in the organization.


I feel that I am very lucky to work where I do as I love to work hard, excede expectations and do more than is expected of me and for this I do get recognized, often.  It is afterall part of our core values and is promoted to every employee and manager in the company.


Feeling “in” on things.

Being disconnected from the decision making process is always a danger.  Not being engaged, not being appreciated leaves many employees feeling like nothing but a cog in the wheel with no real influence or opportunity to participate or assist in the success of the organization.  Many companies are looking to things like Steering Committees and Engagement Programs to assist with the grand reconnect with the “starving masses” but just as with the Appreciation…consistency is the message that must be conveyed…if you start it…continue it.


Again I am lucky to work where I do.  The recent addition of Human Resources core research to the services that we provide to IT Professionals mean that we have first hand access to the insights and assistance in the form of qualified and dedicated professionals building the best practices behind moving the bar…but even we can do better!


Sympathetic help on personal problems.

I realize that living the work / home balance is a challenge for many of us.  Technology has bridged the gap and for may of us have us constantly plugged in to the work we do, but having an employer who will be sympathetic to personal needs…that can go a long way to make anyone feel included in the work family.  This is all about Emotional Intelligence and Empathy within the Management team and the focus must always be to ensure that a connection to the staff is first and foremost.


I would like to site an example that to this day goes a long way to ensure my loyalty to my employer.  Shortly after joining the company nearly 3 years ago, we ran into some financial hardships and we found ourselves without electricity.  To proud to beg I tried to fight through the pain of not being able to come up with the reconnection charges when like a knight in shining armor, my director pulled me aside and asked me what was wrong.  15 minutes later he had secured a pay advance to assist me, kept the entire process low key and I will never forget the connection that was made that day.


Good Wages.

Why is the #5 item on the employee list the #1 item on the employer list?  Not sure how this could be so disconnected but then again the top three for employees are the bottom three for employers so even after nearly 150 years of Unions, Labor Unrest and a long standing disconnect between those that own and those that do…there is still a complete and total misunderstanding.


Now don’t get me wrong…I like money…but all things being equal, I would go back to making minimum wage if it was something that I truly loved to do before I would work at a job that had no income ceiling that I hated waking up in the morning to go to.  It all starts with the management of a organization and their connection to both the owners and the employees.  Listen to your staff and bring their ideas and needs forward.  Maybe just maybe…your workplace will be as good as my workplace!


Cheers and have a great day.


Chris J Powell

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