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Multiple studies indicate that while salaries are not the biggest motivator for an employee, everyone wants to be paid what they are worth.

I started training a five star hotel, this week. It has seen some of the most important dignitaries, musicians, sporting icons, and personalities in the world choosing it at their preferred venue.

While it is still an iconic spot, over the past twenty years, it has had to deal with fierce competition and changing customer preferences.

I took the project on because I firmly believe that the hotel has a tremendous value proposition, and it is staffed by a dedicated team of professionals.

The general manager is a warm, affable, capable, and leader, whose no frills leadership style augers well for its rejuvenation.

In my programme, I really worked hard to try and connect the participants to why they are at the forefront of the transformation of the hotel to its heyday.

To achieve my objectives of getting everyone on board, I focused on discussing some truths about what employers and employees really want from each other.

The ideas I shared with them, will certainly help you sort out any transitional issues in your company.

What do employers want?

To understand this, I used a recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers in the United States that asked employers to identify the most important attributes that they are looking for in new hires.

The biggest quality that any employer is looking for is problem-solving skills. In the survey, 82.9% importance was given to this.

This means that if you want to be valuable to your employer, make this a priority and become solution oriented. This trait also helps you build and work in teams, more effectively.

The next thing I discussed with the participants was how to increase and consolidate their communication skills. The research shows that the ability to communicate effectively is valued at 80.3%.

In modern businesses, you will spend time writing emails, reports, and all manner of communiqués.

Hone your writing skills because your employer really needs this, and they will place a huge emphasis on you really understanding how to do this, well.

I then asked the participants in my programme to considered ideas on personal leadership.

When you show proficiency in your ability to guide yourself or your team towards meeting agreed goals; you will become a real asset to your company. This also means that you exhibit a strong work ethic; a definite positive in turning things around.

During the programme, I also had the opportunity to discuss with the general manager of the hotel, and a few senior managers thoughts on what their employees might want from them.

Understanding these ideas will certainly help you, if you a lead a team that needs the right motivation to put your business back on a growth trajectory.

I recommend that anyone in a leadership position pay close attention to these suggestions below, because knowing what your employees might actually need, and acting on them constructively, produces results.

Multiple studies indicate that while salaries are not the biggest motivator for an employee, everyone wants to be paid what they are worth. So, you must always know the market rates for the jobs you have on offer, and pay your team properly.

Be transparent with the team on what you are willing to pay, in return for them fulfilling your expectations.

Aspirational earning is a motivating tool, so declare what everyone is being paid, and if there is a wage disparity, be clear why you choose to pay someone more. The only acceptable justification is if you can show clearly that the people you pay more, actually do and deserve more.

Proper care in the form of a solid benefits package also figures very high on the wish list of employees.

For instance, a survey done by Harris Polls revealed that employees ranked health insurance as the highest benefit they need. It’s undoubtedly an investment worth making to incentivise your team.

In my training programme, I also gathered that the staff really needed and demanded work-life balance, and it didn’t really surprise me when I heard this. A Deloitte’s global survey on employee needs placed this almost on par with their salary.

So, if you want your team to perform at the optimum levels you expect them to, you must also offer them the appropriate opportunities for recreation and a life outside their work.

The most important thing I worked out from the training programme was that many people in organisation had no clear drive. They seemed to be crying out for an infusion of purpose at work.

While employees might see their salary as being vital, leaders must understand that everyone performs so much more conscientiously when their work-life is instilled with a sense of purpose.

For example, research by Rutgers University show that 50% of millennials would take a pay cut for work that is socially responsible, and places emphasis on having a positive impact on society.

It is vital for both employers and employees to understand what is needed to turn a company around.

Do you know what is needed?

Shankar R. Santhiram is managing consultant and executive leadership coach at EQTD Consulting. He is also the author of the national bestseller “So, You Want To Get Promoted?”

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