What Does it Take to Make Employees Happy?
In this “age of the employee,” what does it take to make workers happy? Getting a decent paycheck still tops the list, according to Adecco USA’s Best-in-Class Workforce Management Insights.
Adecco USA, in conjunction with Aberdeen Group, surveyed more than 500 C-Suite executives and found that 77% say that wages are the most important job factor for employees, beating out the No. 2 factor — health insurance — by nearly 28%. Less than half (49%) say health insurance offerings are most important, while 29% say offering 401(k) plans should top the list.
“Higher pay leads to higher retention,” the study says. “In addition, when you factor in lost productivity, OSHA costs, the costs of recruiting and training new hires and more, it’s also evident that the less you pay, the more you’ll spend on turnover costs.”
The survey also found that more than half of respondents offer health insurance and 401(k) packages to salaried employees, while 40% say they now also offer “softer” benefits, like flexible schedules. Among “best-in-class” companies, 80% offer health insurance and 66 percent offer 401(k) plans.
“The reasoning behind giving employees access to health care and other financial benefits is very specific,” the authors write. “Employees without health insurance or 401(k) plans are left to deal with the time, effort and stress of sourcing and managing those plans on their own, thus distracting them from their day jobs.”
Less than half of employers offer education courses to their employees, but 61% believe mentorships is important to employee happiness, according to the survey.
“Instead of providing structured education, employers are providing more opportunities through programs and management,” the study says. “This is why working education opportunities such as internship and apprenticeships are becoming more popular in identifying developing and upcoming talent.”
More employers are also finding that it’s not enough to provide mentorship programs, as employees, particularly millennials, are looking for career sponsorships for personal guidance along their career path.
“Special programs provide deeper insight into your workforce than standard education courses,” the study says. “The more a company is able to identify their employees’ pain points, the more they can address them head on — before those employees leave the company. “
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