I have had an opportunity to interact with a number of employees from various organisations with a keen interest of finding out from them the issues that matter most to them in their work place. Is it the salary or the international nature of an organisation or is it the type of management or the staff benefits? The issues that matter to employees vary from employee to employee and from one organisation to another. The issues may also be influenced by age and gender of an employee. For example some issues that matter to a 40 year employee may not matter to a 24 year employee. I have however over time noted that the following issues tend to matter to all employees irrespective of place of work, age and gender;
Positive attitude by the organisation
I have noted most employees love working with organisations that promote a positive attitude or a bright approach towards various organisation and life situations. The organisations with a positive attitude tend to help employees adjust quite easily to various organisation challenges and situations. The positive attitude in an organisation also enhances the capacity of employees to overcome organisation and life challenges and to avoid situations of negative thinking. Employees therefore prefer to work with organisations that promote a positive attitude towards various life situations. They hate working in organisations that promote negative attitude towards various life situations.
The ability of staff to deliver on their work assigned to them to the best of the abilities will very much depend on how they are supervised and helped during the performance of their work. Human beings are not like robots and hence have to be treated like human being by the supervisors. Some supervisors quite often forget their responsibility of being available to guide or show employees on how to overcome the challenges they face during the execution of their work. There is also a tendency among some supervisors not to care so much about guiding or showing employees under their supervision on how to overcome challenges at work on the pretext that no one guided them when they were in the same position. Employees are therefore left to swim dangerously on their own without any close supervision. Some supervisors have preconceived ideas that employees are lazy unless they are handled with an iron hand. It important to appreciate that employees serve the most vital part of the business that is customers. The way they do their work can either attract or chase away customers from the organisation. Many employees therefore do not like working with organisation that have supervisors that are not helpful.
Employees spend most of the good part of the day at their work places. The work places can either be heaven or hell for employees if no adequate effort is put in place by management to create a conducive working environment. There are many irritating issues of housekeeping nature that prevent employees from performing at the maximum level. The common irritating issues include the following among others;
- Dirty toilets and work environment,
- Lack of adequate communication equipment,
- Lack of equipment to support maximum output
- Inadequate tea and drinking water
- Inadequate office supplies
- Unbecoming behaviour of others in the office
Employees are not involved in planning
In some organisations, employees are not involved in identifying challenges and opportunities and planning how to move forward. They are only involved at the execution level after a small trusted team has done the rest. To some organisations employees are hired only to execute what they are told to do and nothing more. In these organisations, employees are not expected to raise any issues during the execution of the work assigned to them. It is extremely difficult for employees to perform at the optimum level if they do not have any idea about the current state of an organisation including where it wants to go and its plan to move from its current state to where it wants to go. They do not do their work with the mind and soul because they are not involved in the planning.
Many employees join organisations not to help the organisation achieve their mission but to advance their career mission. Potential employees are looking for opportunities for training in order to enhance their ability to achieve their mission. The concern of employers towards the career progression of the employees is a big issue to employees that should not be overlooked.
Feeling of being valued
There are a number of organisations that do not put a value tag on the employees apart from the employees being part of the processes which deliver the results. To these organisations, the employees just exist to do what they are told and not to think. There is a need for organisations to appreciate the value in an organisation. Employees provide a vital link between the organisation and the outside world that can be provided by employees. The way they represent the organisation to the outside world matters a lot towards its success. The employees must therefore feel that they are valued and appreciated by their employer in order for them to perform at the optimum level.
John Muhaise Bikalemesa
Director: Big Drum Advisory Services Limited