A new study by the American Psychological Association shows that one in four workers does not trust their employer. About the same amount say they do not feel valued. These numbers negatively impact worker productivity and motivation and the company’s success but have stayed relatively the same year after year. It seems the solutions for workplace improvement are being ignored by many companies, says Dr. Noelle Nelson, career and workplace expert and author of Make More Money By Making Your Employees Happy (Amazon, $7.99).
“Some companies just don’t get the connection between treating their employees with respect and their bottom line,” says Nelson. “No matter how many studies come out saying that company management should listen to employees, respect their needs, offer them opportunities to advance and appreciate their good work, companies continue to take their employees for granted, demean them and regard them as dispensable. The crux of the matter is that companies that treat their employees with respect consistently return higher profits than those that don’t.” Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For" stock prices rose an average of 14 percent per year from 1998-2005, compared to 6 percent for the market overall. http://bit.ly/KwMd95.
Nelson says that while an attitude of disregard comes from the top down, immediate bosses often hold the key in making a difference in an employee’s work life. “An immediate boss has the ability to change the office work environment with just a few simple fixes,” explains Nelson. “Most of these changes cost nothing to implement. A boss just has to have a desire to create a better, more productive environment for employees.” Some of her suggestions include:
--Communicate employee duties and responsibilities clearly so workers know what is expected
of them. You can’t live up to what you don’t know.
--Make sure your employees have the tools, training and sufficient time to accomplish their
tasks and meet company goals. Few things make employees feel more unappreciated, frustrated and
unhappy as not having the appropriate resources for their job.
--When an employee has a problem with their job, set your employee up for success by valuing their efforts to do better, not berating them for the failure.
--An employee should never be surprised by a year-end review. All along the year, employees should receive regular, frequent, targeted feedback on their work.
--Acknowledging employees doing something right is a far more successful path to work excellence, than continually pointing out what they are doing wrong.
“Scores of workplace experts and psychologists have offered these suggestions for years, yet horror stories about bad bosses and horrible workplaces still fill websites and blogs,” says Nelson. “The question is why? Most likely, dysfunctional businesses and bosses just don’t care enough to make the effort to improve. Unfortunately, this means unhealthy behavior and attitudes in the workplace will remain until the economic price becomes too high to ignore.”