Regardless of industry, all organizations need people
Without people, no business would exist. Ultimately, people are the consumers of every product and service, including the most obscure technology. Even in business-to-business sales, people make decisions about what to purchase and when.
All successful companies revolve around human needs and the humans who deliver the products and services that meet those needs.
Employees are people too
Every employee in your organization is responsible either directly or indirectly for delivering your products and services. Employees are attracted to and stay with companies that respect their contributions to the mission of the organization, their contributions to their local communities and their desire for career growth while maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
What do employees need?
Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review asked about 20,000 workers a series of questions about their basic needs. Their research identified work’s core needs as:
- Opportunity — to move between work and rest
- Emotional — to feel emotionally valued
- Mental — to have the opportunity for focused work and self-expression
- Spiritual — to feel that what they did had purpose or meaning
A significant percentage of the respondents felt their current employer did not meet one of their core needs — not one.
Without a clear understanding of the total cost to replace an employee, it is easy to consider employee benefits and talent development as luxury expenses — as opposed to investments that deliver a competitive advantage. They usually more than pay for themselves by reducing future turnover and opportunity costs.
Each organization should calculate their own numbers, but research shows a general rule of thumb is to expect turnover costs to be about 50% of annual compensation for an entry-level person, 125% for a mid-level person, and 200% for a senior-level person.
In this edition of Northwest Indiana Business Magazine, we offer several articles to help our readers anticipate employee needs. These efforts are in line with the Northwest Indiana Forum’s Ignite the Region business plan. Its talent goal states: “Expand the talent assets of NWI and strengthen connections to the Region’s employers.”
The more businesses focus on meeting the needs of their employees, the more likely their employees are to be engaged, loyal, satisfied and energized at work. That result translates into improvements in most key performance measures, including productivity, customer satisfaction, safety and attendance. And those are results worth investing in.
With unemployment running at near-record lows, organizations are competing for great talent. Talk to your employees, and find out what they need within reason to make their work situation the best possible. If everyone is set up to succeed, it's a win-win for all.