Nowadays, people no longer stay in their jobs for the money. They stay for the good experiences and their healthy work environment. But how do they define a good experience, and what kind of environment do they consider healthy?
We can get some ideas from the work satisfaction statistics. According to Qualtric’s latest Global Employee Pulse report, less than half (49%) of Singaporeans are satisfied with their current jobs.
And sure enough, salary has got nothing to do with the low satisfaction rates. Instead, they consider “confidence in their company’s senior leadership team” — among other things — the main driver for job satisfaction. Sadly, many Singaporean employees don’t experience this. In fact, Oracle found that 84% of Singaporeans trust robots more than their managers.
On the bright side, they think their managers are better than robots in some aspects. For one thing, robots can’t understand their emotions, coach them, and create a work culture, while a manager can.
Robots may be more intelligent than ever now, but they won’t go above and beyond to secure the confidence of their people. SMRT’s CEO Neo Kian Hong, for instance, gave up his car to rely on public transport and win back the public’s trust after the challenges the company experienced. Robots aren’t likely to do something similar, as they are programmed to gain things, not lose them.
While you don’t need to imitate Neo Kian Hong’s ways, you can use his leadership as an inspiration for improving the employee experience and your work environment’s health. Below are some ways to achieve such:
1. Listen to Your People
Millennials are an outspoken generation, making older business leaders think they are “entitled.” But that’s not true at all. Millennials are used to an environment where they have voices. People from previous generations, on the contrary, were raised to follow orders and to avoid questioning tradition.
Adapt to the change by creating multiple ways to listen to your people. Instead of dismissing their concerns or complaints, find out what causes them. Often, employees don’t raise issues because of entitlement. Rather, they find that it affects their work and morale. So use various ways to gather feedback and follow up your solutions with actions.
2. Offer Enriching Perks
Some companies think offering free beverages is beneficial enough, but that’s not what employees are looking for. While they appreciate the gesture, they seek perks that actually enrich their lives, like health insurance, unlimited paid time off, and flexible working hours. To find out the exact perks they want, ask them directly and don’t just assume.
3. Provide Career Development Opportunities
American Express chief learning officer Samantha Hammock believes that the future of work will value leadership and management skills above all else. So provide career development opportunities to your employees. Don’t let them stay stuck in one position for several years. You can offer to sponsor a work-study program or encourage them to pursue higher education. A stagnant career is another major reason for employee dissatisfaction, so don’t let it become an epidemic in your workplace.
4. Spruce Up Your Physical Environment
A well-designed workplace is essential to your people’s well-being. If you can’t be at peace in a chaotic, disorganized home, the effect is similar in a drab, cluttered workplace. It depletes good moods, positive energy, and productivity.
You don’t have to spend on a full-scale renovation to create a healthier environment. Just tackle the uninspiring details. Maybe it’s peeling paintwork, lack of natural light, or outdated furniture. The key is to make the environment lively. It will also liven up your bored and demotivated employees.
5. Hire a Great Team (and Let Go of the Toxic People)
Singaporean employees value personal relationships at work more than pay increments. Therefore, a great team that forges camaraderie and meaningful connections with each other will significantly boost your work environment’s health. They bond like a family but know when to be professional. It will take time to create a team like this, so you’d have to let go of several people in the process.
Don’t be afraid of weeding out the toxic people in your workplace. They’re the ones who spread gossip, promote envy and hate, and use dirty tactics to get into the good graces of their bosses. These toxic people prevent the competent ones from shining and antagonize their bosses for not giving them the recognition they think they deserve.
It’s impossible to create a perfect work environment, but you can make it healthy enough to be perfect for your team. As a result, your employees’ day-to-day experiences will be fun and fruitful, and they’ll cherish every opportunity and lesson you give them.