Pride drives employee satisfaction more than pay

A whitepaper entitled, “2019 Fortune 100 Best Trends: Employee Experience at the Best Workplaces in America” references employee pride over pay or perks. Notes the report,

“What is the strongest driver of overall satisfaction for employees? Most assume it’s the pay, perks or personal recognition, but our research tells a different story. The most important factor is employees’ pride in their company and the work they do. Employees with this experience are 20x more likely to think their company is a great place to work.”

The resulting payoff is multifaceted. Great Place To Work® CEO Michael Bush addresses stellar corporate performers on LinkedIn:

“You’ve created one of the world’s most innovative workplace cultures. More than 90% of your workforce feels welcomed, inspired, cared for, and heard. They feel respected and treated like people, not just employees…More than 92% of your employees say they want to work in your organization for a long time…your financial results are among the best in your industry. You’ve proven that treating people like family is better for business, better for people and better for the world.”

Given the solid win-win-win logic of treating employees well and making companies and the country winners, it’s hard to fathom that so much of the US workforce is on the other side of the fence. According to the whitepaper,

“While no one sets out to create a company full of unhappy employees, the sad fact is that most people in the United States don’t enjoy their jobs…only 58% of employees nationwide say their company is a great place to work. But for employees that work at the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®, it’s a very different story…Employees at the 100 Best are highly motivated compared to the average U.S. employee, with 84% of them saying people look forward to going to work, compared to just 42% of employees in the U.S. workforce.”

The whitepaper adds that the 2019 themes for the 100 Best Companies are fairness, trustworthy management and innovation.

None of this is new news. The line between old-style oppression and empowered workplaces is clearly drawn. Everyone wins when it’s done right.

So, why do so many companies do it wrong? Three all-too-familiar themes emerge: greed, habit and zero-sum-game thinking.

Owners are greedy, and want to cut corners anywhere they can to establish a more positive bottom line. Habits are hard to break once they become entrenched. And the zero-sum-game thinking that requires a winner and a loser comes into play big time. For power-mongers, winning is not enough. Somebody has to lose to round out the experience.

Slowly, the world is evolving to more enlightened thinking with respect to employees. Hopefully, evolution will become revolution as adoption speeds up—and more companies adopt win-win-win policies and practices.

Author Gregg Braden, referenced by Deepak Chopra, MD as a “rare blend of scientist, visionary and scholar,” has said that we moved out of an age of competition into an age of cooperation in 2012. He further stated that the first stages of this new age would be messy and chaotic as everything gets sorted out.

Methinks he’s right on target.

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Which is more important—customers or employees?

That’s a chicken-and-egg question, because both are integral to a successful business. However, too many companies view employees as chattel— disregarding the important contribution they make and the ways to motivate them to perform better. Happy, fulfilled employees directly link to stellar customer service. They should be viewed and treated as golden assets to optimize their interactions with customers and other stakeholders.

Mark Lusky

Mark Lusky is a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience.

Author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage,  Mark (aka The Happy Curmudgeon) is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm.

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