Business Research and the Need for a Caring Environment
A 2010 Conference Board poll of 5000 households found that “only 45 percent of those surveyed say they are satisfied with their jobs, down from 61.1 percent in 1987,” a long term downward trend that “could spell trouble for the overall engagement of U.S. employees and ultimately employee productivity.”
It’s fundamental: people are the key to a business’s success. You simply can’t have a successful business when employees feel dissatisfied, unappreciated, and unmotivated.
If you take a look at the Gallop research done for First Break All the Rules (1999) you see some interesting data. They developed 12 specific questions for employees and rated their companies on four business outcomes: productivity, profitability, retention, or customer satisfaction. They found that of all the questions they asked–when answered in the affirmative—correlated with companies that performed highly in at least one of those four outcomes. Those questions were:
1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
5. Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person?
6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
8. Does the missions/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?
9. Are my coworkers committed to doing quality work?
10. Do I have a best friend at work?
11. In the last six months, have I talked with someone about my progress?
12. At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
You can see that at least six of the questions are directly linked to managers making their employees feel valued, cared about, or paid attention to in the work environment. This data speaks for itself. Making employees feel cared for is not just a nice thing to do; it is an essential ingredient in a successful company.
Tom DeMaio, PhD