The employer’s wishlist

We often read about how an employer can attract and retain motivated and happy staff. In fact, many organisations spend a fortune on conducting culture and engagement surveys with their employees every year to find the answers to this conundrum. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of employee opinion surveys, information from surveys underpins relevant HR strategies, but I don’t often read about what makes an ideal employee. What is an employer’s wishlist when it comes to creating the ideal workplace full of happy, productive and low maintenance employees?

Most organisations have job descriptions and selection criteria which they use for recruitment and performance appraisals, but how many employers have a secret wishlist of the perfect employee? Imagine if we could log onto e-bay and buy this perfect employee, what would they look like?
Well I have asked around and this is what I heard:
  • Low maintenance employees – employees who are self motivated and don’t rely on fruit baskets, massages and free drinks to come to work and do a good job.
  • People that genuinely like and respect their boss and are prepared to give them a fair go.
  • Employees that are actually ‘turned on’ by KPI’s, targets and goals.
  • People with an ‘owner’ mentality who think and behave like they own the business.
  • People who make decisions as if it was their money they were spending.
  • People that don’t have the word ‘can’t’ in their vocabulary.
  • Employees that hate gossip, bullying and general bad behavior.
  • People that are good at communicating ‘up’ to their manager and give them the full story, all the information, and don’t hold back.
  • Employees that speak up and don’t shut up and come forth with their ideas and suggestions.
  • People who step up when times are tough.
  • Employees that give as well as take.
    The list is endless, as it would be if I asked employees the same questions about their ideal employer. However, I wonder if we started conducting some more employer surveys asking CEOs to describe their ideal employee and we publicised the findings in every management magazine and newspaper, would it contribute to a more harmonious relationship between employers and employees?

    Do you think employees really know what employers want?

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