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Nine things employees want from their employers, now

Business owners take note: recognition and improved work/life balance are the keys to employee retention, or so says a new poll which asked employees what they most want from their business – right now.

Some 77 percent of employees would consider leaving if they aren’t recognised for their contributions, a Redballoon survey found, with one in four already actively seeking a new job or intending to in the next three months.

Here are the top nine things employees want to see improved in their business right now:

  1. Work/life balance (15 percent)
  2. Rewards and recognition (12 percent)
  3. Systems and processes (12 percent)
  4. Communication (9 percent)
  5. Career progression (9 percent)
  6. Training and development (8 percent)
  7. Culture (7 percent)
  8. Leadership/senior management (5 percent)
  9. Their boss (4 percent)

According to RedBalloon corporate general manager Matt Geraghty retention is one of the biggest issues facing businesses right now and with the cost to replace someone estimated at 150 percent of their salary, the ROI of a successful reward and recognition program is clear.

“In tough economic times, it’s your people that will get you through, and if businesses invest in and show their employees appreciation now, they’ll stay for the long term, “Geraghty said.

Geraghty believes it’s unrealistic for employees to expect significant raises in the current economic climate, but with some praise and an effective rewards and recognition program business owners can help employees to feel valued and motivated for a fraction of the cost of increased pay packets.

According to the survey, employees were most likely to want some thanks from their managers, followed by recognition from their peers. Just a fraction wanted recognition from a company CEO.

Recognition is most important to Generation Y, with 86 percent prepared to leave an organisation due to lack of this, compared with 77 percent of Generation X and 63 percent of Baby Boomers.

Geraghty said it’s not just the 42 per cent of businesses that don’t have a rewards or recognition program that should be worried their workers will walk, as the report also found employees are five times more likely to leave a business they think the program is a poor one.

“Any acknowledgement needs to be authentic, personal and relevant to a specific activity. Saying thanks and ‘you’re a good bloke’ is not enough. People need to know what they did specifically that contributed to a business result,” Geraghty added.