What breeds loyalty to a job? It’s not all about the money
I just did a class on this topic and saw this article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune by Harvey Mackey. I thought it was worth repeating here. Duane
By Harvey Mackey
I’m having a fabulous time on a tour promoting “Use Your Head To Get Your Foot in the Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You.” I’ve met folks with so many stories that I could write another book on the challenges of today’s job market.
Those who’ve lost jobs are eager to get back to work — to bring their skill sets and experience and prove their worth.
Those whose jobs are secure for now but are looking to move on have different concerns. They’re grateful to be employed but are ready to find new challenges or use their abilities elsewhere.
A common theme is this: It’s not all about the money.
Naturally, job hunters expect to be able to pay their bills and maybe have a little left over. But this recession has made many re-evaluate their requirements in taking a new job, and very high on the list is job satisfaction. Doing what you love and what you’re good at seems to trump a bigger paycheck.
What breeds loyalty to a company? Why keep working for an organization even when there are other opportunities? Several themes emerged:
•Professional development. Employees who have the chance to learn new skills are far more likely to stick around. It’s the top reason people give for staying with a group. In this climate of tight budgets, companies offer fewer education benefits. But smart ones promote mentoring within their walls, pairing experience with ambition and developing employees at all stages of their careers.
•Coaching and feedback. Smart managers understand that every employee wants to feel like their contributions are being noticed. Regular reporting or feedback sessions can be brief but are critical to job satisfaction — even when feedback is less than glowing.
Positive work environment. Whether it’s a factory floor or a corner office, the surroundings and the co-workers influence a big chunk of job satisfaction. Managers need to keep the work flowing; a constructive approach keeps morale up. So does a little fun every now and then. Birthday celebrations and employee recognition needn’t be elaborate, but a little stroke goes a long way.
•Good bosses. The fact is that people don’t really leave jobs, they leave bosses. A great boss provides all of the above, plus takes an appropriate interest in the employee as a person. Consider what happens when a favorite boss leaves the company: an exodus. People who seemed to be happy with their jobs resigned to follow the leader.
When you interview, often one of the last subjects that comes up is salary. It’s possible to determine a salary range before you start the process, using the going rates in the industry. I always counsel job hunters not to base their decisions solely on the paycheck.
If you take a permanent job merely for the compensation, I’m willing to bet that your job satisfaction will be on the low end of the scale and your frustration will be off the charts. But if it’s a job you love, and you prove your value to the company, chances are the money will follow.
Mackay’s Moral: Money talks, but it shouldn’t have the final say.