Skip to main content

What Really Makes Employees Happy?

By July 7, 2023July 19th, 2023Employee Engagement, HR

Employees celebrating a win

In a tight job market, it’s important to retain employees. In addition to benefits and compensation, other intangible factors can affect whether an employee stays or leaves.

I’ve studied the topic of employee engagement for some time now. When clients ask me about how to effectively retain employees, I’ve found the insights from 12: The Elements of Great Managing, by Rodd Wagner and James K. Harter, Ph.D. to be quite helpful. Looking at data for FORTUNE 500 companies, the authors show how employee responses to 12 simple statements can reveal how connected they feel to their employer and their work life.

The 12 Elements
There are 12 needs that managers can meet to improve employees’ productivity and engagement. These needs are articulated in the following statements:

  1. I know what is expected of me at work.
  2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
  8. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
  9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
  10. I have a best friend at work.
  11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

Effectively managing a company’s human resources requires more than hiring qualified people to “do a job.”

You can improve employee retention by adjusting your management practices to include:

  • Better training
  • Effective devices, tools and processes for performing work
  • Opportunities for employee recognition and encouragement
  • Paths for development and growth
  • Regular solicitation of feedback

I encourage you to read 12: The Elements of Great Managing then give me a call to discuss how your business can increase employee engagement.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.