It seems recently what people in the workforce are looking for in regards to job satisfaction has changed. What I’ve learned over the years is that it’s not necessarily the wages or the fringe benefits that makes an employee loyal to a company. So what is it that makes an employee loyal? I don’t claim to be an expert by any means but I’ve often asked this question of long standing employees not only in my work place but in interview situations as well. What I’ve learned is that there seems to be a common response. “I feel valued and I really enjoyed the people that I work with; that’s why I stay.” What I’ve also learned from these colleagues/employees is that when it all comes down to it, it really is the little things at work that make a big difference.

I am not a morning person, I have never claimed to be and usually it’s best to talk to me after I’ve had a coffee. I never thought anything of it having worked with non morning people my whole career. One day, during a “what’s important to you conversation” a newer colleague of mine mentioned to me that it really bothered her that I didn’t make the effort to go into her office to say good morning first thing every day. She let me know that it made her feel like she didn’t matter. I realised that I had never thought about it from her perspective and changed my behaviour immediately as that was never my intention. From that day forward I made the effort to have a five minute chat “while” I was drinking my coffee and I have to admit that the benefits of this small change were highly beneficial to the team culture. Together we worked better as a team, accomplished more and learned how to interact with each other to get the best results possible. Can you imagine the consequences if I hadn’t made this change? We would have lost an excellent team member, one we would have struggled to live without.

So I challenge the employers and employees out there to find out “What’s important” to your colleagues, employees or the person sitting next to you and make the little changes. It’s the little changes that make the big differences to increasing productively, motivation and employee satisfaction. After all a happy workforce is a productive workforce.

Madelaine Molinari – Consultant

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