Job Tips

Bosses, show staff your appreciation

It's not just the job and the pay that keep employees happy at work.

The Straits Times - September 10, 2012
Bosses, show staff your appreciation

MIA ASKED: I've lost focus and interest in the job and feel snubbed. My bosses do not engage the rest of the staff. What can employers do to connect with us?

"Punjab!" yells the cantankerous news anchor Will McAvoy in HBO's The Newsroom across the floor to the chap who runs his blog, Neal Sampat, played by Dev Patel, famed for his role in Slumdog Millionaire.

Sampat is the one guy of colour in the newsroom, yet his name escapes Will, played by Jeff Daniels.

Will is a condescending boss with no interest in remembering the names of his team members, let alone engaging them.

That may well be a parody for the lack of employer-employee engagement across many organisations and corporations in the world today.

There is data to prove that in the narrow lens of boosting the bottom line, this "soft stuff" - rapport between employer and employee - is easily forsaken.

Towers Watson's study on global workforces released last month reveals that employee engagement is "fragile" and "particularly disturbing", with only 35 per cent of them highly engaged.

Singapore may be facing the biggest dilemma - the study discovered that employees here feel far less engaged and loyal to their employers compared with their counterparts elsewhere.

Employees are looking for strong leadership from their senior managers, says Towers Watson's managing director of South-east Asia, Mr Scott Burnett.

This includes building a shared vision around a common cause, holding people accountable for results and rewarding high performers, he says.

Simply put, three things - give staff the right task, pay them fairly and appreciate them. Global giants pay great attention to these details.

If you're a snubbed employee, Fortune's pick of top firms to work for in 2012 could make you head for the door - in a jiffy.

Google's employees have access to 25 company cafes, where they can eat for free. SAS Institute subsidises child care and provides unlimited sick time with a free health-care centre.

If you're an employee of NuStar Energy and faced with a crisis, don't fret - feel free to use the corporate jet for speedy arrival at the crisis scene.

And then there are the little things. Microsoft has an organic spa for its weary workers. Employees of a huge food store can enrol free for a quit-smoking plan.

Served more than a year at the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts? You could ask to move to the Maldives, Budapest, Bora Bora or any of the 35 countries the luxury hotel has a presence in.

You still there?