"Some businesses erroneously think they can make the most profits by squeezing everything they can from employees," explains Nelson. "As soon as the job market improves, expect to see a mass exit of workers from those companies that underappreciate their employees to companies with a reputation of employee appreciation. It's no surprise that Fortune's '100 Best Companies to Work For' attract the best workers, have increased employee retention rates, and their more friendly work environment helps significantly increase employee productivity. This is a bottom line issue--unhappy workers impact profits."
How disgruntled are workers today? According to The Conference Board's "Employment Satisfaction Survey" released June 27, 2012, which interviewed workers in Fall 2011, less than half (47.2 percent) are satisfied with their jobs. The last time the majority of American were happy at work was in 2005 (52.1 percent). Job satisfaction was 60.1 percent in 1987.
A Mercer survey last year found that almost one out of three American workers were considering leaving their job, up from 23 percent six years prior, and 21 percent have a negative view of their employer. The international outplacement consulting firm survey indicated that younger workers are most anxious to leave their current job if the opportunity arises.
"Typically, somewhere during the first four to six months the eagerness and desire of most employees wane," says Nelson "Employees will only self-sustain their enthusiasm for the work a limited amount of time. After that, in the absence of feeling appreciated by management--that their work matters, that they matter--employees adopt the 'whatever' attitude. The job becomes 'just a job.'"
Nelson offers these suggestions for employers who want to avoid worker burnout and enhance company loyalty.
--Communicate employee duties and responsibilities clearly so workers know what is expected of them. You can’t live up to what you don’t know.
--Make sure your employees have the tools, training and sufficient time to accomplish their tasks and meet company goals. Few things make employees feel more unappreciated, frustrated and unhappy as not having the appropriate resources for their job.
--When an employee has a problem with their job, set your employee up for success by valuing their efforts to do better, not berating them for the failure.
--An employee should never be surprised by a year-end review. All along the year, employees should receive regular, frequent, targeted feedback on their work.
--Acknowledging employees doing something right is a far more successful path to work excellence, than continually pointing out what they are doing wrong.
"Notice that just about all these suggestions cost nothing to implement," says Nelson. "That's the beauty of the appreciation model. It takes effort not dollars."
For more information including appreciation suggestions, go to http://www.noellenelson.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/