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Six things your people want beyond money

Season 1: Finding and keeping great people

Julia Jahn Global Employee Experience Lead

Six things your people want beyond money

Women rapport at work

OK, so you want your people to stay. And you want these people to not only be hard-working, and highly-skilled, but also engaged, happy, and to be positive advocates for your business or brand? Seems like a tall order. But making it happen is actually pretty simple: give people what they want.  

I’ll cover the key things that employees really want out of a job and company beyond salary—and a range of ways to help provide these things.   

1. Growth 

People want to know how they’re doing and where they’re heading. Give them a clear path for their trajectory with defined role expectations, reasonable and achievable goals to get to the next level, a corresponding timeline, and regular progress check-ins. 

2. Recognition and celebration

Milestones matter. Acknowledge things like product launches, extra efforts from individuals or teams, and positively note wins and losses. Recognition for good, hard work builds morale. Celebrate anniversaries and promotions thoughtfully and publicly. People notice.  

3. Reward beyond salary

Theres more to feeling valued than just income. Generous parental leave (with things like paid “keep in touch days”) can be a major bonus. Consider both formal and informal learning and development opportunities (from sponsoring a night class on UX design to internal employee-led skillshares). Can’t afford the annual bonus this year? Maybe offer additional days of holiday instead. And if your business has multiple locations, options for permanent or short-term transfers can be very appealing. 

4. Someone or something to rally behind 

We all want something we can get behind. Authentic and transparent leadership unites people and fuels loyalty. Let people know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and how it may impact them.  

5. Community 

Human beings are tribal by nature, we need community. Create safe, supportive groups for employees—which can be based on shared passions or skills, or shared identity. The more grassroots-focused, the better.  

6. Flexibility and balance

Offer wellbeing breaks during the workday. This can be a policy like blocking the lunch hour to ensure employees feel supported to either take time for themselves, or to participate in more structured offerings like yoga or fitness classes.  

In conclusion . . .

Hopefully, you can walk away with a few sparks of inspiration that you can take into your own businesses, no matter the size. And remember, while money is great, theres a whole lot more you can provide to motivate people at work.  

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