Transform Your Workplace Ep. 02 – What Do People Really Want from Work?

Transform Your Workplace Ep. 02 – What Do People Really Want from Work?

A lot of companies don’t know what their employees appreciate most in the workplace, so they don’t know what they’re doing well and what they need to overhaul. To help find some answers, Xenium HR asked over 1,000 employees where they find value at work and whether or not their current employers are meeting their expectations.

In our survey, workplace culture ranked as the most important part of work, more significant than vacation time, training opportunities, and non-monetary benefits like health insurance. Culture remains a powerful driver for recruitment and retention, as more and more people want to work in supportive environments where they can have an impact. Plus, in our current tight employment market, those with valuable skills don’t have to settle for poor work environments anymore. This means it’s in your best interest to examine your employees’ satisfaction with your culture and adjust as necessary.

The survey also found a sizable gap between how much employees value compensation and their current level of satisfaction with it. Many people said they feel underpaid, and others were disappointed with a lack of rewards for high-performing individuals.

Most small employers do not have structures or processes in place for determining pay ranges, and communication around compensation in many workplaces is limited, if not entirely nonexistent. But without a set structure and open conversation about how pay is determined, employees are left to make their own assumptions.

Even if you have a very small staff, it’s in your best interest to develop a structured, transparent compensation process that keeps your employees informed on issues regarding pay. I suggest taking the following three steps:

  1. Conduct a thorough market study of pay ranges in your industry, across all positions at your company.
  2. Set pay ranges for each position based on market rates, your budget, and your goals.
  3. Communicate these ranges to your employees. Make them available on an internal document that can be viewed at any time for reference.

All employees have a right to discuss their pay with their coworkers. Taking the mystery out of the compensation process is a relatively simple way to improve employee satisfaction, as it ensures competitiveness and equity and fosters trust and engagement.

Watch Episode 02 of Transform Your Workplace


Suzi Alligood

A valued member of Xenium’s Senior Leadership team, Suzi gives clients the guidance they need to be better employers. With over 18 years of experience in human resource management, Suzi has provided her expertise to clients across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, nonprofit, retail and professional services. As Director of Training & Development, Suzi oversees Xenium’s training and development programs, regularly leading workshops and seminars for business owners, managers and human resource professionals throughout the Northwest.