Giving Employees What They Really Want

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Landmark day! The UPS guy just delivered author's copies of my first book, "RESPECT: Delivering Results by Giving Employees What They Really Want", co-authored with Jack Wiley of the Kenexa High Performance Institute.

Talk about job rewards, a sense of accomplishment, and just feeling pretty darn good. I'm sharing my excitement with you because this is a book of which I can truly be proud. First and foremost, the information in this book is not your typical management book format of leaders telling other leaders how to lead. It taps the worker on the street and simply asked them to tell us “the most important thing you want from the organization in which you work". Rather than going to leaders and asking them to give advice, we went to the 'followers'. Doesn’t that make sense? To be a leader, you need followers – of course! Why not ask what’s important to them?

Secondly, as a self-proclaimed data junky I can say that this book summarizes serious data – literally a deluge of employee opinion; 25 years and over a hundred thousand responses in 19 countries of employees’ greatest desires at work. To raise the game even further, we didn't rely on a couple interpretations of what employees meant by their answers; the data were analyzed by the consensus of 23 researchers and data coders. RESPECT is an acronym for the seven things employees want, and I have no doubt that it represents are the real deal. It stands for:

  • Recognition
  • Excitement
  • Security
  • Pay (only 25% of answers were in this category!)
  • Education
  • Conditions at work – social and physical
  • Truth

Makes sense, right? But here’s the kicker: companies that executed on the principals of RESPECT had higher customer satisfaction ratings, higher financial metrics, and tracked a percentage point above the S&P 500. Simply put, and the third reason I’m proud of this book, it’s the ultimate win-win at work.

Finally, it doesn’t leave you hanging. This book has a chapter on each RESPECT category, giving a state-of-the-workforce snapshot of each issue from around the world, as well as offering actionable solutions and real stories to help leaders, line managers and HR practitioners get started on the – for lack of a better term – "RESPECTful" path. I truly hope that readers find it as enjoyable to read as I found it to write. And please do offer comments and send questions. I’d be happy to chat, and help you and your employees get what they want from work.

Jeff Mike

Jeff Mike leads Bersin by Deloitte’s HR Operations and Service Delivery research He integrates rigorous research approaches with his extensive experience leading HR functions to engage diverse practitioners and to generate actionable knowledge Jeff also teaches HR to business people and business to HR people, formally at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and informally in organizations through his boundary spanning, consultative approach to problem solving and capacity building.

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