7 Things That Are True For Top Workplaces

By Debra D. Bass
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) With modest effort and by following a few rules, companies CAN make employees content, if not outright happy.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

We’ve got bad news.

More than likely, your company doesn’t really care about you. Sure, your employer wants you to show up and do a good job, but “you” is generic. You could be anyone.

That’s no surprise to Markus Baer, an associate professor of organizational behavior at Washington University’s Olin School of Business.

“Ask yourself that question,” prompts Baer, who specializes in motivation and innovation. Does your company really care about you?

OK, now, don’t panic. He assures that it’s not the biggest travesty taking place in the workplace.

“Making employees feel like they are truly cared for and providing them with work that allows them to make progress towards truly meaningful goals” are not mutually exclusive — and, yes, companies should make an effort to do both, he said. “But the former seems more difficult to achieve in reality.”

So is there good news, you wonder? Yes, but it’s a little weird.

Cold-hearted corporations don’t need to be especially concerned about this because that’s not what keeps employees happy. This means that — hooray — employees can be happy even if they don’t think their employer cares.

A company can essentially fake it, and provide a beneficial atmosphere that inspires loyalty from top-level executives and front-line customer representatives by exercising some care with its decision-making.

With modest effort and by following a few rules, companies can make employees content, if not outright happy.

Rule #1: Don’t be a jerk
A company might not care, but it shouldn’t go out of its way to remove all doubt.

“The nature of most employees is not that they want to punch the clock and leave,” explains Susan Cejka, managing partner of the Grant Cooper executive recruiting firm. “People want to do a good job. Period. And as an employer you have to work hard to take that away.”

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