Employee stress and burnout are at record levels in the UK, and while there are a lot of factors that play into this, one factor is that some employees aren’t getting what they want at work.

So what do they want? You might think it’s more holiday time, bigger salaries, or bigger benefits packages, but studies on what employees actually want from a workplace show differently. Funnily enough, better pay doesn’t even rate in the top five. Instead, what employees really care about is:

To know what’s expected of them

This is something that seems incredibly simple, but studies show that over 70% of employees are not clear about what’s expected from them at work. In that case, it’s no wonder that they’re stressed — that kind of uncertainty every day makes it easy to fall into “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situations.

To be able to use their talents every day

Having employees do things that they’re not naturally good at is stifling for them, and a waste of a great resource for a business. And yet, many employees are stuck doing things that they’re not the best person to do, or are not allowed to exercise their talents to their full capacity, leaving them disengaged and contributing to absenteeism.

To receive recognition of good work

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day, assume that an employee knows when they’re doing a good job and only needs feedback when there’s a problem, but simply saying “Thank you” or “Good job” makes a huge difference to an employee’s work experience.

To know that someone at work cares about them as a person

A very small, simple change that can have huge ramifications. Employees that get this kind of support and recognition are naturally more engaged with the company, work harder, and are less likely to take excessive time off.

To work for a company whose mission makes them feel like their work is important

This is particularly important in light of the fact that on average, only one in five employees is enthusiastic about their company’s goals. That’s not the case at Clear Books, but it didn’t happen by accident: our founder, Tim, built a greater purpose right into our mission statement. We’re not just about making software; we’re about making life easier for small businesses. That’s a much bigger picture, and much more motivating to get behind than even the best software.

How about you, what’s most important to you in a workplace? Tell us in the comments below!

Posted by Rachel Allen