business book summaries - Mohawk College Enterprise

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RESPECT: Delivering Results by Giving Employees What They Really Want Author(s): Jack Wiley and Brenda Kowske

Introduction: Organizations deliver superior results when their employees feel satisfied with their jobs. In RESPECT, Jack Wiley and Brenda Kowske use data from surveys of over 200,000 workers to distill employee satisfaction into seven fundamental needs. Recognition, Exciting work, Security of employment, Pay, Education and Career growth, conditions at work, and Truth. They argue that employers who meet these needs not only reduce turnover, but outperform their competitors financially. Most importantly, Wiley and Kowske show why giving employees what they want is a marketplace imperative—as well as the right thing to do.

“Organizations deliver superior results when their employees feel satisfied with their jobs.”

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What Employees Really Want

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The most fundamental things that employees want from their employers are:

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• Recognition • Exciting work • Security of employment or Job security

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• Pay or Fair compensation • Education and career growth • Conditions at work that are safe and comfortable

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• Truth or honesty and openness from their leaders

Why You Should Care When employees get what they want, benefits accrue to both themselves and the organization they work for. This means they are enthusiastic, committed, take pride in their work, and are willing to apply discretionary efforts to help achieve organizational goals. Additionally, they see their organizations as winners in the marketplace and feel good about being a part of them. Organizations with satisfied workers tend to be better than competitors at fulfilling customer needs and building customer loyalty. This increases revenue and market share. Importantly, the stock performance of such companies also beats that of firms less focused on their employees’ desires, making RESPECT-oriented organizations more appealing to investors.

Recognition The following factors contribute to how employees feel about the recognition they receive: • Timeliness • Specificity • Frequency • Fairness and accurateness • Helpfulness Some proven methods to improve the recognition of employees include: • Identifying employee preferences • Making informal recognition a habit • Communicating success • Establishing clear criteria and policies for formal programs • Creating opportunities for contact with higher managers • Training managers in recognition • Using training opportunities as a form of recognition

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Exciting Work People want their work to excite them; in other words, they want it to be satisfying and interesting. Unfortunately, the authors found that 40 percent of employees around the globe are not excited by what they do every day. Five conditions of work make it exciting: • Having been cross-trained • Working in researc