Most door and window fabricators will agree that one of their greatest assets—if not the greatest—is their people. So, as a new year begins, most employees have either already had their year-end review or are in the process of receiving a performance evaluation this month. Most employees will agree that this process can either represent a highly motivating event in their life or one that makes them feel devalued and unappreciated. I began to ponder the topic of employee wellbeing and how it plays a critical role affecting every aspect of one’s organization, including engagement, retention (and attraction), absenteeism, performance, productivity and ultimately revenue.

What is the definition of employee wellbeing? Well, Gallup issued a report based upon decades of study around the world and
discovered five universal elements. These are distinct aspects of life that separate a “thriving individual” from one who is just getting by or maybe even faltering. These five elements are:

  • Career;
  • Community;
  • Physical;
  • Financial; and
  • Social.

Of these five, career satisfaction is number one and serves as the foundation for the other four. Second is community: Do you like where you live? Third is physical: Do you have the energy to get things done on the job? Fourth would be financial: Are you making enough money and managing it well? And fifth is social: Do you have meaningful and beneficial relationships in your life?

Two through four are all basically by-products of career, because career controls one’s overall feeling of wellbeing and is based upon the extent to which a person likes or dislikes what they do on a daily basis.

So, what motivational factors influence one’s career satisfaction?

While many would say that they feel salary is number one, one study conducted by QC Tanner found that recognition was the top motivator, coming in at 37%. Check out the article by Claire Hastwell titled “Creating a Culture of Recognition.”

Employee recognition refers to “all of the ways that an organization shows its appreciation for employees’ contributions.” It is not just money but can take many other forms as well. Moreover, it should be practiced all year long and not become just an end of the year thing. Companies should recognize employees for “on the job achievements” as they occur and reward them for exhibiting the desired behaviors as they are noticed. Employees that go above and beyond what is expected of them should be pointed out and recognized with awards and special bonuses.

Some companies actually have formal employee recognition programs and make it their mission to ensure that their special employees are recognized with thank you notes, gifts, awards, spot bonuses, special lunches, and milestone celebrations. There are even software solutions available to help with employee engagement and recognition. Technology Advice rates and compares the top seven software programs which companies can use to track employee engagement, productivity, communication and retention, while also serving as a basis to recognize employees for achievement and teamwork.

One thing is for certain: Good employees are still very hard to find. Exceptional employees are rare. Building high quality doors and windows requires more than just warm bodies who are here today and gone tomorrow. Therefore, how a company treats and recognizes its employees can have a significant impact upon morale, employee satisfaction and engagement. Focusing on employee wellbeing is part of what separates world class companies from those that are just run of the mill. It is indeed a crucial element for success!

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