Amidst the ongoing scarcity of skilled workers, employers are directing their efforts toward enhancing their employer branding strategies. The goal is to boost employee retention and attract top talent. Surprisingly, despite these investments, employee satisfaction rates have remained relatively stagnant. Merely 17% of employees genuinely enjoy their work, while a staggering 69% view their jobs as a means to earn money, lacking any significant commitment or loyalty to their organizations. Another 14% have mentally quit, exhibiting no commitment whatsoever.
Identifying the Problem
Traditional employer marketing initiatives, such as employee discounts, free amenities like fruit baskets and coffee, flexible work schedules, and remote work options, seem to fall short in ensuring sustainable employee satisfaction. Even elaborate bonus schemes seem to have lost their appeal.
But, why is that?
Because all these measures fail to recognize and fulfill the true needs of employees. This disparity between purchased benefits aimed at increasing satisfaction and the actual fulfillment of those needs poses a significant challenge in the long run. In fact, these measures might even prove to be counterproductive as thoughts like “And now they are seriously trying to cover up all the internal problems we have by buying us fruit baskets?!” are not uncommon.
Employers have invested substantial amounts of money in these measures over the years, only to witness the desired outcomes remain short-lived. Consequently, employees continue to feel unseen in their workplaces, leading to increased absences due to elevated psychological stress levels, high turnover rates, and decreased productivity.
Beyond financial losses, the profound dissatisfaction within the workforce inflicts damage upon the employer brand, resulting in significant losses in attractiveness. This verdict is detrimental in the battle for talent acquisition.
Unraveling the Source of Dissatisfaction
So, what do employees really want? What drives long-term employee satisfaction? To foster sustained motivation and performance, more fundamental changes are required. Employees universally yearn for:
- Recognition and feedback from superiors and peers
- Well-functioning teams
- Trust from colleagues and superiors in their abilities
- Transparency, particularly concerning company processes
- Clear and reliable agreements
- Open, respectful communication
- Collective celebration of achievements
- A sense of purpose and doing meaningful work
These and similar points cannot be acquired through monetary means alone since they are reliant on behavior. The critical point is: employees are more than mere workers. Behind their roles lie real individuals with values, emotions, and needs. Irrespective of their positions or the nature of their work, employees yearn to be seen, heard, and valued. Unfortunately, these needs often remain unaddressed, resulting in a significant deficit and the ensuing dissatisfaction.
The Path to Fulfilling Employee Needs
Employers must acknowledge these genuine needs and employ suitable measures to satisfy them. Achieving this requires raising awareness of the problem at all levels of the organization. Many companies still adhere to rigid, inflexible structures and outdated values, which must be dismantled and renewed accordingly. Coaching serves as an external catalyst, providing the necessary impulses for driving lasting behavioral changes within the organization, ultimately benefiting everyone involved.
Coaching: A Decisive Intervention
To effect the necessary changes, both management and employees must adjust their behaviors. Coaching, designed for both managers and employees, facilitates the identification of existing problems within the company and offers suitable solutions. Essentially, coaching is applicable to all individuals in the workplace.
Goals and Outcomes
Coaching approaches are tailored to address the specific challenges faced by participants. They are as diverse as the people themselves. The coaching process involves gaining insights about current behavioral and thought-patterns, creating awareness and an understanding from a meta perspective and the development of new behaviors. The overarching objectives include:
- Early detection and prevention of dissatisfaction
- Breaking down communication barriers
- Resolving conflicts
- Avoiding burnout and boreout
- Promoting work-life balance
Essentially, coaching offers external support and guidance, enabling clients to overcome existing obstacles independently, utilizing their own resources. Participants are responsible for applying the learned methods and internalizing behavioral patterns, fostering change at all levels of the organizational hierarchy. This is the key to long-term improvement within the company.
Working alongside clients, individual challenges are analyzed, and corresponding goals are established over approximately 3-5 sessions. With each session, new approaches are developed, which clients can implement in their daily private and professional lives between coaching sessions. This process allows clients to cultivate problem-solving skills, leveraging their existing resources in a targeted manner.
While employer branding endeavors consistently aim to retain and motivate employees, most benefits fall short, failing to recognize and satisfy their profound human needs. Coaching serves as a catalyst for acknowledging these needs from an external perspective. Clients can then independently surmount existing obstacles, ultimately leading to lasting improvements within the organizational structure and employee behavior.
As a result, all people employed in the company benefit, as they are more motivated, more balanced and more willing to perform. As a result, employees perform better and are sick less often, which in turn benefits the company as a whole – a classic win-win situation.