When I conduct employee opinion surveys, I
typically begin the process by conducting on-site focus groups to learn what's
on employees' minds. Often, the 8-10 employees in the group spend the bulk of
our time together complaining about their supervisors, their pay, and a
multitude of perceived inefficiencies. After about 45 minutes of this griping,
I ask them: "You've all said so many negative things about your organization .
. . why on earth do you still work here?"
Always, there is a long, reflective silence
followed by the following words:
"The reason we stay here is THE PEOPLE; we like
the people we work with."
I also conduct seminars for employees who have
recently lost their jobs due to layoffs. When I ask them what they will miss
most about their job other than the pay and benefits, always, their first
response is: THE PEOPLE. They say, "we will miss the people we worked with."
It is very difficult to motivate employees that
would prefer to be somewhere else.