Employee expectations are a tricky thing to deal with. Too much will probably ruin a company’s profitability while too less could result in high employee turnover. So how does a company or a manger manage employee expectations? Let’s take a look at some of the ways how top companies in India have managed employee expectations, turning their employees into a happy workforce and more importantly, their prized assets.
Base bonuses and pay raises on variable factors
Career progression, benefits, leaves and a lot of other perks take a back seat when compared to the numero uno employee expectation of getting a raise. According to ET and a 2012 Ma Foi Randstad workmonitor survey, more than 80 percent employees expect a bonus or an increment. For a staggering 72%, their salaries do not match the amount of performance they are expected to deliver on the floor.
Whether you are a manager or an employer, giving everyone a raise may not go well with your budget. To tackle this, you may want to include increments, bonuses and other cold cash incentives based on variable factors such as sales targets and other KPIs that increase the profitability of the company.
Focus on gender diversity to appease both genders
While gender discrimination is a thing of the past, it has left its ugly trail and women workers may find imbalances in workforce percentages unfair. To appease both genders, you may want to consciously maintain diversity in the workforce of your company at all levels. A classic example of how this has worked to meet employee expectations in India is the case of Intel.
Headquartered in Bangalore, Intel stood at the 2nd position in a 2011 survey by The Economic Times and Great Place to Work Institute. Why? Because Intel was reportedly the Best Company for Women. This speaks volumes of employee satisfaction and shows that a company is focused on employee diversity and development which are long term goals that reflect a healthy workforce policy.
Managing expectations through equity ownership
Employee Stock Ownership Plans or Employee Stock Option Plans are a way to offer employees deferred compensation through equity ownership. In simple words, the company offers employees shares at a preferred price in a specific time period. For the company, it may be monetarily more effective than handing out fat cash bonuses because the mode of compensation is deferred to a point in time.
From the employee’s perspective, a part ownership of the company via shares will result in a sense of belonging and motivation to work for increased profitability of the company itself. According to Rediff, about 70 percent of the workforce at Makemytrip.com is expected to get ESOPs in the future. Makemytrip.com was recognized as India’s 3rd best company to work for in 2011.
Provide a friendly, healthy and relaxed workplace atmosphere
It is understandable that customer or client facing environments cannot afford to be relaxed. Sharp dressing and utmost professionalism at such places is crucial. But for companies and work environments that are not customer facing, a relaxed atmosphere is highly appreciated and welcomed by employees.
A prime example of how a friendly, healthy and relaxed workplace atmosphere has resulted in managing employee expectation is Google. We’ve all seen pictures of eccentric and technology driven offices of Google around the world which boast of a relaxed and casual atmosphere. This has also trickled down to Google’s offices in India where offices and other campus facilities boast of cutting edge technology, recreational facilities and a healthy work environment that seems to promote creativeness and thinking that is out of the box, literally.
Check out this picture of employees in Google’s Bangalore office. A statement on the Google website says "Google has offices around the globe, from Bangalore to Zurich, but regardless of where we are, we nurture an invigorating, positive environment by hiring talented, local people who share our commitment to creating search perfection and want to have a great time doing it."