top of page


5 Surprising Things Your Employees Want

You’ve probably read all the articles that tell you employees want more money, more praise, and more opportunity. And these things are true but there are other things they wish they had too. These are things they probably haven’t told you and maybe haven’t even figured them out themselves.

Natural Light

Office buildings can be dingy, and most businesses operate solely under artificial lighting. During the late fall and early winter, employees hardly see the light of day. While depriving people of natural light may be a great idea in Vegas because it keeps people from knowing how much time has passed, it’s not a good idea for employees. Boredom and dissatisfaction will cause a lack of motivation and productivity will plummet. Providing natural lighting will not only make your employees happier but it may just save on your electric bill as well.

Professional Development

It’s likely your employees have talked about this to you. But maybe you don’t have the time or the budget to help them. However, if you don’t give them access to professional development or room to grow within your business, they’ll likely leave for somewhere that will. But how can you meet their needs on a limited budget or in a business where there’s not a lot of room for upward mobility?

Make sure they know you’re a member of the chamber, and as a member, they are welcome to attend chamber networking and professional development events. While you may be concerned that networking means they might leave, if you don’t provide these things for them you know they will.

A Comfortable Workspace and Desk

This desire covers a lot of areas, but employees don’t want to be too cold or too hot. They want to be comfortable in their surroundings like having a chair that doesn’t make their back hurt. They also want to be comfortable from a job safety perspective. They don’t want to worry about injury or personal safety either. Make sure these basic needs are met.


Morale will only be as good as your tolerance of the biggest problem in the office. Fairness is a pie-in-the-sky concept because there will always be some form of inequality, but you absolutely cannot allow some employees to get away with bad behavior. This brings everyone down. To the best of your ability, ensure all employees are held to the same standards.

Downtime They Can Use

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are not using their vacation time. The number one reason they don’t is that it isn’t worth the amount of work they must put forward to take the time off or the mound of work they will return to. This deluge of work can be incapacitating in the long-term.

It’s essential that employees feel comfortable taking the time allotted to them. Ensure your managers know that time is to be used. Some companies have begun requiring its use by disallowing rollover of time. But that’s not enough. There are still some employees who will lose it instead of using it.

The other thing you can do is allow your employees some flexibility. Maybe a work from home day or a flexible start time within a range of hours. For instance, you could allow employees to select their own official start time between 7:30 and 10:00. They can finish their day based on start time.

Happy employees provide the best customer service. A disengaged employee will never win over your customers. So, the right investment in your employees will always benefit your customers. This list is a good place to start. But the best thing to do is to find out what means the most to your team.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine,, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at and the Event Manager Blog.

She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.



bottom of page