Appreciation Is Worth More Than Money

On June 1st 1995 Alan Wilder left Depeche Mode. During his press conference he stated:

“Since joining in 1982, I have continually striven to give total energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the furthering of the group’s success and in spite of a consistent imbalance in the distribution of the workload, willingly offered this. Unfortunately, within the group, this level of input never received the respect and acknowledgement that it warrants.”

Wilder did not want more money. He wanted appreciation and recognition for the work he performed.

For example Wilder, along with Violator co-producer Flood turned Depeche Mode songwriter Martin Gore‘s slow harmonium demo of Enjoy The Silence into the up tempo dance classic we know and love today.

Enjoy The Silence is credited as written by Martin Gore and the production is credited to Depeche Mode and Flood even though no other band member was involved in the production of the song. Martin Gore later won an Ivor Novello Award for Enjoy the Silence.

Wilder is also largely responsible for Depeche Mode being the pioneers of sampling, he took on the main load of the studio work which the other band members found boring and also the promotional work.

Alan Wilder playing an EMU Emax Turbo during the Devotional Tour

So this got me thinking, isn’t this the same problem that every working environment has? Do employees want more money or more recognition for the work that they perform? So I performed a little research and discovered that a major problem for employers today is keeping their best employees! So how do you go about retaining the good people once you’ve found them?

Understanding what your employees want from a workplace sounds like a logical place to start. After all, if you know what your employees want then all you need to do is provide it and all will be well.

This is great in theory but research shows that employers are not very successful at identifying what their employees actually want. In fact there is a significant difference between the things that employees say are important to them what employers think they want.

According to a survey carried out in 2012 where 1000 employees were asked to rank a list of ten criteria that was important to them, here is how they answered:

  1. Full appreciation for work done.
  2. Feeling “part” of things.
  3. Sympathetic help on personal issues.
  4. Job Security.
  5. Good wages.
  6. Interesting work.
  7. Promotion/growth opportunities.
  8. Personal loyalty to workers
  9. Good working conditions.
  10. Tactful discipline.

When asked the same question here is what managers think employees want:

  1. Good wages
  2. Job security
  3. Promotion/growth opportunities
  4. Good working conditions
  5. Interesting work
  6. Personal loyalty to workers
  7. Tactful discipline
  8. Full appreciation for work done
  9. Sympathetic help on personal issues
  10. Feeling ‘part’ of things

What does this mean if you are a manager in business today? Frequent pats on the back or a simple ‘thank you’ will go a long way towards making your employees more satisfied at work.

Happily, it’s not always about the money!