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Executive Search Firms: Remedying Employee Grievances, Part One By Scott Cox Ultimately, employee retention efforts are

all about making your employe es happy and meeting their needs in the workplace to the degree that they do not feel inclined to leave your company. However, perhaps the best way to discover what it is your employees are looking for to make them happy is to simply listen to their greatest complaints. To help companies better understand what it is th at most employees find to be lacking in their jobs and in the workplace, and con versely to help them improve their employee retention strategies, executive sear ch firms have compiled the top ten complaints that most employees have shared ab out their employers so that others my learn from these mistakes and grow from th em. 1. A Lack of Competitive Compensation While this may seem like a fairly elementary issue, apparently it is still one t hat needs to be addressed. All too often employers, rather than viewing their em ployees as an investment for the future profit and success of their organization s, instead are asking themselves how cheaply they can acquire an individual. Thi s method has been proven to fail time and again and will only result in employee s jumping at the first opportunity that may arise which offers better pay. 2. Unequal Pay Increases Among Employees For most employees the appearance a fair and equitable system in the workplace i s fundamental to their contentment in their positions. This need for fairness ex tends into the compensation program as well, as many employees will discover tha t newer hires are being paid more than those who have been their longer. Simply correcting this issue to compensate employees with more seniority over newer emp loyees, or even adjusting to a more equal pay grade can go a long way to promoti ng employee happiness and the perception of equity throughout an organization. 3. Insufficient Benefits Programs While employers will often provide the most elementary of benefits programs, whi ch most commonly include health and dental coverage, retirement, and paid vacati on time, many employees find that these programs are usually less than sufficien t at meeting their needs, costing too much and not meeting certain needs. These issues will need to be resolved quickly before employees begin jumping ship to t ake up jobs with companies that do provide programs that meet their needs. 4. Micromanagement One of the most cited issues by many individuals when asked why they left a part icular position is due to poor supervision of one kind or another, though more o ften than not this is due to issues of micromanagement on the part of supervisor s. No one wants to have someone standing over their shoulder critiquing, critici zing, and making their job all around far more stressful. However, managers shou ld be careful that they do not go too far in the other direction as well, as a d istant and unresponsive manager can be just as problematic as the other. 5. Failure to Reward Appropriately Many employees have complained that a lack of recognition and reward for their h ard work and success makes them feel as though they are being undervalued and un appreciated by their employers. While such rewards can take on any number of sha pes and forms, perhaps the most effective is the use of bonuses and pay raises t o demonstrate just how much an employee s efforts have meant to the organization. The final five most common employee complaints collected by executive search fir ms can be found in the second half of this article.