Want to engage employees? Try development, not foosball

Free beer on Fridays and unlimited snacks. Are those the incentives your organization uses for recruitment and retention? Maybe there’s a better option.

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All the free beer in the world cannot make employees stay with a boss or a company that has bad leadership.

A recent cover story in Boston Business Journal titled “Tech-Talent Space Race” highlights tales of businesses spending millions of dollars building playgrounds for their employees. Still, employees are more dissatisfied with their employers than ever.

New Gallup research suggests that more than 70 percent of employees are disengaged: They don’t really care what happens to the organization or your customers, and that can be disastrous.

The employees you want are those interested in learning and growing with the organization. They value development opportunities and the chance to work a magnetic leader. They want to be associated with organizations that have a purpose they connect with. Greater autonomy and flexibility in their schedules are also high on their list.

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