According to a recent survey by Accenture, 60% of Americans are unhappy with their jobs. Plus, there are still more than 12 million people out of work in this country, today. If you are looking for work or looking to switch jobs, how do you find a job at a company that fits your lifestyle, and of course, your values? To learn more, BrandStar Entertainment ® sat down with Lisa Sterling, Director of People Engagement at Ultimate Software Group.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: Nice to meet you, Lisa.
Lisa Sterling: It is nice to meet you, as well.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: I’m sure you get this question all the time: What does a “Director of People Engagement” do?
Lisa Sterling: My job is to focus on the people within our company. It’s creating opportunities and experiences for people to get feedback on how they’re performing; to make sure they have development strategies in place to grow and get where they want to be.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: I’m sure, with your position, you must know a lot about the different issues pertaining to people and jobs. Why are people not happy with the jobs they have?
Lisa Sterling: There can be a lot of reasons. We’ve seen a lot of downsizing over the past couple of years, so, people are expected to do a lot more for the same amount of money. Many people are willing to give more commitment with no additional pay. They’re not getting pay increases or bonuses. They’re not getting feedback. People go to work every day wondering how they’re performing.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: That makes sense. Do you see companies recovering from the economic struggle?
Lisa Sterling: At this time, there are no growth or development opportunities because companies aren’t growing. Just being there and having a job is one thing, but really “being engaged” is very different. And unfortunately, this lack of desire harms companies.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: How much does it hurt companies out there?
Lisa Sterling: If you look at some recent research out there, about 370 billion dollars a year is lost from organizations from having disengaged workforces. That’s a serious issue.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: Yes, I agree. What do you think drives people?
Lisa Sterling: Well, when you are at work, you want to feel valued and validated. You certainly don’t need that pat on the back every single minute of the day, but little signs of appreciation go far. There are many ways to make an employee feel valued. Unfortunately, I do hear a lot about companies not investing in their employees.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: What does that mean – investing in their employees?
Lisa Sterling: It means appreciating the work that is being done and acknowledging the commitments they make.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: I see. What about company reviews?
Lisa Sterling: Most companies actually complete performance reviews. But people want that feedback on an ongoing basis, not just once or twice a year. They want a career path. They want to know that they came into the company’s organization at one level but they are going to have the ability to expand their career further. That’s when we think about how much of an “investment” our jobs have been. People want recognition and appreciation. They want opportunities to grow themselves, both professionally and personally.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: When you’re talking about investing in a job and you’re a jobseeker, how does a person know that the company that they’re interviewing for matches their lifestyle and their values?
Lisa Sterling: There are a lot of different ways to determine that. One way is to check out what the company stands for. Conduct some research and learn about their culture. Visit their website. Determine if they are involved in the same things that you are. Another good idea is to search for their social media and read the news and status posts.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: Those are all great ideas.
Lisa Sterling: Another way would be to look at Fortune’s 100-Best-Companies-to-Work-For list. At number twenty on that list is Ultimate Software Group.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: Congratulations on the achievement.
Lisa Sterling: Thank you! It’s a very telling sign of an organization’s culture. The selection process – to be included in that list – is pretty extensive.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: Are there other ways to determine a company’s atmosphere?
Lisa Sterling: Yes. Another method is to understand more about a company’s leadership team. The true testament of an organization is how they treat their lowest paid employee.
BrandStar Entertainment ®: Well, it has been a pleasure to meeting you. Thank you so much for coming by.
Lisa Sterling: Thank you!
BrandStar Entertainment ®: To find out more about one of the best places to work, simply go to their website at ultimatesoftware.com
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