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It’s always been a challenge to lure, keep, and motivate employees. Nowadays, what with the ongoing pandemic and societal changes COVID-19 has wrought, that challenge has been deepened. For one thing, no longer is a nice paycheck enough. People have more choices, and increasingly want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They also want to feel valued and have room to grow. And more and more, that means working for an organization that understands this. 

That’s why the employee experience is paramount. And understanding how employees feel at work is the key to improving that employee experience, building a stronger, more productive workforce, and ultimately gaining a competitive edge. This is where an unmet needs analysis comes in. Such an analysis can give you critical insight into what your workforce needs to optimize output. Here’s what you need to know about conducting an unmet needs analysis — and more.

What Kinds of Employee Needs are Being Unmet?

According to a Deloitte survey, just 20 percent of reported feeling passionate about their work. Add to that Gallup surveys that showed that most employees are fairly disengaged and that roughly 23 million workers are actively disengaged. So, what are some basic needs that aren’t being met? Let’s look.

— The need to trust. The bottom line is that employees won’t give you their all if they don’t feel that you have their best interests at heart. That’s why it’s important to communicate effectively and have open channels, and to treat your workforce fairly.

— The need for hopefulness. More than ever, people want to be part of an organization that fills them with hope and optimism. Employees want to feel like they’re able to grow, develop more skills, and have room for advancement.

— The need to feel like they’re good at what they do. Employees want to feel competent, which leads to increased engagement and productivity. Often, that means matching talent with positions that suit their skill sets. 

— The need to feel valued. Let’s face it, the workplace is where many people derive a sense of self-worth — or at least want to. Employees want to feel like if they show up and do their best, they’ll be recognized and rewarded.

Unmet Needs Analysis

To stand out amid the competition, you need to gain employee insights. And this can be accomplished through an unmet needs analysis. The better you understand the needs of your workforce — what stresses people out and what brings them peace — the better you are able to gauge the programs, employee rewards, and experiences your company offers. Once you gain that understanding, you can make the adjustments necessary to ultimately attract, retain, and motivate the talent you need.

Conducting an unmet needs analysis will allow you to get a handle on problems, craft appropriate solutions, and invest in the proper areas. If you align your employees’ needs with a total rewards strategy that’s based on those needs, you’ll differentiate yourself from the competition. It’s a win-win proposition that, if you’re wise, your organization will explore. Just be certain that your approach to such analysis, and those you enlist to conduct it, are on point. You’ll likely be better off getting outside help.

As you can see, conducting an unmet needs analysis is critical to understanding your workforce and improving the employee experience so that you can recruit, retain, and motivate the talent you need. If you want to effectively pull it off, we suggest that you let a consultant such as Mercer handle it. That way, you can attend to your everyday business doings while leaving the analysis to an experienced, dedicated team.