When your job shop is looking for potential employees, it can be hard to know what to tell people about your shop. Do you focus on the industries you work in? How many new machines you have? The answer, as it turns out, is at a more basic level than that. Industry Week did a study to see what keeps various groups of people engaged at work, and therefore makes people want to work at a new shop. They split up the groups by gender and generation and found that there were still four things that all of the groups had in common. People generally want meaningful work, honest leadership, meaningful jobs, and proactive employers.

Meaningful Work

what potential employees want in a job shop

People, in general, like to do work that means something. For potential employees, it’s helpful to highlight how your shop makes a difference. That difference could be direct, through what your shop makes. For shops in the medical industry, for example, it’s easy to understand how their work is important. However, not all shops have a direct impact like that. Fortunately, it’s also helpful to share how your shop gives back through volunteering, donating, or something else. People tend to want to be part of something bigger than themselves and there are multiple ways to make that happen. Be clear so potential employees know how your shop provides meaningful work.

Honest Leadership

People want to work for honest people they respect. One big way to earn that respect is for your actions to reflect your words. If you do this, your shop will have stability and won’t have uncertainty. In addition, your employees will know that you keep your word. If you explain to them the shop is trying to head in a particular direction, they’ll believe you and understand why changes may be happening. They may grumble, but they’ll know that they can trust you and respect your decision to make those changes. It’s important to give your shop’s leadership training so they all follow this principle as well.

Meaningful Jobs

Employees also typically want to feel like their work matters. We spend a lot of time at work, so people often look for more than just a paycheck from that time and commitment. One way to show employees that their work matters is by having reviews, at least annually. That way, they know what they’re doing well and what they need to improve on. Employees can tell their work matters to the company because they can see how they’ve met benchmarks throughout the year, and what they need to do to continue meeting those expectations. If employees get no feedback from their boss, it’s hard for them to know how they’re doing, and easier to stop caring as much about it.

Proactive, not Reactive

If your company is constantly putting out fires, there may be an underlying reason you’re having problems. No one likes to have crisis after crisis, but if your shop is only reactive, that’s how it will handle things. If your shop is proactive, it will look for reasons behind why these problems keep happening and try to solve them. Most employees prefer to work in a place where emergencies don’t pop up all the time. If your shop is proactive, they won’t, and you’ll learn from the emergencies that do happen, so they don’t happen again.

Most people want to work in a place that does meaningful work, has honest leadership, provides meaningful jobs, and is proactive and not reactive. If you put all of these things together, you’ll have a shop that stands out to potential employees and current employees as a great place to work. You’ll also probably find that a shop that attracts great employees and employees work harder and smarter. Want more?


What Gen Z wants in a Job Shop