Over the past few years, finding loyal employees who also produce beyond everyone’s expectations, has been a hot topic amongst talent professionals and senior executives. The reason you’re seeking this answer is pretty straightforward– you want self-motivated, productive and loyal employees who stay and produce more because they choose to do so. We sought to discover what makes an employee want to produce more for their organizations. And we found the #1 reason why people produce more for their companies is loving their workplace. But how do employees define love?

First let’s start with how powerful “loving your workplace” really is…

We surveyed over 175 companies across the US, Middle East/Northern Africa, Europe and SouthEast Asia. We drilled down into what love of company really means to them in order to create a model for a Most Loved Workplace.

Our results were conclusive across geographies, organization size and industries. People who loved their workplaces were 94% more likely to perform better and provide results, with 59% saying they are four times more likely.

Now to the definition of “love of workplace.”

Meanwhile, perks, compensation, and friendship at work rated lowest.  In fact, commonly discussed impacts like compensation, benefits and perks have very little impact on employees “loving” their workplace. So does having friends at work, which has been central to past studies from other think tanks and research institutes. Our respondents were very clear what causes them to “love” their workplace, and it’s about respect and values.

To help aid in the process, we created an audit which consists of different categories of factors that make people truly love their company including a deeper dive into respect, and other key factors.

The categories are based on 100s of employee definitions of love for their workplace, and how they make a conscious choice to produce more for their organizations as a result:

1.   People: This category includes statements designed to measure feelings employees have toward their coworkers and bosses, how they evaluate teamwork and collaboration at their workplace, and communication flows and feedback.

2.   Ethics: This category includes statements designed to measure if the employee feels that the company lives the values it espouses along with general perceived honesty, integrity, ethics and if other employees are reliable and held accountable for their actions.

3.   Respect and Appreciation: This category includes statements designed to measure if the employee feels respected and appreciated at her workplace along with statements that measure perceived trust and if she feels listened to.

4.   Positive Future: This category includes statements designed to measure if the employee thinks of the workplace as a positive environment that fosters innovation and openness along with a general positive attitude toward the future.

5.   Achievement: This category includes statements designed to measure if the employee thinks of his workplace as a place that values effort and hard work, a workplace where processes are in place, where the employees can focus on the customer and work toward shared goals.

The resultant data shows that getting respect drives a most loved workplace, and this translates to better performance, team cohesiveness, and reduced turnover. While some companies focus on compensation, promises of friendship, benefits and perks to “buy” employee loyalty, this study finds that a culture of respect for employees is the great equalizer. Respect is the new currency, and one in which any business can supply in unlimited amounts if it so chooses.

If you are interested in our new Most Loved Workplace study and assessment, click here to receive our latest research. You may also hear my presentation for Qualtrics here.