Do you know what your employees really want? One survey reveals discrepancies in what managers think employees want and what workers actually do.
What employees want:
- Appreciation for work done
- Feeling like they are part of the team
- Sympathetic help on personal issues
What managers think they want:
- Good wages
- Job security
- Growth opportunities
As you can see, what managers thought employees wanted weren’t their top priorities. In fact, the bottom three items on the managers’ list matched the top three items on the employees’ list.
It can be easy to forget that what motivates you also motivates your people. Employees want to be recognized and feel like they are making an impact on the bigger picture.
Engaging employees takes more than dollars and cents. Here are five things you should start saying now:
- “How can I help?” As a manager, providing support is as important as providing guidance. If employees are constantly being told what to do, there’s no room for growth and creativity. Encourage them to think outside of the box and then support their ideas when they arise. Rather than tell them what they should do, ask them thought-provoking questions to help them self-guide to success.
- “Great job!” Recognition is a powerful tool. Employees want to feel appreciated. When warranted, show praise and make it authentic by being specific. “Great job on (insert project here)” will go a long way in motivating them.
- “How are you feeling?” Feelings tend to be something we shy away from. However, confronting our feelings is a great way to avoid potential issues. This isn’t something that you need to ask employees on a daily basis, but every once in a while, check in. Sometimes all you need to do is listen; other times, sound advice will be appreciated.
- “What do you think about (fill in the blank)?” This isn’t simply to appease employees, but a way to engage them. If you believe the people you hire are amazing, then allow them to help you be amazing by giving them a voice. However, don’t ask this question unless you are willing to consider the advice they give.
- “Thank you.” These two little words can be underutilized at work. Everyone is busy and it’s easy to assume that other people already know we appreciate them, so is saying “thank you” necessary? If you’re interested in strengthening relationships with your employees, it is.
The best managers who show their appreciation, engage with employees and remain sensitive to others’ emotions will get the most out of their workforce. When your employees believe you care for them, you can coach and develop candid conversations much easier because they know you want them to succeed.