The Top 10 Things Employees Want From Their Boss: Keys to Employee Engagement

Leadership is a high-contact sport. It takes time and effort. In our study of the best leaders, we found that they are consistent and passionate in their engagement of employees. This is true of CEOs and first-time supervisors.

Unfortunately, according to management derailment studies, 50% of today’s managers fail. The Conference Board reports that 55% of employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, which is a record high. And, the #1 reason employees dislike their jobs is that they hate their boss. There seems to be a problem here, wouldn’t you agree? As former IBM CEO Louis Gerstner once said, “People should fear the competition, not their boss.”
After working with over 100,000 managers across the globe, here is what we have seen the “SuperSTAR” leaders do. This is what employees want from their boss.

1. Clear Expectations and Goals
Give your employees focus and a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Always remember, this isn’t a one-time event.

2. Recognition
Focus on employees’ strengths and praise them toward higher levels of performance. The better people feel about what they do, the more they want to do well.

3. Communication
As simple as it sounds, keep people informed as a team and aware as individuals. This means that you need to communicate through meetings, one on ones, and technology.

4. Growth
People become more motivated when they can develop their skills. Be sure to delegate and give your people ample opportunity to expand their capabilities in other areas. Coach effectively and regularly, so that your team always knows where they stand.

5. Trust
Follow through on your commitments, be genuine and conduct business in an ethical manner. There are way too many examples of disreputable leaders in the media. Don’t be one of them.

6. Responsibility
People want to be great and if they aren’t, managers are usually the obstacles. Too many managers micromanage and don’t let people do their jobs. Give clear expectations, train effectively and coach regularly, but let people own their jobs.

7. Respect
80% of employees say they don’t get respect on the job. Don’t have secrets, don’t intentionally instill fear in people, and don’t treat employees like children. Be as open and honest as you can. Listen effectively and treat everyone fairly. You earn respect by giving respect.

8. Pride in the Work
Most people want to do a good job. This fuels self-motivation and pride. Create a positive upbeat working environment. Study how to do this and it will pay significant dividends for your employees and you.

9. Learning
Ongoing training is a must to maintain current job skills, but even more importantly to add to them. Fortune’s annual list of the world’s best companies shows that the highest-ranking companies give employees 40-60 hours of training and education each year.

10. Achievement
People want to win and can achieve incredible results. Work hard to align people with the right role where they can succeed, persevere to eliminate obstacles for your team, and advocate for your employees. Avoid changing direction indiscriminately, not dealing with poor performance or setting unrealistic goals because these actions can lead to frustration and defeatist attitudes.

We have found that the best leaders get all of the above done because they care about the success of their employees. When people know and see that you care, they will do almost anything for you. What’s the payoff for following through on these actions? All of the below…so, which are you interested in experiencing?

•Higher employee satisfaction and productivity
•Lower employee turnover
•Better internal teamwork and communication
•Increased employee morale and commitment
•Improved customer service, sales and quality
•Career advancement and success

Remember: If you want your people to be better, you have to be better as a leader. These ten areas will help you to increase your performance and lead you to achieve enviable employee engagement and to drive bottom-line impact.

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