What Employees Expect (and really, really want)?

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When your team is happy, your company will thrive. But the question that gets continually asked, is “How do I keep them happy”? There are many different answers to that question but across all industries, there are several common answers that seem to be tried and true, (even if the way that we implement those solutions has changed greatly over the years). By promoting these attributes, you can increase productivity and morale, and lower the risk of burnout and turnover, especially during a time when everyone is being forced to think and rethink how work fits into their lives on an everyday basis. In this weeks’ update, we examine some of the factors that no business can afford to ignore.






What Employees Expect (and really, really want)?



Being an effective leader goes beyond meeting deadlines and managing people, projects, and tasks. In fact, none of this is even possible if you do not know what motivates and excites your team. If deadlines are simply dates on a calendar with no sense of urgency, or you detect an overall sense of apathy regarding projects, it may be time to find out what your staff really wants.


What people want from their careers, and even what work looks like today, has dramatically shifted over the past decade. The most recent changes to our work / life environments has vastly highlighted those trends. Strong leadership is a more fluid construct than ever before, and companies that are rapid adapters will continue to lead in the race to attract and retain top talent.


Across industries, there are the most widely recognized characteristics that employees seek from their employers. Under ideal circumstances, creating a culture that incorporates all of these attributes is an arduous task, made even more difficult during the current pandemic. However, it does not mean that we should not continue to strive to achieve the optimal workplace. 


Respect: It is important to understand the 2 types of respect “Owed” respect (civility, recognition of everyone’s inherent value to a team / organization), and “Earned” respect whereby acknowledging individual contributions & excellence in valued qualities and behaviors.


Feedback: Constructive feedback is one of the best things managers can provide to their employees. When delivered properly it can, reinforce positive behavior, correct any negative performance and ensure a strong culture remains in your team. Employees also recognize feedback as an incredible tool for career development.


Appreciation: When employees know their hard work is appreciated and recognized, they feel that their work is valued. And this motivates them to maintain and improve their great performance.  Appreciation improves workplace morale. Showing appreciation to an employee creates a ripple effect in the workplace. Appreciation comes in many form, handwritten notes, public recognition, well thought out, personalized gifts (token and of significance), and of course financial incentives.


Trust: The need for trust in the workplace is a fundamental building block of any organization. Despite the importance of encouraging and developing it, trust is a difficult attribute to measure and a delicate dynamic to maintain, even more so when most of us are not in the same physical environment as our counterparts. The need to communicate candidly over virtual channels on a regular basis is more important than ever. Employees need to know that you believe that in spite of

everything that they may be going through currently, that you trust their judgement to get the job done!


A Mentoring Culture: Mentorship in the workplace helps to leverage existing resources and key personnel helping employees grow and thrive. It creates a better workplace environment in so many ways including: Development (personal and career), onboarding & acclimation of new employees, leadership development, diversity, and of course increased productivity across the board.


Idea Sharing: When a knowledge sharing structure is working well, the right people receive the right information at the right time, and just as importantly, employees know where to look and how to share. From a management perspective, the importance of sharing information efficiently, to maximize its value without overwhelming your team is invaluable. With teleworking being the “new normal” (at least temporarily), implementing executable knowledge sharing processes will ensure that collaboration and creativity flourish, even across a dispersed work force.


Flexibility: As we are all “juggling” how to incorporate our personal lives (child care, elder care, space& technology limitations, etc) into our work lives like never before, employers have had to adapt their expectations to suit employees needs without losing productivity. By allowing for autonomy in employees flexibility, you will not only have happier employees, but also more productive ones. Beyond benefiting your individual team members, your company will also have improved morale and likely see a decrease in turnover rates. Remember, this is a two-way street!


Feel free to reach out directly to discuss this topic further as well as any other questions or concerns regarding the current hiring climate. I guarantee that in our call together you will leave with 2 or 3 ideas that will greatly impact your ability to find, attract, and procure the top 10-15% of the candidate pool on a consistent basis.


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