What do your employees really want from leaders? Jumping to conclusions isn’t safe, but to be a better manager, remember these basic truths about everyone who works for you:
- “I want to feel important.” No one wants to feel like a number, interchangeable and easy to forget. Get to know your employees as people; find out what makes each one unique and show them you’re paying attention to their individuality. Nowadays, people value personable relationships more than they ever have before.
- “I need encouragement.” Even the best employees continue to flourish and grow with positive feedback. Let them know what they’re doing right and how they can keep performing at a high level. They’ll notice and keep up their efforts.
- “I want to believe in you.” Employees want to know they can trust their team leaders —your knowledge, your expertise, and your word. Show your commitment to helping them succeed and grow by listening, answering questions honestly, and keeping your promises.
- “I want to succeed.” Most employees want to do a good job, even if they don’t necessarily want to advance to upper management. Explain your expectations clearly, and give them the training and support they need so they know you’re invested in helping them succeed.
- “I want to be motivated.” Yes, motivation springs from inside, but employees want to be told why they should complete a project or improve quality in terms that make sense to them. Emphasize the job’s value to the organization, as well as the benefits the employee will enjoy—personal satisfaction as well as more tangible rewards—to unleash their enthusiasm and commitment.