What Do Employees Want From Their Managers?

Do your employees want you to be an inspirational leader, or maybe they’d prefer you to be the quiet problem solver or better yet the compassionate mentor?

Some employees look for a hands-on-boss who is always stopping by, asking “How’s it going?” Other employees would prefer not to see their boss quite so frequently. And then there are those employees who wish they didn’t see their boss more than once a year at the performance reviews.

Different employees crave different things from their managers. Unless one of your skills is mind reading, it’s difficult and even downright impossible to know exactly what your staff wants from you.

There have been numerous surveys and books written about this very topic to help managers provide environments that are motivating and conducive to productivity while keeping employees happy.

Traits or characteristics that matter most to employees are honesty and integrity from their managers, lies and secrets can kill a manager’s credibility. Employees want their managers to be fair and to hold all employees accountable to the same standards. They want to trust and be trusted by their manager. Employees want to be able to count on their manager when needed and to be a part of their manager’s team, be asked to contribute ideas and solutions. Shutting employees out will shut them up—and heading for the door.

Managers should be genuine. Employees sometimes spend more time with their boss than with their families and they don’t want a phony. They want to be appreciated for who they are and what they do. They want to hear a “Thank you” or “Great job” and more importantly, employees want their manager to listen, understand and respond to their questions, ideas, suggestions and contributions. Managers should be more of a sponge, rather than a brick wall.

None of us is born knowing how to be a manager and it can be difficult to decipher exactly what employees want or need. Not all employees look for the same traits in a manager and its best to understand what each individual employee craves and then try to fulfill those needs.

In the end, more satisfied employees stick around longer, are more loyal, do better work and make a manager’s job much easier.

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