Five Things Your Employees Wish You Knew
When you look at successful businesses, one of the things they have in common is a steady, happy workforce. Those companies attract and more importantly, retain high-quality talent throughout their organization. Their secret to success? The leaders of those companies think strategically about how their employees fit into their overall business plans. If you look around your company and see disaffected, dissatisfied employees, maybe you should consider what your employees wish you knew.
1. You don't listen. While you have the overall strategy of the company, your individual employees care and know about their niches within the company. Treat them as experts by inviting them to share with you their concerns & what works, what doesn't work, what could be done better. Actively listen and strategize with them, not to them.
2. You don't know everything I do. All positions should have detailed job descriptions, but how well do you know what your employees do day-to-day? Job shadowing your employees shows that you care about knowing what they do and how it affects the business. You may even be surprised, in ways large and small, the techniques and innovations your employees have developed. This also shows your employees you're not too 'big,' nor that it's beneath you to get your hands dirty.
3. You don't appreciate me. Everyone likes to be appreciated, and every business should have a budget and a plan for employee appreciation. From once a year company picnics to awarding a gift certificate for a local restaurant, it's nice to be appreciated.
4. You don't respect me. Respect is usually demanded by top management, yet is rarely seen as reciprocated. Lack of respect shows in many ways, from not getting your employees input for goals and projects, to demanding that they remain available to you electronically 24-7.
5. You don't understand I have a life. Employees sometimes feel overwhelmed with what they consider 'non work' interruptions. Endless meetings, offsite team building and retreats, surveys that no one acts upon. As a consequence, many employees come in early, work late, come in on weekends, or do work at home just to be able to finish what they feel is thier 'real' work. This cuts into their private life, making for unhappy employees. Your job is to determine the necessity of all the extras, and only keep the ones that truly add to employees' knowledge and productivity.
Dr. David Miles is Chairman of the Miles LeHane Companies, Inc. He is a member of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), a member and founding chapter President of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Association of Career Professionals (ACP) and a Charter Fellow of the Institute of Career Certification International (ICC International), as the largest global non-profit certification Institute. Author of The Four Pillars of Employable Talent and Building Block Essentials. Follow David on Twitter @David_C_Miles.