Jim Grootegoed is professional editor of OLP.

When talking to labs I’ll often ask what they consider their most important asset and the answer, more often than not, is the employees. But how do managers measure their satisfaction? If at all, it’s generally through performance reviews, which is why I noticed a recent Gallup poll that concluded, “Only two in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.” This sent me to the internet to do some research on what employees really want from “the boss.” The following were consistent and are summarized from many articles and surveys:

• Honesty and integrity. Lies and secrets are the biggest killers to credibility.
• Fairness and consistency in responses.
• Trust and respect. Employees want to trust and respect their management and expect the same in return.
• Inclusion. Employees want to understand the real purpose of their job, to be a part of the manager’s team and be asked to contribute ideas and solutions.
• Appreciation. Being recognized for just being there contributing to the success of the business goes a long way.
• Responsiveness. Employees want their manager to listen, understand and respond.

There are also a number of surprising items employees don’t want or expect from their managers:

• Friendship. It’s more important to be a leader, a mentor and leading by example.
• Conversation. Employees don’t want to have non-work-related conversations with their manager.
• Emotional support. Only 25% want emotional support from their manager. They typically look for that among coworkers. But that doesn’t mean not being involved when something serious occurs.
• Cheerfulness. They’d rather respect managers than like them. In one study only a quarter wanted a cheerful or happy manager.

If you’re an owner/manager/supervisor please evaluate your conduct. If you’re an employee, leave this article open on the manager’s desk.


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