What Employees Need

by Glen Fahs on April 18, 2016

in Employee Engagement,Recognition


Decade after decade when supervisors were polled and asked to rank ten dimensions of work in terms of their importance to employees, they guessed wrong. It wasn’t “Good wages,” “Promotion and growth” and “Good working conditions” that employees put at the top. Instead the number one ranked dimension was “Full appreciation for work done,” followed by “Feeling like I’m making a difference.”

Sadly, most employees aren’t passionately engaged in their work, since they don’t get much appreciation and don’t see how they are making a difference. If they don’t know why their work is important, they won’t know where to focus their professional development. That is where leadership comes in. No matter your title or status, you can practice leadership by communicating why someone’s work is important.

You can tell cashiers that they are a big part of making the customer experience friendly and memorable for your store. You can communicate that the quality of a welder’s work is contagious to others. You can point out to accountants that without them people wouldn’t be paid timely and accurately and remind IT staff that if they didn’t do their jobs well, everyone would be more frustrated and distracted from their work.

Managers play a central role in figuring out who needs to do what and ensuring that jobs get done well. Leaders (who may or may not also be managers) help us care, improve and develop a team spirit that can overcome the greatest of obstacles.

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