3 Things Employees Really Want From Their Bosses

You want to not only attract great talent to your company, but you want to hang on to the employees you do have. Making employees happy is incumbent on their bosses.

Are you currently doing anything to encourage employee retention?

While we’ve talked about retention strategies, and you probably know that benefits are something your employees want, you may not know that you can affect the satisfaction and engagement of your employees.

To have a fully engaged workforce, it’s up to you as the boss to set the tone and give your employees what they really want.

Today, we look at three things employees really want from their bosses.

We’re going to look at how you can give your employees what they want and need. Top on our list of things employees want from their bosses is you guessed it, freedom.

#1: Freedom

The workforce of yesterday wanted freedom, but they were afraid to ask for it. Today’s workforce demands it.

When it comes to freedom, we’re talking about a few things: freedom to decide when they work and freedom over where they work. Let’s break these down a bit.

Today’s employees want freedom over when they work. They want their boss to say goodbye to the 9-5 workday and let them set their own hours (within reason).

Let’s consider your workforce. You probably have a few employees that are great in the morning – these are your early risers who are most productive in the early hours.

Then, you’ve got your night owls. These folks can’t function properly until noon, and they are most productive into the evening.

By forcing these two sets of employees into a rigid 9-5 schedule inhibits your company’s productivity. Consider staggering your workforce. By letting them pick their hours, you show your employees you trust them to get the job done when they are at their most productive.

By giving your employees the freedom to plan their own schedules, you encourage their loyalty as well. Give your staff flexible work options and options for alternative schedules.

When it comes to freedom, your employees also want to decide where they work. While we recognize remote working isn’t for all businesses, it can be profitable for others.

Letting your employees choose where they work may seem like a gamble. But, many in today’s workforce would enjoy the option of remote working. In fact, some of them would even be willing to take a pay cut for the option of working from home.

Telecommuting is the wave of the future. It helps employees balance their work and life needs, and you can bet your employees will appreciate the option.


#2: Recognition

For most people, “good job” just doesn’t cut. Your employees want to be really recognized by their bosses.

Your employees want to know what you appreciate about their work. They want to be recognized by their boss for specifically what they did.

For example, if they finished a report on time when there were multiple road blocks, instead of saying, “Good job getting that report done,” you might say something like, “I really appreciate how you stuck with this project even though you were met with multiple obstacles while pushing a tight deadline. You really made our department look good.”

This tells them specifically what you appreciate and why. Each employee is unique and thus deserves a distinctive thank you.

Additionally, employees want their bosses to thank them not only privately, but publicly. While thanking employees in large meetings or in your company newsletter is nice, your employees appreciate being thanked simply when others are around.

Consider showing your appreciation during team meetings, in the break room or in the elevator. The unexpected thank you is terrific.

Great managers treat their employees with respect. That respect begins with please and ends with the thank you.

#3: Trust

Your employees want your trust. They want to have some autonomy to think, be creative and make decisions without fear that you don’t trust them.

Encourage your employees to take risks. Yes, they might make a mistake, but they might also learn from it and be better employees having taken the risk.

Don’t limit your employees. Push them to excel by giving them some freedom to work. Cultivate their talents and their potential.

Along with this trust, show your employees you care what they think. Ask for answers and encourage them to find solutions to problems.

Create a safe environment for collaboration and exploration.

To Conclude

Employees don’t quit jobs. They quit bosses.

It’s up to you to keep your employees around by meeting their needs and making sure they are happy and satisfied.

Here’s a final list of things employees really want from their bosses:

  1. Honesty and integrity. No lies and no secrets.
  2. Fairness. Give credit where credit is due. Hold all employees to the same standards.
  3. Trust. Your employees want to trust you, and in turn, they want you to trust them.
  4. Respect. This goes both ways.
  5. Dependability. Your staff wants to know you’ll be there to back them up and even take the loss for them.
  6. Collaboration. Employees want to be asked about their ideas and solutions to problems. Don’t shut your employees down. Encourage interaction.
  7. Appreciation. They want to know you notice and appreciate their work.
  8. Support. Don’t micromanage, but don’t leave your employees out on a limb by themselves. Offer ongoing support as well as feedback.
  9. Responsiveness. This is the epitome of the open door policy. Listen, understand and respond – promptly.

Now that we’ve talked about three things employees really want from their bosses, we’d love to know your thoughts. How have you met the needs of your employees? Pease comment below to share your tips with others.